167 8th Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1001140.742652 -74.000816
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Chelsea
Nice environment for a gay sportsbar! – The very tall, rather obese, nasal-voiced bartender at this place will not honor the 2-for-1 on the top shelf items, however, he honors it for _some_ of his customers, whether a regular at the bar or not. What I find bothersome is that he is the ONLY bartender that does this! He doesn't realize that his 'select' crowd of customers who he honors the 2-for-1 on top shelf has been passing this info down to the regulars there. As for the rest of the customers there, he tells them that same line, adding in his usual, "that's the way it's been for three years." Whenever I go to Gym Sportsbar, I zoom by him and go to another bartender. I notice that many of this establishment's regulars go past him as well, and it sucks because he was one of the first bartenders working there, and he acts as though he's a major investor in the bar, when visibly, he's not.
Friendly but still "Chelsea" gay – The bartenders are cool and so are the drink specials. But the times I've gone there, the crowds are very clicky. Sure a random gay drunkard staggers in and wants to strike up a conversation, but I find many of the guys Chelsea-ized and won't communicate with others unless you're a part of their 'group.' I also think the decor could be improved as well. Nonetheless, I like the concept and wish there were more places like this that go outside the stereotypical gay culture.
Always A Good Time – I am at GYM pretty often to meet up with friends and find the staff to be very friendly, accommodating and good looking too. The atmosphere is very laid-back, no attitude whatsoever - a pleasant alternative to other gay bars in NYC where the "trendy scenesters" tend to dominate. It's probably the only bar in the city where you can always find people no matter what time you stop in - whether early evening happy hour or late at night. And chances are you can find someone who fits your type - no matter what it is. The drinks are strong and the prices are right, with specials every night. A lot of the guys are watching the games, but you don't have to be a sports fan to have a great time.
2 For 1 is only for cheap drinks – Went here with a friend who happened to order a top shelf drink. Got a 2 for 1 for mine, but my friend did not. When we asked the bartender why, he came back with typical Chelsea queen attitude and said "that's the way it's been for 3 years." Apparently you only get their 2 for 1 specials on cheap drinks - so even though you are paying for the first "top shelf" drink, this place screws you out of their special - of which of course now where is it posted that it excludes top shelf... Guess I'm supposed to know that. I've been here for 3 years too and this guy just reminded me why I stay out of Chelsea - attitude, attitude, attitude.... Too many other great gay bars to hang out at with a lot less attitude and shady business practices than this place...
Sports bar? – For a place that calls itself a sports bar it's pretty clueless. I went there to watch an NCAA tournament game during the peak of March Madness and they had tennis on the TV. It took me a while to convince the bartender to put the game on that I wanted to see and then it was only some corner TV. The vibe I get from the crowd is that is older guys probably married closet cases. They do seem to have good drink specials though, I'll give them that.
The first gay sports bar packs a mix of true fans and the men who love them. – In Short
Like any other sports bar, this lofty, brick-walled spot on 8th Avenue reels in regulars and passersby with a friendly staff, laid-back vibe and drink deals every day on the mixed drinks, bottled domestics and few drafts offered. While some eyes are genuinely glued to the game on multiple flat screens, other pairs are probably wandering. If you make contact, the pool table or the few leather chairs in the back are for perfect commercial interludes.
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