Don’t let the velvet rope fool you, this mellow bar is neither snobby nor exclusive. Also, don’t let the name fool you– it’s not pronounced “cashay” or “cashetie” (like machete), but just like it looks, “cashet”. Despite the rope, the huge bouncer and the confusing French name, this place is amazingly down to earth, and a really good place to meet a few friends out for a nice night of drinks and music. The patrons vary, from artsy East Villagers to yuppie UESers trying to escape the doldrums of the frat bar scene. The bar is not very big, but all these different elements of Manhattan seem to intermingle without any problem or attitude. While bargoers sip drinks from one of many comfy couches, they’ll be serenaded with a good mix of acid jazz, hip-hop and general club music from a live DJ spinning at the end of the bar. We’re not sure if the bartenders are also the owners, but they treat the customers as if they are, not trying to get the biggest tips, but just happy you’re having a good time at their party. [MF]