Monday, June 20, 2005

Meandering Monday

I set out today to check out Typhoon to see if it was still a brewery. This was to follow-up on the Daily News article about breweries in New York.

572) Typhoon

Don't be fooled by the TB on the door handles.
This is no longer Typhoon Brewery.

It is now just Typhoon.

I headed to Manhattan, a not unusual occurrence, and strolled to 22 East 54th Street, between 5th and Madison Avenues. I noticed right away that although this was a cavernous place with metal catwalks and a large area that could hold brewing equipment, there was no brewing equipment to be found. Apparently they turned over the brewing of their beer to the Chelsea brewery about a year ago and finally removed all of the brewing equipment just before St. Patrick’s Day this year. Although the place has a bit of the deserted brewery look to it, this will be changing soon. They are going to be closing in about a month for remodeling

The bar itself looks like it is cherry wood with a narrow silver bar rail supported by hefty looking black metal strips bolted to the front. Wooden bar chairs with metal backs are fairly comfortable but don’t look too welcoming. Behind the bar is a combination of coolers with metal doors and liquor cabinets with doors that match the bar. The wall behind the bar is old brick and adds to the brewery look of the place. There a couple of nicely framed mirrors behind the bar and tiered shelves holding the liquor.

I chatted with the bartender who had just recently moved to New York from Tucson. He was telling me about the Nimbus Brewing Company there that is also a brew pub. Sounds like a neat enough place. It really is a shame that there are not more brew pubs in New York. I guess the cost is just to prohibitive.

I had a Raspberry Wheat beer that was very tasty, even if not made on the premises. I will be visiting the Chelsea Brewing Company one day in the near future.

573) Fitzers

This is the bar associated with the Fitzpatrick Hotel at 687 Lexington Avenue, between 56th and 57th Street. Not unlike Garvey’s, this bar can easily stand on its own and a convivial Irish pub. The bar is an old wood L shaped affair with brass rails top and bottom for feet and arms. Wooden bar chairs have maroon cloth seats. If you sit at the end next to the window you can hear the subway rumbling below your feet when it passes by. A fairly standard behind the bar set up with an old guitar and a blurry inscription hanging next to the cappuccino machine. The guitar once belonged to Brendan Grace, an Irish comedian and singer whom I had never heard of before. On the other hand, just to the left of that was a large autographed picture of The Chieftains, and they I did know. On another wall was the familiar poster featuring twelve famous Irish writers and another one featuring pictures of New York Irish pubs. Go to enough of them and you will see this one many times as well.

Quite a fancy place in a well worn way. Once, many years ago, I went to a wedding that was held in the back dinning area. Alas, the bar has lasted longer than the marriage. The walls are a pale green with a band of maroon about two feet high at the bottom and then an ornately patterned wood band on top of that. In the front the floor around immediately around the bar is made up of small dark turquoise tiles with the rest of it being nice old wood. The dining area in the back is very nice with chandeliers, tan wall paper, framed paintings of Irish towns and landscapes. Quite elegant.

I had a Dewar’s and Soda.

574) Subway Inn

A good name for a bar that sits right next to the 59th Street subway stop on Lexington Avenue and 60th Street. It is a bit of an anomaly in this neighborhood because most places are a bit more plush. It is right across from Bloomingdales. Benny Goodman was blaring on the jukebox when I walked in, not your usual dive bar fare. This place has a dark wooden bar with a brass rail and tubular bar stools with black vinyl seats that had seen much better days. There was old wooden cabinetry behind the bar with mirrors and shelves for glasses and liquor. Several pictures of Marilyn Monroe were prominently displayed high on the wall just below the dark brown ceiling. The walls were painted in dark red and the paint was peeling in a way that only very old paint can peel. The floor is black and white tiles or linoleum.

There is all kinds of stuff sitting on a shelf above the mirrors behind the bar. This included a couple of toy Godzillas, one wearing a red and white tie, model sailing ships, a ruby high-heeled shoe, carved wooden sailors…, the place looks a bit like Bar Man’s apartment. The lighting in here is provided by red globe lamps mounted on the walls and hanging under two wooden fans. There are also little booths lining the walls behind the bar stools and mounted on the wall above each of the tables is a small red florescent light. A gauzy red curtain covers most of the one window so the place has a suitable darkness to it. If you are in the neighborhood this is the bar to duck into.

I had a Dewar’s and soda and the soda was poured fresh from a little bottle. You don’t see that even in most fancy places. Usually they just squirt it out of a nozzle.

Well a decent enough day, hitting three bars and making the total for the year to 574 leaving me with 426 to go.


Chad Wilcomb said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chad Wilcomb said...

The Subway Bar is one of the first bars I ever went to. I was out here visiting during my freshman year in college, I was 19 years old I guess. I was on the sailing team and we were staying with a friend of my coach who lived on the upper east side and I'm assuming he took us there because it's not the type of place that cards. We also went to the KGB bar that night. You should try to go there sometime if you haven't yet, pretty interesting place. I think that night had a lot to do with why I finally moved to New York, now almost ten years later. It planted the seed I think.

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