Ear Inn

Arguably the oldest bar in Manhattan, the Ear Inn is neither fossil nor throwback. For its lunch crowd of Teamsters and paper-reading regulars, the Ear's Billie Holiday tapes, earnest no cell-phone reminders and dusty tchotchkes represent the way things are as much as the way things were. Nights and especially weekends, UPS uniforms are replaced by Gap and Dockers worn by twenty- and thirtysomethings particular enough to recognize a thinking drinking man's tavern when they see one. Food is cheap, hearty and swiftly served by waitresses who'll patiently put up with your requests for a pint of Thomas Cloake's Fidelio beer (an extinct ale still advertised on the walls of this, its former brewery). — Bruce Bennett

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New York Lexikon