Friday, June 24, 2005

A Day At The Long Beach

It looked to be a hot weekend and I was lucky enough to have an invitation to spend it with friends of mine in Long Beach, the one in Long Island, New York, not the one in California. On the way from the train station to my friends house I stopped into the following three bars.

585) Corbin & Reynolds

A fancy restaurant and bar located on the main drag at 20 West Park Avenue. It has a good-sized marble topped dark wooden bar with a black foot rail. The bartender made me remove her cap from the bar saying it was bad luck. She also said that if she ever wore a cap behind the bar and walked past the cash register while wearing it she would have to buy everyone a drink. Needless to say I tried to get her to put on my cap so I could take a picture, but she refused. Hey, it was worth a shot. The back to the bar was very ornate with carved busts of women similar to what you might find on the front of a sailing vessel. Kind of appropriate for a place with a definite nautical theme. There are two large built in mirrors with glass shelves for the liquors. The center area is exposed brick and a large mirror with an elaborately detailed gold frame. A vase with calla lilies (the Mysterious Chinese Woman told me what they were) sat in front of the mirror. They were quite aromatic. There is a large plasma television set at each end of the bar.

There are a couple of very large pinkish alabaster looking light fixtures and several more older style fixtures with squished glob bottoms and eight smaller lights above. There is both an upstairs and a downstairs dining area. The downstairs dining area is separated from the bar by a fancy glass topped partition with a ledge for drinks. Columns along the partition also sport large bouquets of flowers. Overhead fans hang from the yellowish tiled ceiling.

As I mentioned, the place has a nice, comfortable nautical look to it and the downstairs dining area has a nice fireplace with a large mirror on top. There are also numerous pictures of old Long Beach and sailing vessels on the brick walls.

Had a nice time chatting with the bartender and an elderly gentleman who reminisced about the old days in Long Beach, zoot suits, and beers for a dime. Ah yes, the good old days.

I had a Sam Adams Summer Ale.

586) Sutton Place

Just down the street a bit at 124 West Park Avenue is this large restaurant that has a brick bar with a black marble top and a black wooden foot rest. There are four televisions above both sides of the rectangular bar and several more scattered around makes this a pretty decent sports bar. There are cute little stained glass shaded lights hanging over the bar. They cultivate a bit of a library look with lots of books on display on shelves and in book cases. I guess this is appropriate because it occupies the bottom floor of the old Long Beach library. There is a separate dining area with brick walls and skylights that makes for a pleasant, airy look. The walls are paneled to about waist height and light yellow above. The wall separating the dining area from the bar area is a series of French doors. The window facing the street has drawn drapes and two tables that makes it seem as though you would be dining in someone’s private library.

A few guys at the bar were talking to the bartender about what I thought were their black-outs. My initial reaction was that maybe they should cut down on their drinking a bit. It turned out they were talking about, and drinking shots of, Black Haus, an eighty proof blackberry schnapps. Would be good in a pocket flask at a football game when the weather gets nippy.

I had another Sam Adams Summer Ale.

587) Nick DiAngelo

Moving just a bit further to 152 West Park Avenue is this fancy Italian restaurant and bar. The bar itself has a nice black topped bar with a black padded front. The bar chairs are wood with burgundy leather padded seats and cloth patterned cloth backs. Little cone shaped stained glass lights hang over the bar along with large black coiled glass holders. Lots of wine behind the bar with a mirror and a couple of glass shelves holding the liquor. Pictures of old Italy hang on the wall that is covered with wall paper featuring drink recipes. The bartenders were very vivacious and chatty making this a fun place to have a drink.

Leah, one of the vivacious bartenders.

There are long bench-like tables up front with tan shaded lights hanging over them and smaller tables with plush leather chairs sit next to the glass topped partition separating the dining room from the bar area. Small stained glass windows hang over the tables by the partition. There is a narrow wooden shelf at the top of the partition and a few more bottles of wine sit on top. The dining area is very fancy and light with candles. We stopped by the next night hoping to have dinner there but the wait was an hour and a half so I guess the food must be very good.

I had a glass of Tormaresca Italian Chardonnay and headed to my friend’s place. Creeping ever closer to my goal with 587 down and 413 left to go.


Matt said...

I was wondering if the prices of alcohol vary much between the classier looking establishments and the dive bars?

1000 Bars said...

There is an enormous difference in the price of drinks. Usually it has to do with how classy a place is, but not always. The somewhat dumpy Howard Johnson's, for example, charged twice as much for a beer as the much more interesting McHale's just down the street. Thet T.G.I. Friday's in Brooklyn charged way more than the T.G.I. Friday's in Penn Station in New York. However, as a rule, the nicer the place the more you pay. If you walk into a really fancy bar and order a fancy drink you are talking $12 to $14, easily. Now these are New York prices, but they are spreading.

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