12. The Half King, Chelsea

Photo Courtesy of Delia Cabe

Another Chelsea classic is the W. 23rd Street staple, The Half King. Though the antiqued inside of The Half King along with its very name, which comes from the name of a Native American war chief during the French and Indian War, evokes a deep-seeded past, it opened its doors in 2000. The inspiration behind the bar for its founders (A Perfect Storm author, Sebastian Junger, journalist Scott Anderson and documentarian Nanette Burstein) was to provide the war correspondent retreat ala Ernest Hemingway in Spain that the three journalists felt New York previously lacked. Now, just 17 years after its its inception, The Half King has done just what the founders set out to do– created a literary oasis.

Today, more than 50 literary events and photojournalism exhibitions come to The Half King, and every Monday, published authors come to read from their work. “The works chosen often have some controversial or political edge,” Cabe writes. “Spirited discussions are encouraged.”

Signature drink: Whiskey Caipirinha with Mint (a take on the Brazilian national cocktail).

To read about the (many) other legendary bar hangouts of famous authors, purchase Storied Bars of New York on Amazon here

For more on the rich history of NYC’s bar scene, check out Where a Drink is Served With a Work of Art or The Top 10 Hidden Bars in NYC. Get in touch with the reporter: @Erika_A_Stark