You can tell a lot about a person by where he or she likes to put back a drink or two. Is it an old-timey cocktail lounge with a mustachioed bartender or an actual old watering hole where the same barman (or -woman) has been pulling pints since last century? Is the bar sleek, homey, loud, quiet, classy, dirty? Would you bring your parents there? In many ways, a great bar is a great equalizer: Everyone is there for the same reason. And the booze should only be part of it. The rest is a feeling of comfort and camaraderie. Being hosted, taken care of. Having a place where everyone knows your name and all that.
So, how will we judge Our 10 Best Manhattan Bars? Simple: These are places where we like to drink, whether we’re with friends or by ourselves. They’re places where we like the bar itself — you know, the thing you belly up to — and the staff and the crowd and the drinks. We’re too old to drink swill; we’ve graduated from bars that are solely characterized as dives or scenes (sorry, Mars Bar). And we aren’t looking to pick up. (Not that we’re not open to it.) So, stay tuned for Our 10 Best Manhattan Bars tomorrow.
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