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9th Ave Saloon:
While "Hell's Kitchen's original gay bar" may have once been a pioneer, the saloon has left its "wild west(side)" days behind. Leaving the trend-setting to the hood's now-ubiquitous flag-flying bar scene, 9th Ave Saloon caters to a much more chilled-out (read: mature) crowd. Saddle up to the bar to do a bit of socializing and you're less likely to be navigating the politics of a three-way than you are the politics of Reaganomics. Of course, it's not all gray-haireds and WWII-era show-tunes. An everyday happy hour ($2 off drinks from 3-8pm) knows no age limit, and the dive bar's décor may be shabby, but it's clean (it IS a gay bar, after all). And for the ultimate in "WTF is this, I'll take it!", paper plates piled high with a messy mountain of assorted crackers and chunks of store-brand colby jack can be found on the bar, for your munching pleasure. Get over yourself and enjoy those free snacks—you know you want to! Then let the bartender-holds-bathroom-key-hostage (one at a time, folks!) policy urge you on to your next destination.