Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Final Fling, At Least Until 750 On Saturday

Only needed three more bars to set the stage for Saturday’s Celebration and I decided I would knock them off today, take a rest tomorrow, then go the Jets game on Friday and tailgate my tail off. Even though it isn’t a bar, I might post a few pictures so you can see what Bar Man does on his off days. Mostly drink and party. By the way, all of these bars are on a short two block stretch of 14th Street between 1st and Avenue B so I didn’t include the specific addresses. Finding them is half the fun.

747) Nowhere



Well, not exactly nowhere, not anymore at least. This was a bit of a desolate stretch back in the day and there still isn’t a lot of action here. Nowhere has only been around for two years and it is a “Gay Friendly” bar but not exclusively gay. Now that the gay scene has become somewhat of the in scene most gay bars are pretty mixed these days. One thing that they do tend to have in common though is that they are dark, very very dark. So dark that I couldn’t even see to write so my notes are a bit sketchy.



The place has a bit of a rustic look to it, rough brick walls and a bar back that is made out of rough hewn wood. The bar was dark wood and there were two beer stations with eight spigots that served up a credible selection of beers. I was only going to get a glass of beer but the bartender said he could only sell me two half-pints instead of a pint. I guess that would be so I could split a pint with someone. I opted for a pint.

There were two fireplaces in here and they looked like they might be operational in the winter. A single orange globe light was mounted above each of them. A lounge area in the back with a red drape over the entryway looked like it could afford more, shall we say, intimate seating. Lots of small about the place and the walls and there were also ledges with stools for additional seating and places to put your drinks. A silver disco ball hung over a small DJ stand. A string of small orange lights was strong along the wall opposite the bar. There was a small enclave with a Terminator pinball machine and a Ms. Pac Man machine. There was also a pool table with red felt. What is wrong with the traditional green?

The bartender was a friendly, well tattooed fellow who served up a dish of pretzels. He gave the Mysterious Chinese Lady, who accompanied me, a glass of water because he said it just wasn’t right to sit at a bar and not drink something.

I had a pint of Sam Adams Summer Ale.

748) Otto’s Shrunken Head Tiki Bar



This was my primary objective for the night. A dive Tiki bar, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. I finally found a bar that matched my shirt;

from the red, yellow, and blue illuminated blowfish (plastic though) over the tan Formica topped bar with a bamboo front to the colorful wallpaper featuring 50’s era bathing beauties and flowers. The barstools were black iron rods with fake leopard-skin seats. Of course there is also the requisite shrunken head hanging over the bar along with a lot of Tiki masks. Behind the bar is just a large mirror covered with drink specials and what-not. Lots of Tiki stuff and, of course, a wide assortment of funny glasses to serve the wide assortment of drinks with funny names. Two guys were sitting at one end of the bar when I arrived and the bartender was making a drink to their specifications that seemed to call for an inordinate amount of 151 proof rum. They were pretty bombed when I arrived and during my stay one guy had at least four more different drinks and was attempting to steal each of the glasses. Whether the bartender let him get away with it or was going to retrieve them before he left I don’t know. He certainly wasn’t fooling anyone though.

Monica, The Not Fooled For A Minute Bartender


Hell, she was so pretty I had to take two pictures, and this time I got Otto's Shrunken Head in the shot too.



The walls that weren’t covered with wallpaper was covered with kind of a woven bamboo or, in the front, murals of tropical scenery. The wall opposite the bar was lined with deep red banquettes, each of which had a small round table and a single chair in front of it. There was a “Believe It Or Not” pinball machine, a photo booth, and somewhat incongruously, a Big Buck Hunter machine. Thought they would at least have one where you could shoot zombies. In the back was an area with a stage and a drum kit so I guess later in the night there would be live music. The stuff being played wasn't bad though and it all had kind of a dark, zombie like theme to it.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman had a Singapore Sling that seemed to give her more of a sugar rush than anything and I had the requisite Zombie.

Mysterious Chinese Woman Enjoying Her Singapore Sling


We ambled out of here and had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Capucine’s, where I had a couple of Bombay martinis and two after dinner Stregas with a double espresso.

749) Beauty Bar


Well, being buzzed and on a caffeine and sugar high never stopped Bar Man from completing his appointed rounds so after dinner I back-tracked a bit to this former beauty parlor for my last stop of the night.



I was a bit too sloshed to take notes and between downing another couple of beers and chatting up the bartender, Lara, and getting suggestions for places to visit in the future the Mysterious Chinese Woman took over the task of taking notes.

Lara


There is a blue ceiling with white bubbles painted on it. Blue and orange globe lights were at one end of the bar and two crystal chandeliers hang over the bar. One was off and the other had only half of the lights on. The walls are orange with sparkles embedded in them. A couple of pictures of women with elaborate hairdos hang on the wall, maybe Patti Paige and a young Jane Fonda (not really sure though). Antique hair dryers line the wall opposite the bar and they now have lights in them. Chairs sit under them and, of course, people have to sit on them with their heads in the lights. Kind of strange seeing a guy with a drink in his hand sitting under a hair dryer. Well, maybe not all that strange. The floor is black and white checks and there are vases of flowers on the wooden topped bar that had a Formica front. On the shelf above the liquor are a wide variety of beauty products are on display. The liquor sits in front of a large mirror.

I had a couple of draft Bass Ales and then we headed off to the subway home.

A fine evening and mission accomplished. Three bars hit, a great dinner, on track for number 750 on Saturday. Life is good.

12 comments:

josh williams said...

Reminds me of the classic Tom Waits song "Shore Leave" which mentions a "singapore sling" and all sorts of cool images of bars and life from the main character in the song who is on "shore leave"...JW

1000 Bars said...

My favorite Tom Waits song "9th & Hennepin" is from "Rain Dogs." Bar Man used to live on 13th & LaSalle, about 5 blocks from 9th & Hennepin in Minneapolis. The bar where you can't leave anything small must have been either the Mouse Trap or Carousel. Sadly, neither of them are there anymore. There was also a place not far from them called Hi Lo 29 and, yes, you could get a drink for only 29 cents. Those were the days my friend, I always knew they would end. Tom Waits used to perform in Minneapolis so I am sure he was more than familiar with the dive bars downtown.

Rochester Bar Man said...

Sounds like your days off are virtually indistinguishable from your "work" days. You lucky dog. Lucky too, to have the support of the Mysterious Chinese Woman. I'm not sure that my not-so-mysterious American woman would be so understanding.

josh williams said...

I was checking on your progress this Sunday evening and while my dial up downloaded pictures I scrolled down and was rewarded with the comments on Tom Waits. Very cool, I have been a fan of his for years...I'll sign off with a big congrats for your 750 celebration before I start typing out Tom Waits lyrics all wrong..."The Piano has been drinking the carpet needs a haircut" and so on ..."not me, not me, not me..." "I broke down in East St. Louis, on the Kansas city line and I drank up all my money that I borrowed everytime"... Best I go now JW

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