Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Cocktail(s), Cruise, And Me

I decided to just head to midtown and then east to see what I could see. Another fertile area.

648) O’Flanagan’s

Over on 1st Avenue between 65th and 66th at 1215 1st Avenue is this Irish bar. It has a good sized dark wood bar, pretty well chipped up, with a paneled wood front and a ledge for your feet. Wood bar chairs, some with dark green vinyl seats but most with black vinyl. Cute little stained glass lights hang over the bar and small ornate stained glass lights hang from the ceiling up front. The tables in the back seem to be lit mostly by the candles that sit on top of them and two good-sized plasma televisions. I counted nine televisions in the bar side of this place, four behind the bar and another three on the front wall. The section of the wall between the French doors that look out onto 1st Avenue has a large, sepia-toned painting of Cassius Clay (he didn’t change his name until later) glowering at the fallen Sonny Liston. Not much else decorating the light yellow walls with paneling going up about waist high. There is a bit of a ledge at the top of the paneling.

There is a good sized dining room with more televisions on the other side of the wall opposite the bar. There is also a back room with a couple of pool tables and a bowling machine but it almost looked like they were just being stored there. Maybe the rearrange the room for private parties because there was a small, unstocked bar back there.

I had a pint of Guinness, breakfast or, in this case, lunch of champions.

649) Becky’s

Between 63rd and 64th Street at 1156 1st Avenue is this very friendly, and very cluttered little bar with walls as covered with stuff as the O’Flannagan’s were bare. The place is actually bigger than it looks initially because it is quite deep, just narrow. A wooden cigar store Indian guards the narrow entrance to the back where there are booths and an area for live music, including karaoke.

The bar is decent sized with a bar rail and light colored wood bar chairs. Eight televisions in front and more in the back The televised just about anything sports related including, while I was there, the left-handed world arm wrestling championships. Whew, doesn’t get much better than that. They have two dozen draft beers and an impressive selection of liquor. A jolly old Santa sits on top of one of the shelves of liquor.

Opposite the bar and up a step or two are interesting tables with pipe legs and a pipe “handle” on one end that made them look, to me at least, like TV trays. Paneled walls give the place a bit of a rec-room look, if you could spend a fortune on decorations. Great framed beer advertisements on the wall and a cool one for Opal cigars. The ceiling is covered with Irish and American flags, soccer posters, and beer and whiskey posters.

A very friendly bar and a very friendly bartender that gave me some suggestions for other bars to visit.

Maeve The Friendly And Accomodating Bartender

She also said I should plug the $5.50 lunch specials and the two-bit chicken wings on Monday’s. Hey, she let me stand behind the bar and have my picture taken with her so I am plugging.

I had a Magic Hat #9.

650) Baker Street Pub

Just down a couple of doors at 1152 1st Avenue on the corner of 63rd Street is this small bar. I was told that it was the original T.G.I. Fridays. If it was I am glad it has reverted back to form. This is also the bar where the opening scenes of Cocktail were filmed with, you guessed it, Tom Cruise. It has a great, dark wood bar and a bar rail. Wood chairs with black vinyl seats. Large stained glass lamps hang from the ornately patterned green tinged tin ceiling. Kind of an interesting décor with wood paneling going part way up the walls, then green tiles with mirrors then yellow paint above that. A partition opposite the bar has a similar design but with ornate metal work with knurled glass. The partition separates the bar from the tables along the wall. There is also a small raised dining area in the back. There are neat tubular shaped lights mounted on the walls.

Pictures of old Ireland decorate the walls. There are also a couple of televisions. Confusingly jumbled but well stocked tiered shelves of liquor in front of mirrors covered with pictures, currency, soccer posters and just stuff. Round drum-tops with Gaelic designs and Guinness ads line the tops of the walls. Narrow blackboards above the mirrors behind the bar announce upcoming soccer and rugby games, brunch specials, and current events. There are blackboards on the wall opposite the bar as well and a large model sits on a window sill. The bartender was very friendly.

Rachel, Another Very Friendly Bartender

It is hard to believe that the evil empire actually got its start here.

I had a pint of Guinness and a generous shot of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey.

651) Brassiere 360

Heading back to the subway I spotted this very nice restaurant and bar. It is at 200 3rd Avenue, right on the corner of 60th Street. It is quite large. I think it was formerly two separate places that were then joined. A curving marble staircase joins the two levels. Nice zinc bar and great globe lights hanging over it as well as throughout the place. Large overhead fans but they were turned off and unnecessary because it was more than adequately air-conditioned. White ceramic looking brick walls and wrap-around windows. I can peer out at the subway entrance so I know I can make it home even if I over indulge a bit. There are also some ceramic like replicas of champagne posters on the walls. There is a good liquor selection and two televisions behind the bar. Another very pleasant bartender and she also gave me some suggestions for bars to try.

Because this place had such a French feel to it I decided to have something a bit more exotic than usual. I ordered a Negroni and, although the bartender didn’t know how to make one she followed my instructions perfectly and it was delicious, and beautiful as well. I fact it was so delicious, and so beautiful, and the bartender was so friendly, that I ended up having three of them.

Michele, The Bartender That Led Me Astray

All and all a really great day with very friendly bartenders. That was four bars for the day bringing the year-to-date total to 651 and leaving 349 to go. Tomorrow I am supposed to be hooking up with a television crew from GTV so I will let you know how that goes.


weeg said...

I'm now beginning the think the continual Tom Cruise references are part of a global Scientology conspiracy to rule the world. Also thought it funny that a bar named Baker Street was of the Irish variety. Keep up the good work!!

1000 Bars said...

Maybe I better take another look at those pictures, maybe they were of old London. That would make more sense.

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