The Imperial 17 W. 19th St. (5th and 6th Aves.)
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Sure, the art gallery/bar schtick has been done to death (think Kanvas & GalleryBar), but never like this. The Imperial captures the edgy, artistic mood of the Warhol-Basquiat '80s in an area where other clubs keep it formulaic. Owner Paul Coleman Drohan (China Club) has hired Ryan Rish to curate an evolving collection of street art, though plenty of visual amusements live beyond the impressive canvases. One of several video screens projects over a waterfall, and columns painted in abstract neon light up the stage area for live acts. Enjoy bottle service, sip an Imperial Martini ($22), or save your Benjys and order a 40-ounce of malt liquor. Just keep those creative juices pumping to the beat of hip-hop, house, and '80s spun by celeb DJs. Culture and Olde English under one roof? Now that's art appreciation. Open Fri.-Sat, 10 pm-4am.