It was always a pleasant miracle to me that a shotgun bar, one only a hop, skip and a stumble from my home, could employ so many pretty boys. Knowing I could count on its eye candy (and its penchant for Whitesnake tunes), I frequented Hye Bar in my early twenties. But I still belly up from time to time, taking in the shadowy tavern, wall-to-wall fish tank and the brightly polished smiles of a handsome and willing wait staff.
Tucked between a flower store and a yoga studio, Hye Bar finds its home on the northern end of the Southport strip. This unassuming spot is just close enough to a bevy of other bars and restaurants, while staying far enough away from the resounding drunken footfall traffic from the likes of Mystic Celt and Sopo.
Floor-to-ceiling open front windows lend a patio feeling to an otherwise rather gloomy daytime spot, but hit up this bar after dark on a weekend, and you'll most likely be forced to throw some elbows to find a seat. Instead, snuggle up to the bar, where you'll be first in line ordering from a generic but well stocked array of alcohol, and also be in prime position to receive a couple of shots on the house.
With no DJ present, the bartenders deftly maneuver between pouring drinks that won't break the bank and keeping the tunes lively. For the price of a smile (and a decent tip) they're likely to accept your request for some excellent '80s rock ballads.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Rifkin