Main | Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oscar Wilde Bar (O.W.)


Third in a series of bar reviews

O.W. Bar

Location: Upper East Side, 221 E.58th (Btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves)
Specialty: None
Door Charge: None
Bar Prices: Average
Clientele Ethnicity: Mostly white, some Latins
Average Age: late 20's - late 40's

Review: For some reason I still think of this place as being called Oscar Wilde Bar, hence the title of this post, although their website doesn't have the name anywhere on it and even attributes a famous quote by Wilde as merely by an "O.W." What's the story? Has the Wilde estate stomped on any commerical usage of his name?

In any case, O.W. Bar is a ground-level bar in an typical rectangular storefront, long and narrow, with a rear patio where patrons are allowed to smoke, a very nice asset in Manhattan. The decor is sleek and modern, without being sterile, featuring big flat-screen tv's which play diva-style dance music videos at a moderate, conversation-allowing volume. There are barstools along the long bar (uncommon in some gay bars) and a nice sized open seating area of leather banquettes.

O.W. doesn't appear to cater to any specialty audience, unlike the last two places I reviewed. Instead they rely on a loyal crowd of regulars and tourists, who drift in from the nearby mega-shopping district anchored by Bloomingdales. I'm told that O.W. is also a sponsor of teams in various gay sports leagues, which I'm sure results in some great "home bar" parties.

The most appealing aspect of O.W. for Aaron, Farmboy T and myself, were the parade of very attractive strippers, most of which appeared to be Latino. Usually I find strippers to be boring at best, a nuisance at worst, particularly in a smaller place like O.W., but we were somewhat dazed by the beauties on hand, hence the above first-ever-in-JMG beefcake shot. (Click the pic for a beefier version.) Apologies to those at work who didn't expect to see skin on JMG, I will try to keep any future photos like this below the first page.

Chance of returning to O.W. Bar: Moderate.

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