Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Trot To Tribeca Redux

Another decent day and I knew there were more bars waiting for me not far from where I was yesterday. I hopped on the subway and headed back to Chambers street where I resumed my quest.

442) Odeon

In the heart of what is known as downtown Tribeca at 145 West Broadway, between Thomas and Duane, is Odeon, a very nice restaurant and bar. It has a long wooden bar with the standard black foot rest. The chairs are bamboo-like and have bright red, purple, and black woven plastic seats. A metal-lined well built into the bar that holds crushed ice and glasses. Only four beers on draft, but an interesting selection, Guinness, an Irish stout and not that uncommon anymore, Dentergems Witbier, an unfiltered white Belgium ale, Gaffel Kolsch, a German blond ale, and Fuller’s London Pride, an English pale ale. A large clock illuminated with pink and green lights hangs on the wall to the right of the bar. Large globe lights hang from the ceiling. Behind the bar is a large, art deco type of wooden structure with glass shelves, mirrors, and tubular yellow lights that gives it somewhat of a jukebox look. The walls are light yellow with grayish green trim that matches the ceiling.

Angled mirrors above let you see the very crowded dining area that is separated from the bar area by a long black and red booth like sofa with a glass divider mounted on top. Although there are small tables in front of the seating people seemed to prefer either eating at the bar or waiting for a “proper” table.

I had the Dentergems Witbier, very tasty.

443) City Hall

Located in an 1863 landmarked cast iron building at 131 Duane Street, between Church and West Broadway, is a very elegant restaurant and bar. Pretty much everyone was in business attire so I felt a bit scruffy myself. The fairly large bar has a metal surface that is almost mirror -like. The front of the bar is wood paneled with a setback metal grid at the top. An unusual bar rail, a bit like a metal band with the wide side facing out. The wooden bar chairs have brown cloth seats with a light brown floral pattern. There is a set of mirror backed wooden shelves behind the bar. Globe lights hang by small black chains from the high ceiling above the bar. A good-sized set of wine racks behind glass doors on the wall to the right of the bar and large wine-racks above the shelves that hold the liquor. A small stairway leads up to a little platform that appears to have dining table. Behind and to the right of the bar were two large pictures of an old Kosher wine shop and storage area.

The walls are a combination of brick and light yellow. Paneled glass doors at the back lead out to what looks to be a narrow walkway and a brick wall. A small fountain is mounted on the wall. The floor is large black and white checks and there is a nice outdoor eating area. Someone at the bar was eating raw oysters and the presentation was very nice.

I had a draft Allagash White, from New England’s original Belgium style brewery.

444) Raccoon Lodge

Ah, a bar that lives up to its name on the corner of West Broadway and Warren Street. A good-sized old beat-up wooden bar with metal bar stools that had pretty beat-up green vinyl seats. The whole place is kind of old and beat up. Behind the bar it is a total clutter of bottles, bags of chips, mirrors, glasses, baseball caps, police shoulder patches, photos, gumball machines, just stuff. A decent pool table towards the back and, somewhat incongruously, a well-maintained aquarium. Plastic looking stained glass shaded lamps hang over the bar. Some slow-moving overhead fans hang from what looks like a tin ceiling. There are a bunch of video games and an out of place ATM. A stone wall in the back and a dark, wood-planked wall on one side. A few tables and chairs. A couple of large moose heads are mounted on the wall along with what looked like a smaller deer head. No raccoons that I saw. A very loud female bartender was discussing the personal relationships of show business personalities with a guy at the end of the bar. They knew way too much.

I had a Sam Adam’s Boston Lager

445) Biddy Early’s

A narrow, but quite deep, Irish bar at 43 Murray. It is old and dark, like a good Irish bar should be. A long wooden bar with a metallic looking top. Several mirror backed shelves hold the liquor supply and glasses. This place also has a lot of stuff on the shelves, and hanging from the ceiling and walls. More stuff than can easily be described so you just have to go there and check it out. You can also read a biography of Biddy Early, if you are so inclined. Irish road signs point the way to Eatharlack Glen of Aherlow, Beal Atha Poirin Ballyporeen, and other places you might want to go. More of those generic stained glass lamps hang over the bar. There is a dartboard off to the side with a couple of tables against the wall out of the shooting lane. There were several television sets and most of the interest seemed to be focused on the Washington D.C. New England soccer match. A friendly crowd and female bartender. I ended up ordering hot buffalo wings and although they weren’t overly hot they were very tasty and you got a very large portion.

I had a draft Old Speckled Hen and headed on home.

Well, 445 for the year and 555 left to go. Got to get 54 of them knocked off before May 14th. Should be a piece of cake.


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