Another nice day, but still on the cool side. Being sunny made it nice to be out and being cool made it acceptable to stop into a bar to warm up. Or at least that is my way of thinking.
This place is located in the former home of Universal Bar and Grill at 44 Bedford Street, right on the corner of Bedford and Leroy. We are in Greenwich Village so the streets and corners are always a bit fun around here. Streets aren’t straight and many of them aren’t very long either. Suffice it to say you are not far from 7th Avenue. This is a fairly small place and, if you don’t look sharp, you may very well miss it. Not much on the outside except the name, in black letters, on the door and a few credit card signs and a Zagat’s review pasted on it as well. It has dark-green walls, a tannish tile floor with a bit of a marble-like design, and a tan ceiling with an overhead fan. There are windows on two sides with kind of brownish pink Venetian blinds. Black curved cushioned settees flank the door and each is wrapped around a small round table. Along one wall is a long, black cushioned bench with half a dozen small round tables and chairs in front of it. The bar itself has a black marble top and the front is wooden. It does have a silver bar rail. I like bar rails. The bar chairs are wood with black cushions and are taller versions of the other chairs in the place. Lights above the bar hang from long metal tubes and have pith-hat shaped glass shades. Glass shelves in a wooden frame hold a large liquor selection and glasses. Not much in the way of decorations, just a few lights mounted on the wall and a blackboard in the back with the specials written on it. There was also a television.
I had a Bloody Mary made from scratch and it was quite good. The bartender, when he realized it was Kentucky Derby day sent someone out for mint so he could make Mint Juleps latter. Those little touches make a place a bit special.
483) Mr. Dennehy’s
Although the address of Mr. Dennehy’s is 63 Carmine, you can also enter it through a smaller entrance on 7th Avenue. It has a good sized wooden bar with a top that looks like a well worn dining room table. Bar chairs have a lattice like back and black cushions and match the bar in color, kind of a reddish look to them. The floor has black and brown marble-like tiles and the ceiling is cream colored. Ten hooked copper tube spigots emerge from the top of the bar and pump the beer selection. The wall behind the bar is brick and the shelving matches the bar. There are lots of bottles and glasses and wine racks in the middle. Two guitars, one electric and one acoustic, are also back there. Two nice flat screen televisions are mounted behind the bar. Kentucky Derby coverage was on one and the Yankees were on the other. A lot of serious horse players, or so they seemed to me, were reviewing the newspapers and other racing related mater and discussing the possibilities. If the game lasts long enough people could watch Steinbrenner’s horse run while his Yankees play like horses asses (They had three errors in the tenth inning last night to lose the game and remain in last place). There are a few pictures of Irish whiskies on one wall and a couple of pictures on the expanse of brick wall to the left of the bar. The rest of the walls are cream with bench seating flush against them with tables and chairs in front. Small stained glass shaded lights hang over the bar and there is also spot-lighting embedded in the ceiling. Somewhat peculiar wooden extensions protrude from the shelving behind the bar and they too have embedded lights. Small candles were being placed on the bar.
I had a Widmer Hefeweizen
484) 1849 Bar and Grill
I guess the theme of this place at 183 Bleeker Street is supposed to be an 1849 era saloon. Of course the 12 flat-screen televisions strewn about the place takes away from that ambience. Kind of like serving Coca Cola at a renaissance fair (instead of ale and mead). There were a lot of animals killed to decorate this place. All kinds of mounted heads, from deer to bison, on the walls and stuffed foxes and even a rattlesnake poised to strike (are they ever poised any other way) stuck around. The chandeliers were made from antlers (where have I seen this before) hanging from the wooden plank ceiling. Large wooden statues of Indians (the Native American kind) flanked the door. The bar, all the way in the back, is rough brick with a dark wood top and is L shaped. It has a wooden foot rest and bar chairs, some with black vinyl seats, some with light tan. A dozen draft beers are served out of three brass stations. One side of the dining area has old-fashioned plush red seating and the other side has more of a picnic table look to it. There is an upstairs area but I didn’t get up there to check it out. Cabinets with glass doors in the corners behind the bar hold liquor and wine and glasses. Wood shelves, some backed by mirrors, hold the rest of a good sized selection of liquor. The female bartender was quite animated and friendly and seemed quite interested in sports. She wasn’t going to be serving Mint Juleps though because she had no mint.
I had a Magic Hat #9 and it was only $2.50, a very good price.
485) The Village Tavern, located right across the street from Daddy-O, hadn’t opened when I was there earlier. I decided to check it out on my way back to the subway and it luck was with me. This bar is also on the corner and has windows on two sides and the door is right on the corner of this somewhat convoluted Village intersection. A decent sized wooden bar with the all important brass rail. There were wooden bar chairs. An ornate set of wooden shelves and cabinets were behind the bar. Glass doors on the cabinets next to the ice chests and coolers with wooden doors. Mirrors above with tiered shelves in front hold more liquor. There are small cabinets with stained-glass windows in the doors at each side of the mirrors. Four televisions above the bar with Kentucky Derby coverage on two and the Yankees on the other two. The Yankees are winning but most of the crowd do not want Steinbrenner’s horse to win the derby. Even Yankees fans in this town don’t seem to like Steinbrenner. There is a back room with a large American flag over the arched entry. A pool table with red felt is back there and it has those nice green glass shaded lights hanging over it. There is also a neat little corner sitting area with a curved settee, coffee table, and low cushioned seats. A blackboard on the wall lists the beers and wines.
I had a draft Hoegaarden and headed on home.
A most pleasant walk around the Village and four bars hit making it 485 for the year and 515 to go.