There's no shortage of bars in New York, so the key is finding the right watering hole for the occasion. Here are seven that might be suitable:
1. FOR POOL SHARKS: FAT CAT
Well-loved by pool-sharking NYU students and devotees of late-night jazz jams, Fat Cat boasts the best basement playground in the city. When you're done with pool, you can belly up to the bar, or dominate a Ping-Pong table, or crash on the many thrift-store couches.
INFO 212-675-6056, fatcatmusic.org
2. FOR BREAKUPS: PDT
Two things make this a great breakup joint: It's so dark no one will see you cry or throw your drink, and you can take comfort eating gourmet hot dogs at the adjacent Crif Dogs thereafter. You also can drown your sorrows in bacon-infused bourbon sweetened with maple syrup, the signature cocktail of the house.
WHERE 113 St. Mark's Place
INFO 212-614-0386, pdtnyc.com
3. FOR HANDCRAFTED COCKTAILS: WARD III
This three-year-old TriBeCa bar provides a low-key refuge for people who want a cool hangout without the pretension of the red velvet rope. You'll find great bartenders here and an honest menu of bespoke cocktails, focused on spice and homemade bitters.
INFO 212-240-9194, ward3tribeca.com
4. FOR A DIVE BAR: RUDY'S BAR & GRILL
Cheap drinks, a heavy pour and a classic jukebox make this the undisputed best dive in the city. The duct-taped red booths are as well loved as the $7 pitchers, unlimited free hot dogs and the crusty bartenders. Expect a crowd of regulars and tourists.
WHERE 627 Ninth Ave.
INFO 646-707-0890, rudysbarnyc.com
5. TO FEEL LIKE YOU'RE IN COLLEGE AGAIN: THE GIN MILL
Uptown Ivies and Fordham students gather in this casual tavern for Jell-O shots, beer pong, drafts of Stella and Sams and big-screen sports. Between games, there's plenty of nacho-munching, big-burger maneuvering and co-ed canoodling.
WHERE 442 Amsterdam Ave.
INFO 212-580-9080, nycbestbar.com/ginmill
6. BEST SPORTS BAR FOR A WOMAN: THE AINSWORTH
Here, at the original of a growing chain of concept sports bars, high-minded sports guys -- and their dates -- can find a place. Elevated bar food, such as lobster or crabcake sliders, lamb burgers and mahi-mahi wraps, make it a gal-friendly place for watching sports on the 40-plus flat screens.
WHERE 122 W. 26th St.
INFO 212-741-0645, ainsworthnyc.com
7. TO PICK UP SOMEONE RICH: CAMPBELL APARTMENT
Evoking the feel of an old-moneyed home, this stashed-away bar -- formerly the private office of tycoon John W. Campbell -- presents a classy hangout for the well-heeled professionals who can afford the pricey drinks. Your best tactic: dress up and carry a $20 -- just enough for one drink. If you don't connect after that, leave.
WHERE Grand Central Terminal
INFO 212-953-0409, hospitalityholdings.com