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« Tuesday, January 12, 2010—Bar 2 | Main | Open For Business On January 11, 2010 »

Monday, January 11, 2010—Bar 1

Day One—Sunday January 10th—Otto's Shrunken Head

Okay, here we go. It’s the maiden voyage of A Guy Walks Into 365 Bars. If you’re reading this I thank you for stopping by and hope you come back every day, as it will updated daily (usually in the afternoon). Make it easy on yourself and bookmark it for your convenience. If you’re not sure what’s going on, click here and find out: Walking Under The Influence.

Okay, it’s about 25 degrees and with the wind chill it like 14 blood-chilling degrees outside. So I’ve decided what better bar to go to when it’s a harsh motherfucking winter night, than a Tiki Bar. So I went to my good friend Google and typed in “New York City Tiki Bar,” and here’s what came up:

Otto’s Shrunken Head!
Sounds like a perfect place to start this crazy adventure. So put on lots of layers and let’s begin the cold walk to Otto’s Shrunken Head...hey, you over there, put a hat on for fuck’s sake! What are some sort of sadist? Okay, let’s go!

My first plan was to walk here, but it's so fucking cold out I hailed a cab and baboom, here we are at the corner of E.14th and 2nd Avenue.

Just a short walk down 14th Street and here we are, Otto's Shrunken Head! Let's go inside, I'm freezing my balls off!

Wow, I'm feeling toasty already and I haven't even had a drink yet. Oh, wait, I had three beers in my apartment before I left...never mind.

Speaking of beer, I thought I'd start out with a bottle of Bud before I go into exotic Tiki territory. Look at my notebook, what a journalist I am!

A view from my perch on my barstool.

This is the comfy back room where people are waiting for the next band to play.

Here's the fabulous bartender Lani, who has just whipped up my first Tiki drinky of the night, I believe it's called Naughty Hell, a place I like to frequent! It was delicious and loaded with booze, just the way I like them! And check out Lani's band Stark at their website: Stark Website.

Remember the crowd in the back waiting for the band? Well, here's the band they're waiting for, Sweet Magma. That's Matt on the right and Justin to the left. Check them out on MySpace: Sweet Magma.

And here's the third member of Sweet Magma, Nick!

Whoa, check out the Happy Hour, you get 241 Buds! I'll have to come back for that.

Here's Jessica Finn and Patrick Phalen. Jessica lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Matt lives right upstairs from the bar. I asked Matt if I could crash on his couch if I got too loaded and he said, "sure." They left shortly after that. I hope I didn't scare them away.

Onstage is Metal John. He puts on a one-man show with his guitar and it's pretty unbelievable. I didn't get a chance to talk with him, so you'll have to Google him to see if he's online anywhere. Hey I can't do all the work here, I have booze to drink! (Update: Here's his website: Metal John.)

Speaking of booze, here's the fabulous Lani with Tiki drink number 2, a Zombie. It was delicious!

Here's musician Bill Popp. Bill graciously gave me a CD and like an idiot I lost it. Here's his website, buy a CD or something, he's a great musician and a nice guy. Website: Bill Popp and The Tapes.

Here's the host and emcee for the night, Frank Wood. And here's Frank's website: Frank Wood Promotions. To his right is Patrick, who's band is 5 1 x 7. I hope I didn't mangle Patrick's band's name, if so, leave a comment or send me an email and I'll correct it. Yes, the booze is starting to kick in now.

Here's Frank announcing...

The aforementioned and seen, Sweet Magma! Great band!

And here's Lani with Tiki drink number three. I can't really remember what this was, but it was delicious!

Oh, oh, I've got Marty Feldman eyes!

Time for a break in the action!

Note to self: Get some stickers made that say, www.aguywalksinto365bars.com.

Obligatory bathroom mirror shot!

Warning shot: If you drink too many Tiki drinks, you'll resemble a Tiki drink in the morning. Thanks to Lani and everyone who talked to me at Otto's Shrunken Head, it was a grand and festive evening!


Imagine that someone slipped some amphetamine into Don Ho’s tiny bubbles and he joined the Ramones. It sounds like a kooky scenario, but that’s the feeling you get as you walk into Otto’s Shrunken Head. It’s Tiki, Rum and Rock ‘n’ Roll, baby!

My favorite night to go out is Sunday night and I have to tell you that after living in New York for 16 years, this has to have been one of my favorite Sunday nights out. While I was there I saw three live bands and there was no cover. The fabulous bartender Lani was quick with the drinks and an excellent mixer of exotic Tiki drinks. The bar itself has plenty of tables, lots of room to stand and a band room with tables and comfortable chairs in the back. All done up in a fun and festive Tiki atmosphere, a nice respite on a freezing cold January night.

Otto’s is a cool Tiki bar loaded with rock ‘n’ roll attitude and a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. Plus scattered through the week they have live DJ’s spinning tunes, bands that run the gamut from Lounge/Exotica, Rockabilly, Punk, Country, Rock, Garage, Metal, Surf and Acoustic/Singer/Songwriter. They also feature Open Mics, Spoken Word/Poetry, Literary Readings, Film Screenings and have a monthly live band Karaoke night. So no matter what night you decide to go to Otto’s something will be shaking and baking.

Of course they’ve got a multitude of Rum based Tiki drinks, there’s also over half a dozed frozen specialty drinks and a full bar with about any kind of drink you would want and a decent amount of beer in bottles and on tap. Check out their website below for drink specials and other Otto info.

Otto’s Shrunken Head
538 East 14th St.
NYC 10009

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    365 Bars - A Virtual Bar Crawl - Monday, January 11, 2010—Bar 1
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    365 Bars - A Virtual Bar Crawl - Monday, January 11, 2010—Bar 1

Reader Comments (12)

I love it. I love it. This new site is GREAT. And, what a terrific kick-off post.

PS: I feel SO MUCH MORE NORMAL knowing that I am not the only person who walks into bars with a notebook and a camera!

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

I must say that Otto’s is the perfect bar for your first post. Thank you for relaying to your fans another Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Wombacher adventure.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

To Tiki glasses !! so cool :D Music sounds really great !! The frenchie is coming soon!! hey hey !! ;)

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZioum Zioum The Chainsaw

To Tiki glasses !

January 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Great stuff for your first night out. I see you were well behaved.
But Marty, you always look like that tiki glass after a few drinks!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHappy Cappy

Marty, My favorite book in the whole wide worm is "99 Beers Off The Wall". This is a wonderful extension of your great book! It's like a "99 Beers" soap opera that goes on forever! That is what this fan can happily look forward to every day. Marty, you are a genius! Danny Manny

January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanny Manny

Did you ever get stickers made? Send me some, I'll post 'em around Chicago.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I gotta work on that, maybe I'll bring them when I come to Chicago in April!

February 10, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Just found your site, what great fun, I'm glad you are in NY or surely you would be drunk driving home every night for your blogging. It's funny that you open with this bar which used to be one of my favorites, but you neglected to mention here that they SCAN your drivers license and keep all your personal information in a database somewhere, which I see as a serious invasion of my privacy. I tried to talk to the doorman and ask if he would just look at my id, confirm that I'm old enough, which I am by a LOT, and I would even show him TWO ids so he could let me in without scanning, but he said NO. Maybe because I'm too old, even though I'm certainly still pretty cute. Now I can't go there anymore, which makes me sad.

June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill

That's weird, because the night I went there was no scanning going on, how long ago was this? Glad you found the site!

June 7, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Jill: I went there again the other night and they do scan I.D.'s and you're right, it is annoying, they should stop it.

September 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Did any of these bars sell the "IceZilla?

January 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Pint

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