The Bar Tab 

Looking back on a recent outing to the Limelight, a comfy bar that shares its moniker with an extinct New York City club famous for its lascivious foam parties and barbiturate cocktails, I reflected on much more benign happenings

The Limelight
2718 N. St. Mary’s
735-7775
Myspace.com/limelightsa
Drinks avg: $4-6
Looking back on a recent outing to the Limelight, a comfy bar that shares its moniker with an extinct New York City club famous for its lascivious foam parties and barbiturate cocktails, I reflected on much more benign happenings. Reminiscent of low-key watering holes in the Bowery, the Limelight is cozy, with dim lighting, unobtrusive artwork, and the din of local subculture.

We were settled at one end of the bar and staving off awkward exchanges with bleary-eyed strangers when my companion’s dazzling beaded purse caught the eyes of a friendly bartender and the nosey yet genial gentleman next door. Maybe the dainty shoulder strap he manhandled reminded him of his old days playing dress-up. “I can’t help it,” he shrugged, guiltily.

Our conversation buzzed between beer and dense spirits. The contrast throughout the crowd was stunning. As blazers — plaid and solids — braided into the motley crew, a couple of ladies floated in on fairy wings and a skinny red boa, exploiting the lenience of All Hallow’s Eve. In the bathroom, my companion clambered around a pair of wanton ladies and was complimented on her agility with implied interest. Tis the season, I guess.

Though Limelight doesn’t offer draft beer, a fair share of red and white wine is available (at an affordable $4-$7 a glass), as is a potpourri of bottled brew and a generous liquor selection. The bartenders, eager to please, danced from one end of the bar to the other, keeping a close eye on thirsty patrons. Christo, who was “just there to help,” made a mean dirty Tanqueray Martini. His understanding of “extra olives” was a pleasant departure from the usual 4 or so; he floated a couple of rocks-glasses-full for good measure.

A mass exodus ensued once RWI left the stage, clearing the tables and the air for bottles and cans sporting team colors to argue over the fealty of their supporters. Anyone for a round of PBR vs. Dos XX?

The Limelight is a late-night haven, with regularly scheduled live music acts (you can check the schedule on the bar’s Myspace page). Although the music sometimes makes it difficult to carry on a conversation, it’s a welcome tradeoff for the stygian environs. Old friends reunite under the dim lights, and ambitious pick-up lines involving a Phillips flat-head screwdriver are, thankfully, facetious.

More by Francesca Camillo

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