The Saloon is a kick-ass bar that never shies away from being, first and foremost, a kick-ass gay bar. While other joints in the area have been co-opted by the 394/494/694 crowd—visitors who seem to venture downtown only for the kink factor—the Saloon has continued to expand and grow while keeping its roots in sight. The security, though not menacing, is tight enough to keep away the kinds of problems that have begun to haunt other downtown nightspots. The dance floor is fairly large, the music is good, and the expanded back porch is a great addition (look hard enough and you will always find someplace the smoking ban doesn't touch). The three separate bars in the Saloon all serve reasonably (but not irresponsibly) strong drinks: Are we the only ones who can no longer stand the sight of a vodka cranberry that looks like rubbing alcohol with a faint tint of rose splashed into it? Visually clean but psychically dirty (what is up with the go-go dancer in the water-splashed booth with the glory hole?), the Saloon also happens to host more tight-panted, armless-shirted, muscle-ripped party boys than any other spot in town—which is not a bad thing for a gay bar. Not bad at all.