Special/Signature Issues » The Bar Guide

Top 10 Cellars

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1) Ipanema CafAc. A womb with tap handles; the low ceiling bound in aluminum siding and brick arches and endless depths make it the best hole you want to crawl into.

2) Gibson's Grill. The netherspace of the restaurant attached to The National lays out lots of bar space, neon illumination and TVs piping in whoever's playing next door.

3) Vault. Tall-ceilinged industrial space with catwalks and a long bar lets you know where to dance after the bombs fall.

4) The Tobacco Company. A classic of underground celebration: You can pretend to gamble, you can dance with your mirrored self, you can experience the ultimate in cocktail-napkin trading.

5) Chiocca's. Those few steps down into this corner spot are a rite of passage. After a few giant beers and an excellent sandwich in this drinking den you'll try to ascend, fail, and ask for a job.

6) Europa. This is where vampires go to hook up. On weekends, the DJs fill the low cavernous space with a fine soundtrack.

7) Patrick Henry Pub. Two delightful rooms, one with a big old sow of a bar that we piglets settle up to; the rest get the tables over there.

8) White Dog. Quiet, noble, an underground bar from a classy age, where you'd take a 1940s Hollywood starlet for an affair.

9) Capital Ale House. Wait, they have more beer downstairs? And pool tables? And darts?

10) Si Tapas (honorable mention). Technically the bar is in the attic, but it has a plush, snug feel that makes you expect to go up the stairs to leave, rather than down.

Cellars: Pros and Cons

• You can't bring your NBA friends.

• You will find fellow “Twilight” fans.

• Claustrophobia therapy.

• All-weather terrain.

• Hide away embarrassing dates.

• Scene kids can protect tattoos from harmful rays.

• Always dark, excusing you to drink any time of day.

 

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