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Best Dive Bar New York 2011 - Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road

355 W. 41st St.

New York, NY 10036

212-244-4408

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Readers' Choice: Down the Hatch

Simultaneously quaint and seedy, Tobacco Road is like a taste of the old Times Square via a Eugene O'Neill play about a sports bar. On a side street that puts it a few yards away from the Port Authority, the place (formerly called Port 41) is free of pretensions, starting with its red awning that states "Bikini, Pool Tables, Pool, Free Hot Dogs, Darts." The repetition of "pool" is already rather endearing-endearing. Also outside, you'll find a blackboard with some of the day's beer specials chalked in (not always coherently) and a sign that warns, "Please be advised that the establishment has a zero tolerance of any illegal activities." Already you sense that this dive bar is remarkably up-to-date. Inside, the bartender is indeed bikini-ized but still straining for attention since a gigantic hippopotamus head happens to be mounted on the wall across from her. It's flanked by a framed picture of a bra and a Lombardi poster, though the play closed long ago. There's the promised pool table, plus a setup for bands in the back, and it's all homey yet tinged with intrigue, since the crowd includes some old-style oddballs, a few neighborhood drop-ins, and a lot of singles. 355 West 41st Street, 212-947-1188 (10036)

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