Time Out says
It’s long been a sad but all too real fact of nightlife that a designated gay bar is usually never a solid cocktail destination—until earlier this year, that is, when former Mission Chinese executive chef Angela Dimayuga unveiled this pioneering concept at the Standard East Village.
Unabashedly queer and unbound by convention—No Bar’s website declares that there are “no covers, no rules, no holds barred”—the bar serves thoughtful cocktails like the In the Gig ($8), a Tecate-mezcal boilermaker served in a togarashi-rimmed beer can, and the fresh green-juice–esque Feel the Beet ($14), sloshing vodka with Lillet and a fragrant beet shrub. But the gag is that you can enjoy all of these drinks at a DJ-soundtracked, drag queen–moderated viewing party for the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
It’s the ethos of this interdisciplinary approach that makes No Bar a forward-thinking endeavour, and one that expands on what hospitality can be. Why should LGBTQ revelers not enjoy good cocktails and, for that matter, good bar food?
From the kitchen, Dimayuga turns out gussied-up pub grub, such as a perfectly browned, made-for-dipping grilled-cheese sandwiches with gooey cheddar and provolone and amped up with a sweet tomato ragù. Then there’s the real showpiece: a spicy Italian sausage sandwich, the meaty links nestled on crunchy broccoli rabe and a funky alpine fontina.
Yes, these are simply fancy bar snacks. And, sure, well-made drinks are a dime a dozen in New York. But that belies No Bar’s cultural impact on the city’s barscape. It’s clear this is a place to see and be seen. But beyond that, it’s a boozy, zeitgeisty destination for queer cocktail lovers—and everyone else—in the year 2019.
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