Great Bars 2011: Gate 54 at Café Saint-Ex

That line inching along the back wall of Café Saint-Ex at midnight isn’t for the bathroom—it’s to head downstairs to Gate 54, the restaurant’s airplane-hangar-inspired subterranean bar. On Friday and Saturday nights, recent college graduates and hip neighborhood regulars pack the dance space for a feel-good mix of Motown and ’80s tunes. Weeknights bring a more subdued set who come to hear up-and-coming DJs experiment with everything from country to Scandinavian electro-rock.

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