Best New Pick-Up Scene (2008)
Chelsea's newest bar may never amount to Sebastian Junger and pals' vision of a tavern where writers and construction workers can toss back their pints side by sidemainly because most blue-collar laborers aren't willing to shell out $5 for a beer or up to $9 for a mixed drink. But the summer's most buzzed-about tavern is already a success, packed each weekend and playing host to a handful of lit-world parties. And whether because of the casual atmosphere or the potency of those $9 martinis, the Half King is shaping up to be a full-scale pick-up scene for the slice of New York's population that gets turned on by tales of life in the media trenches, be it covering war-ravaged Bosnia or the Republican convention or editing the latest title to make it into Oprah's Book Club. During the week, the Half King is simply a great neighborhood bar, whose creators have added in one extra-thoughtful touch: three bathrooms.