Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Sad Stroll

Well, the whole stroll wasn't sad, but within the first couple of blocks three bars, two of which I was kind of fond of, were closed. Two, of them, including Johnny Fox's, permenantly because the whole block is being taken down to make way for new apartments or something. The other one, Abbey Tavern, is supposed to be open again in a few months and is, supposedly, just being remodeled by new owners.

The CEO of Dynamarketing Group, Inc. saw the article about me in the New York Post and then read my blog. They market a product called Rebound that is supposed to help prevent hangovers. Luckily, or perhaps not, I very rarely get hangovers. However, he sent me some free samples to try. I took a couple before setting out today and then a couple more when I got home. I don't know if they helped or not, but will let you tomorrow how I felt when I woke up.

182) Fitzgerald's Pub

A venerable old Irish pub at 336 Third Avenue. Not much to write about, it is a pretty generic place but a good one to pop into for a drink. A local's bar with a dartboard and a decent jukebox. Fairly decent crowd.

I had a Dewars and soda.

183) The Hairy Monk

This place is across the street from Fitzgerald's and on the corner of 25th. A decent enough place and as empty as Fitzgerald's was crowded. I was the only customer for the entire time that I was there. It had some neat metal and orange glass lights over the bar and the ceiling was beamed and had was a bit lighter orange. The walls were the same pinkish red color as Limerick's, maybe a bit darker. I think it might be called "dessert rose." A wood plank floor and several flat-screen TV's, two of them pretty good-sized.

I had their house beer, Hairy Monk Ale. It was pretty good, a bit hoppy, and served in a 20 ounce "pint" glass.

184) McCormack's

This place on 3rd Avenue and 26th Street, is another nice Irish pub. It too, was quite crowded with a lot of people eating lunch both at tables and at the bar. The eating area is separate from the bar and the bar has a number of TVs with good sports coverage.

I had a Dewar's and soda.

185) Rodeo Bar

On the corner of 3rd Avenue and 27th Street is this neo-classic place that serves more than decent Tex-Mex food. They have live music from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 A.M. every night except Sunday when it stops early, 2:00 A.M. Some pretty decent acts too, Marshall Crenshaw was going to be there tonight, but he is a bigger name than usual and was sponsored by Maker's Mark. Would have liked to have stuck around. Their usual fare are bands like Wrinkle Neck Mules and The Stray Dogs.

The place is replete with all kinds of Texas memorabilia including a stuffed buffalo above the bar and a buffalo head in the back that blows smoke out of its snout. The bar is covered with Texas license plates. The back used to have a grill where you could grill your own hamburgers but that is gone. Probably a safety hazard, drunks falling face-down on the grill couldn't be too cool. Also the same trapdoor that I almost fell down (or was almost pushed down) during a bar-trek many years ago when the place was named Albuquerque's or, before that, Lorango's.

The only drawback was a more than indifferent bartender and hostess. They pretty much sat at the end of the bar eating their lunch, talking to each other, and ignoring the customers. I watched one person come in and actually have to hail the hostess to get a menu and get seated. Granted, it was the slow time of the day, but this always drives me to distraction.

I had a draft Samuel Adam's Winter Lager

186) Banc Cafe

The owner and wait-staff were all Irish, but this place looked more Morrocan than anything else. The food is French. The bar, that I took to be a muti-colored plastic, was actually cement with embedded colored glass and then polished smooth. This was an extremely nice looking place with intimate dining areas in the back. The staff was as friendly and the one at the Rodeo Bar was indifferent. I had a very friendly stay. Chrissy Hynds was on the jukebox and a very attractive bartender was singing along, until she caught me watching her.

I had a Dewars and Soda.

187) Penelope

This place, on 159 Lexington Avenue, was more of a coffee-shop than anything else but they did have a little wine bar in the back. It had a real 50's feel to it with a white ceramic bar. Had a bit of a crowd drinking coffee and eating whatever people eat in places like this. Leaves of lettuce and crumpets, perhaps. They had a fairly extensive wine list that was interestingly presented pasted in the front pages of a thin, old book, "The Babyon's Third Person Singular" by Clemence Dane.

I had a glass of Rioja Cortijo III - Tinto 2003

188) Rocky Sullivan's

This was a very pleasant, small place with a very friendly bartender. It is on Lexington Avenue between 28th and 29th. Sadly, for people like me, the bartender said it was her last day and she was going to pursue her career as an artist full-time. Her name is Cynthia Large and her website is Written on the back of her business card is Christina The Astonishing, but for the life of me I don't know why. They give Irish language classes in the back a couple of times a week. They also have live music and various writers stop in and give readings. Another place I would pop back in, given the opportunity. One can only hope the next bartender will be as nice as this one.

A thoroughly enjoyable place and I violated my rule of having only one drink and had a Guiness and a shot of Bushmills. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

189) Black Duck

This place, a bar and restaurant on 122 East 28th Street, is in the Park South Hotel. The place is finished in dark wood and the chandeliers look like the figureheads on old sailing vessels. Nice paintings on the walls and French doors seperating it from the rest of the Hotel. Had the same rose colored walls I seem to be seeing everywhere go these days. I really had to go to the bathroom when I got here and the restrooms were very elegant indeed.

Well, I hit eight bars and had nine drinks today so I guess I will be giving Rebound a fairly good test. 189 down and 811 to go. Probably going to give it a bit of a rest tomorrow, the wife and I are meeting one of my sister-in-laws for lunch at Artisanal and I have already had a drink at their bar. I will probably hit a couple in the neighborhood and call it a day.


Pedro Gatz said...

I love that part of town (where I live) for all of the bars there. You can, quite literally, drink your way from gramercy to murray hill. I noticed you stopped in to Patrick Kavanaugh's the other day, my local watering hole. You should've had the mozzaralla stix. They're the best in the city. Check out Second Avenue and 33d, Benjamin Bar. A pretty decent place and another of my local watering holes.

Anonymous said...

That was a hard days's work

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