Sunday, July 17, 2005

Jimmy's NY Best Irish Pub (mis)Guide(d)

Ah, Jimmy, you let me down. And at the worst possible time. I was supposed to meet some people from out of town for a drink today. They had been following my blog and were visiting New York for a bit of a pub crawl of their own. I suggested Doc Watson's and, using Jimmy's Best New York Irish Pub Guide as my reference told them it was on 57th and 2nd Avenue. It is clearly marked on Jimmy's map. Unfortunately, it is actually on 77th and 2nd Avenue. What is worse, there aren't any bars in the vicinity of 57th and 2nd (unusual, I know). Even though Jimmy had the address right, for those of you not familiar with New York, street numbers tell you almost nothing about the actual location. Seems strange because in most cities the street numbers would correspond somewhat to the avenue. You know, something between 77th and 78th Streets would have an address like 7790, or something. Well, suffice it to say that is not how it works so I ended up walking the twenty blocks from 57th to 77th (with one quick stop on the way to quench my thirst) and got to Doc Watson's about an hour late. I don't know if the out-of-towners ever found it. Jimmy has been right every other time so I didn't even think about double checking. Bar Man has learned his lesson. And to those who were to have met me, I am truly sorry for the misinformation that I passed along to you.

661) Beach Cafe



This was my stop on the way up to Doc Watson's. Believe me, I needed a cold one because it was a long hike on a hot and humid day. I did make it all the way up to 70th Street before succumbing though. The Beach Cafe is on the Southeast corner of 2nd Avenue with the address of 1326 2nd Avenue. The decor is nothing like a beach cafe however. More like an upscale Irish pub, which it is. A woman at the bar with orange hair explained that it was an old Irish bar that has new owners and was remodeled to attract a more favorable clientele. This is happening more and more as I have noted in previous posts. Soon it will be difficult to find a real dive Irish bar, and what a shame that will be. I actually got into the conversation with the lady because she was sitting in front of the beer taps and I was trying to figure out what I wanted. She thought I was staring at her and when I told her I wasn't she seemed a bit disappointed and told me she had just had her hair done. Well, she was an elderly lady and we did end up in a fairly lengthy discussion about bars, her brother who used to call her at 6:00 A.M. when she lived in Paris and he was drunk in a bar in New York, all of the bars she knew (except for Doc Watson's, it turned out), and life in general. If I wasn't still trying to meet people I might have chatted longer.

At any rate, this place has a nice old wood bar and a fairly fancy set-up behind the bar. Dark shelves and mirrors and cut glass decorations on the woodwork. There is also a decent sized refrigerated wine rack. Good selection of liquor on tiered shelves. Wrap-around windows and a white tablecloth kind of place. A gool-framed mirror and pictures on the wall opposite the bar. The bar chairs turned but I couldn't get them to spin around. How disappointing.

I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

662) Doc Watson's



Found it at last, at 1490 2nd Avenue. How obvious, why wouldn't a place with an address of 1490 2nd Avenue be almost seven blocks away from a place with an address of 1326 2nd Avenue? What is really even more interesting is when they change the name of an Avenue to make it more upscale. Part of what used to be 4th Avenue is now Park Avenue South and if you think 200 Park Avenue South is anywhere close to 200 Park Avenue, think again, although it is an extension of Park Avenue. But enough about addresses in New York.

As you might imagine, there is a lot of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia on the walls (Doc Watson being Sherlock Holmes sidekick and all) as well as lots of other stuff as well. Everything from a framed display of seaman's knots to an old street map of Manchester, England. It is, shall we say, a cluttered place. But cluttered in a comfortable way. A nice old bar and well used sidewalk seating. The back of the place looks out over, and down at, a little "garden" seating area that you get to by going downstairs and through French doors from a room with a pool table. And, as though to mock me for not knowing where Doc Watson's was I encountered this sign:



Sure, make me feel even worse. Sheesh.

Behind the bar was a set of really ornamental martini shaped glasses. They weren't really on display though, kind of down below the liquor. I doubt if they are ever used though. I was going to ask the bartender about them but she was really busy.

I had a Tanqueray and tonic.

663) Mo's Caribbean



Down a block at 1454 2nd Avenue, on the corner of 76th Street, is this somewhat hard to miss place with an outdoor seating area around to the side. If you think it is colorful on the outside, you need to go in. Wildly decorated in bright orange, yellow, red and green with surfboards and shark warning signs this place really does look like a beach cafe. In fact the wall opposite the bar has fake windows above the tables that really do give the impression that you are looking out at a lovely Caribbean beach.



It made me eager to get back to Mexico (but not to hit another 150 bars there). The semi-partition separating the bar from the tables had palm trees and overhead vines decorated with multi-colored Christmas lights. It really was quite a pleasant place. And behind the bar were three projection televisions that made you feel like you were having a drink at a drive-in. They should have had 1960's beach movies playing instead of sports, that would have been perfect.

They had some interesting drink specials too, including a 50 ounce margarita suitable for three or four people.



I bet this place really jumps at night. They also have Mexican food and I did have one of their bar special beef tacos for a buck. It was very good and if I didn't know I would have dinner waiting for me later I could easily have eaten several more than the one I had.

I had a margarita, not too bad either, and headed on home.

Well, one good thing about today (other than the bars I hit) was that I found a new area with many more bars to explore. Up a bit higher than my usual roaming range I am looking forward to going back again. I did hit three bars though bringing my total up to 663 for the year and leaving 337 to go. I expect next week to be a bit slow though, family things, luncheon engagements, and another trip to Callicoon. I shall try not to disappoint though.

6 comments:

NYOne said...

Barman, I love your blog and look forward to joining you for #750 at Duffs. I too was in Callicoon for the Tractor Parade a month ago( a good friend was married at their house on River Rd. that Saturday). Other than visiting Joe at the Western Hotel, I don't know of any bars in that area other than the ones you have already visited. Best wishes on your continued adventures!
Prost,
Joslyn

1000 Bars said...

I will be staying at the Western this weekend. Joe is a character and a great guy. I love staying at his place. I haven't had a drink that counted at his bar yet (although I have had many drinks at his bar) but plan to notch it this time around. Sorry I missed you at the Tractor Parade. I think I will wear the tee-shirt I got there at number 750, and I look forward to seeing you.

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