Bar of the Week: R Bar

Across the street from the famous and historic Bowery Mission, a different breed of supplicant tends to gather. For these more fortunate parishioners, a $10 cocktail is a sacrament, and R Bar, the newest installation on the ever more glittery Bowery, is happy to oblige. The atmosphere is equal parts Francophilic decadence and punkish swagger. Crystal chandeliers dangle above the bar and sparkle against the red velvet walls, but the paintings and photos of Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger and friends remind the demimonde that CBGB was, after all, just down the block. The house cocktail, the White Stripe (an unlikely mix of Ketel One, Tequila Rose, Baileys, grenadine, and milk finished off with a peppermint stick, $10), may put you in mind of childhood amoxicillin, but for more standard fare, the bartenders are happy to pour out generous doses and even a stray flute or two of champagne. No one could mistake R Bar for a Bowery flophouse or dive, but reserve the private back room, outfitted with its own full bar and four gleaming stripper�s poles, and you�ll be reminded that, dress it up however you may, the spirit of the old Bowery is alive and well. Turns out you really can go home again. 218 Bowery, (212) 334-0484. Matthew Schneier

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