The Art of Drinking

The Art of Drinking


Let's face it: Drinking is an art. At Art Bar, there's no mistaking that fact.

The place is a West Village staple. It has been serving for upwards of 20 years, so you know that crew must be doing something right. The vibe is ecclectic: Imagine a hybrid between a dive, a bohemian lounge and an art gallery. When you first walk in, the joint looks like your run-of-the-mill watering hole: A bar along one wall, semi-circle banquettes along the other and clusters of patrons (a healthy mix of old and young) clutching their toxins of choice. Venture into the back (trot right in, no one will lead you), and you realize how the venue found it's name. 

Welcome, my dears, to the gallery. The seemingly hidden back room (where all the cool kids sit, myself included) doubles as an exhibit space for local artists. Artwork lines the walls—a hodgepodge of colorful contemporary abstracts were up last time I swung by—but all eyes immediately go to the room's mainstay work: A cheeky mural playing on Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper," starring Jim Morrison as Jesus and Richard Nixon as Judas. It's quite a sight, with Frida Kahlo, Elvis and a busty Marilyn Monroe among the bread breakers (except in this version, it's not bread but rather burgers, fries and diet cokes). Back to the space: chandeliers hang from above and an electric din of excited conversation fills the dimly lit room. The look is bohemian with dashes of European opium den. Plush, velvety couches (warning: they suck you in like sinkholes). Mismatched bistro chairs. Flickering candles. The atmosphere is ideal for sipping a seasonal cocktail (you could try the Pumpkin Pie Martini—pumpkin spice liqueur, coffee liqueur, Buttershots, half & half—but I'd much rather a Ginger Coolcumber—cucmber vodka, ginger ale on ice) and intimate chit-chat.

I propose a toast to art appreciation. 

Photos via yelp.com.