Belmont Lounge -
The lost art of conversation falls short of a comeback at Belmont Lounge near Union Square, where the music is a few decibels too high for a place claiming “lounge” status. Despite its disregard for the ancient rhetoric of a night out on the town, this walk-down does admirably blend something of the old-school atmosphere with the new. The cellar-like front bar, its red brick walls peppered with paintings of Don Corleone, Bob Marley and other classic characters, contrasts with the sleeker, couch and booth-filled back room. The mirrors up front look swiped from the queen of England herself, and the bookshelves set in the walls will impress any self-styled scholar. The crowd, however, comes in today’s cliques and carries an air of exclusivity synonymous with being 20-something. No cigar-chomping whiskey drinkers here. One important reminder: break your seal before going (or not at all, for that matter) because just like the old days, there are only two one-person bathrooms.