The Ear Inn is set in one of the oldest buildings on the isle of Manhattan: a gable-roofed, two-story Federal Townhouse built by African American Revolutionary War hero James Brown in 1817. It got its current name when the “B” on the neon side outside went on the fritz. Today, this mini-museum of a bar (there’s historical ephemera everywhere) is popular with a wide range of New Yorkers, from the city’s motorcycle enthusiasts to its gallery owners. You’re assured an interesting conversation if you belly up to the bar.
- Pauline Frommer