What the hell are people thinking with the velvet ropes–especially velvet ropes on the UWS in a bar that nobody wants to hang out in? We were actually denied access at first, and fed the line about there being a private party. Some party. Apparently nobody let the guests know. Eventually we were granted access to this Austin Powers-ish space that is awkwardly split into what is almost two spaces–one lounge and one sports bar masquerading as a weak-ass excuse for a retro/theme bar. They’ve gussied up the photos for the website, and made the place look pretty cool, but that’s not the same joint I saw that night. Granted, I saw it for exactly one beer, as I couldn’t run out of there fast enough. The cokehead kids out front were way too annoying for words, and the bartender in the back bar was depressing me with his sheer loneliness. I can certainly see what they were going for here, but the neighborhood and the execution just feel wrong. The place, rather than being cool and authentic, comes off plastic (although a lot of the furniture actually is plastic) and completely cheesy. [MF]

505 Columbus Ave.