Saturday, December 03, 2005

Beers (And Shots) With The Boys

A reader of this blog, Nick, was coming into Manhattan from New Haven with a bunch of his buddies and wanted to get together for a drink or two. They started out at McSorley’s where I joined them for a few beers. I couldn’t count McSorley’s though because I have already been there. We didn’t have to wander too far after we left though to find virgin (and I use that term a wee bit loosely) territory.

971) Coyote Ugly

Barman, John, John, Doreen, and Michael Heading In

On 1st Avenue between 9th and 10th is this, by now, notorious watering hole. Not too many bars have a movie made about them, but this one did. Or was it the other way around. After an hour or so in here who knows or cares. This is one of the few places in this neighborhood that has a bouncer during the day checking everyone's IDs.

Adam The Bouncer (Even Bar Man Had To Show His ID)

The bar looks ancient and almost worn through in spots with a metal pipe arm rest and the metal bar stools with the wobbling and spinning torn black vinyl seats keep you on your toes. Of course the creaking wooden floor with little changes in height here and there doesn’t make keeping on your toes, or your feet, for that matter, very easy. Relatively cheap beers and generous shots just add to the confusion. Behind the bar is a huge chest full of ice and beers and shelves packed with booze. You will not go dry in here, if you can get the bartenders attention that is. But once you do it is worth it.

Samantha The Dancing Bartender

The two duct-taped beer stations with 5 spigots each added a nice touch. Of course they seemed to be out of anything I actually wanted so I settled for bottled beer. It seemed somehow right though.

Running down the center of the place are poles with small round tables built around them and a few chairs scattered here and there. There are also a few booths against one of the walls but this is mostly a stand up and toss them down kind of a place.The walls are covered in red peeling paint, pictures of patrons, and bras, hundreds and hundreds of bras.

More Bras Than You Could Shake A Breast At

If you come in here wearing one be prepared to leave it. From the looks of most of them though they were bought from a street vendor for about twenty-five cents each. I don’t think I have actually seen anyone wearing a bra like most of these since I was in high-school. Up by the front windows there is a large cowboy hat hanging from the ceiling with a green light bulb in it. I particularly liked the poster on the wall of one ugly coyote.

An Ugly Coyote

Come in for a few drinks and with almost no encouragement the bartender will dance on the bar for you. Come late at night and the customers will too.

I had a bottle of Budweiser and a couple of shots of Bushmills.

972) The Central Bar

Well, I was going to just head home because I had plans for dinner with friends but I passed by this place on 9th between 3rd and 4th. I had to take a whiz and had a bit of a thirst for another shot of Bushmills so in I went. I have to say, this was a really nice place and I didn’t even know it was there. An old dark wood bar with two sets of 9 curved silver beer spigots that actually poured beer. Little cracked crystal globe lights hung over the bar. There is a wide expanse of shelves behind the bar and square wooden bar stools with dark and light brown soft leather seats attached with brass headed tacks.

There were lots of televisions showing sports, mostly soccer around the place. There is a small brick fireplace in the front in the center of the room built into a column. Mostly red walls with a small lounge area up front with brown padded seats facing a bench with matching brown padding. This was a spacious place that still maintained and intimate and cozy feel to it. The friendly manager, Leslie, and bartender, Iva, added to the ambience and we chatted a bit about quest and bars in general. They were very generous in providing suggestions of places to visit. Maybe they were trying to get rid of me.

Leslie, The Manager

Iva, The Bartender

In the back was a staircase decked in white lights that was leading up to somewhere.

I had a pint of Boddington’s and another shot of Bushmills before catching the subway home.

A decent day, and a lot of fun. Several new friends and two new bars making 972 bars for the year and leaving 28 to go. I will be taking tomorrow off. It is my birthday and I will be going to Chinatown to have a birthday dim sum with the Mysterious Chinese Woman and her family. That will be fun, I am sure.