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Best Dive Bar (Queens)


Even if you get seriously tipsy, you’ll always know what season it is as long as you’re inside Kelly’s. The decades-old institution — a true dive, rather than a painstakingly manufactured one — is perpetually decorated to the hilt, the particulars changing according to the time of year. What doesn’t change, though, is the salty but warm reception you’ll get whenever you visit, particularly from the bartender, Sharon, who pours generously, remembers names, and will banter with just about anyone. But be warned that if you become too absorbed in lip-syncing a song that comes on the jukebox, she might make you sing for real. Sitting beside you at the bar will likely be a friendly cast of Astoria old-timers who will tell you about how the neighborhood has changed; hopefully the telegenic Kelly’s, which has been featured on the Showtime series Nurse Jackie, never will. 31-04 Crescent Street, Queens 11106, 718-278-9734

Readers’ Choice: Diamond Dogs

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 13, 2015

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