Best Bar on the Beaten Track That Won't be Crowded on a Friday Night - 2001
Trying to find a Manhattan bar that's not packed on a weekend night can be more challenging than whipping through Saturday's Times crossword. So it beats me why the LIBRARY, a bar nestled on a thoroughfare well trodden by Camper-soled hipsters, always has a welcoming booth open. My guess is that its packagingalthough it tries hard with the horror B-movie projectionsis a few degrees off the mark. Not divey enough, rowdy enough, or classy enough, and with a jukebox filled with mid-'90s bands not dated enough to be "retro" (Soul Asylum, anyone?), the bar is just, well, not cool enough. These shortcomings make it perfect for reluctant barhoppers who want to escape the weekend madness, sip a gin and tonic, and watch Hellraiser's rabble of cenobites kick some bloody ass.