Vbar, the Greenwich Village predecessor of Vbar St. Marks, is the more studious of the two. Located in the heart of NYU-ville, it mimics the dormitory lair of a brooding philosophy major, wherein books, Roman statues, and emptied bottles are displayed on shelves circling the room. Mac-equipped grad students line the wooden countertops on the left side of the room, directly across from Vbar's comprehensive-and reasonably priced-bottled beer menu. Naturally, the Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre (brewed with raisons and beet sugar) tastes best with a chapter of cranky ol' Sartre.
My friends and I call it "Cheers"--everyone there knows everybody else's name eventually. Friendly staff and clientele of artists (mostly young filmmakers, photographers, graphic designers and internet junkies) who hang out at the bar with their computers comparing work and splitting food that they bring in from surrounding restaurants (it's more a coffee bar than a restaurant). Transforms into a great wine bar at night.