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A blue-and-red neon sign outside B's announces three of its main components--cafe, bar, and grill--but still manages to exclude a lot. Behind the white brick wall, you'll find a quaint patio and accompanying bar, a tidy connecting dining room fitted with globular paper lanterns, and, toward the front, a smaller cocktail bar. Oh, and another bar room, this time with wine-red coloring and black-and-white photos of thespians in peculiar poses. The grandiosity of it all tends to keep out locals, but that patio sure is pretty on a cool summer evening.
Manning the door at Beige--the long-running Tuesday-night gay lounge at B Bar--Canadian-born Derek Neen emits charm and humor, never caving in to the pressures of the gig, yet knowing just when to put his designer-clad foot down. A club presence since the '80s, Neen is quick with his mouth, which he uses as a sort of aural red velvet rope (though there's a real one there, too). One night, he was seen telling a smashed patron trying to re-enter: "I speak seven languages. Which one... More »
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