Best Club Bar (2008)
For years, the Knitting Factory has held this title, both in its Leonard Street incarnation and previously, when it occupied the Houston Street storefront that later morphed into Botanica. But now there's some tough competition. Perhaps taking its cue from the Knit's revolutionary notion that music venues didn't just have to settle for the bad-beer-in-a-plastic-cup-and-nowhere-to-sit style of bar, Bowery Ballroom's bar is a massive circular structure that fills an entire room in the subterranean club. While it does get fairly loud, it's still great for people-watching, allowing for a panoramic view of the room. And before the show, it's quiet enough for conversation over a couple of beersstill served in plastic cups, but tasting oh so much better when sipped in these roomy digs.