Paradox paradise: This bar is your bar, this bar is my bar
Nearly everything about Johnny's defies pigeonholing: Call its patrons beer swillers, then watch them ask the bartender for the martini menu; call its jukebox Motown, then Jane's Addiction starts blaring; call it a straight bar and the fags come out of the woodwork. Even its location doesn't quite jibe: to one side, swanky Cafe de Bruxelles; across Greenwich Avenue, sporty Equinox; and in the middle, Johnny's, the dive with the neon-red "BAR" sign and the walk-up window. Inside, drinkers and drunks are mixing like the tequila and amaretto of the Black Cow shot ($3.25), smoothly yet a little strangely. Conversations heat up as social barriers melt away over glasses of Guinness ($5) and Anchor Steam ($4.50). The punk, the computer programmer, and the stand-up comedian are cooing about how everyone seems so welcome herebut what's that sign on the cash register say, "BUMS 645-3220"? Maybe some are more welcome than others. A happy hour speaks volumes about a place, and Johnny's has seven of them, starting at noon with two-for-ones and switching to $3.25 well drinks from 3 to 7 p.m. At these prices, you can afford to buy a total stranger a beer and see to what absurd heights the conversation leads.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.