In the early days of our great nation, distinguished men would gather in taverns to discuss politics, civil works, and the hilarious antics of citizens in the latter stages of syphilis. Today, those same men would yap about the Crosstown Classic, and they'd do it at The Pony. Co-founded by the guy behind Lottie's, The Pony's an upscale tavern replete with hickory-slatted walls and floors, wood-beamed ceilings, a 38ft copper-plated bar, and bucket-style stools to keep your tush securely stable during high-performance drinking. The downstairs (upstairs open later this summer) also sports chocolate leather booths, 7 high-tops each with its own 24-inch flat screen, plus 13 wall-mounted screens in case you don't want to be watching point-blank when Carlos Zambrano's shoulder explodes. The grub takes heartiness to "11", notably with "Stacks" -- meatloaf, pot roast, chicken parm, etc, heaped atop sauce-soaked bread -- and sandwiches like the Clydesdale: a 12-inch hunk of bread stuffed w/ two kinds of melted American cheese, applewood smoked bacon & country ham, big enough to feed four, or one damned soul who can't resist a dare. Booze-wise, Pony's slinging 7 house cocktails and 12 draughts, plus package deals like $2 7oz High Life's when you buy a shot, and The Pony Flight: a 7oz High Life, 16oz Silver Bullet, and 24oz Colt 45 -- specials so crazy, somebody must be enjoying their syphilis.