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« January 23, 2010—Bar 13 | Main | January 21, 2010—Bar 11 »

January 22, 2010—Bar 12

Day Twelve—Thursday, January 21st—Johnny Utah’s

Okay, this is getting wild, I got THREE donations yesterday! My friend Maureen sent in ten bucks for a couple beers! We live in different parts of the country now, but back in the day we probably drank about a million and seven beers together. Joe Marusak sent 20 bucks in from LaPorte, Indiana. Joe is married to Gidget, the coolest DJ in the world who regularly plugs the site on her show. Check it out here: Woody Radio. And last but not least my friend and co-worker, Bob Rudolf sent in twenty bucks as well! Thanks everybody, this is really helping me keep the show on the road and I appreciate it!

Okay, today’s bar is actually a restaurant in the heart of touristville, midtown. It’s a restaurant called Johnny Utah’s and it’s got a bar in it so it qualifies it okay for this bar crawl. Another thing it’s got in it is a mechanical bull. Yeah, that’s right, I’m going to have a few drinks and get all Urban Cowboy on your ass! Okay, practise shouting, “Yee Haw,” and please join me down below as I go looking for love (and booze) in all the wrong places. (Thanks and a hat tip to my friend and co-worker Alen who clued me in about this place.)

Here we are, Johnny Utah's, Jesus, there's a velvet rope here!
I make it throught the velvet rope and walk down the stairs and discover two things: 1. The bar is packed. And: 2. The bar is LOUD! There is techno and dance music blaring in here, one thing you should know about me is I'm almost deaf in my left ear and the right isn't much better from seeing tons of rock 'n' roll shows in my wild youth. It's going to be impossible to talk to people in here, so I'm just going to take pictures.

To the right of the bar is where people watch the mechanical bull in operation. Goofy hats appear to be all the rage here.

This guy is the announcer and operates the mechanical bull. With a twist of the wrist, he can make your back go splooey!

the bull itself looks not so much like a bull, but more like a bunch of Hefty bags sewed around pillows.

One thing I'm noticing about the bull riders is...

They kind of look like jerk-offs. Witness the goofy hat guy.

At this point I abandon any thoughts of riding the Hefty bag bull.

I think I've made the right decision.

I've tired of the bull and turn my attention here. HELLO!

Rule number two cracks me up, "Do not ride if intoxicated." You're a motherfucking bar with a goofy bull in it and you think people aren't bombed in here? Plus it's so loud what else is there to do but booze it up?

Here's the DJ responsible for all the noise.

A candle!

Lady Gaga had a concert across the street at Radio City Music Hall and there were several Lady Gaga wannabees at the bar. Here's one of them.

The bar is still pakced and too loud to talk to people. I chug-a-lug my fourth beer and decide to get out of there.

A grumpy self-portrait of myself in Johnny Utah's.

The toilet's were clean, but they have these weird metalized stalls there.

It rendered my patented Frank Scott, "Hey how'd that get there," sticker moment worthless as they wouldn't adhere to the walls. Motherfucker! And worst of all, there was no mirror for my obligatory bathroom shot. No mirror? I was looking for mirrors in all the wrong places. Sob!

So I took the shot in my own bathroom when I got home. Goodnight everybody!


If you want to play Urban Cowboy, there is only one joint in Manhattan to do it and that is Johnny Utah’s.
It’s the only mechanical bull in town. Bull riding starts every night at 7:30 pm and it’s free to ride (at your own risk.) The only rules are that you have to be 18-years-old or over and you need a picture I.D. Oh, and you can’t be intoxicated...HA!

As far as the bar goes, it’s pretty much your standard midtown bar, but extra loud with dance and techno music blaring. What does seperate them from the pack is a HUGE selection of whiskies and tequila. Check out their website for all the different choices. All the usual choices of bottled beer and 20 ounce drafts are available along with specialty drinks like, Johnny’s Mint Lemonade which is Jack Daniels, mint and lemonade and assorted flavors of martini’s and lemonade.

They have a full menu of southwestern fare such as Kentucky Fried Catfish, Shrimp and Grits and Grilled Dogs with Mac ‘n’ Cheese. I didn’t eat there, but the food looked good. They’re open till two a.m. every night except Saturday when they’re open till three in the morning.

The crowd here is typical midtown Manhattan: Equal parts after-work crowd, tourists, fratboys, fratgirls and the occasional Lady Gaga wannabe. Oh and of course there’s the bull. Yeehaw!

Johnny Utah’s
25 West 51st St. (between 5th and 6th Aves.)

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Reader Comments (8)

I do not want to go to there.

January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

The no intoxicated rule cracked me up! Anybody that would get on that thing has to be bombed out of their guords! Better luck tonight!

January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

I rode one of those bulls once at a kkk style bar in northern cali.. the bull wasnt as scary as big mike. he i guess was the regional leader of their whatever they call it. big mike was friends with sonny whats his name from the hells angels who lived nearbye:(

January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Interesting place, and I really enjoyed your review of it very cool. Would have loved to see you on the bull though.

The Lady Gaga wannabees cracked me up. I think that every bar should have Lady Gaga wannabees, it adds to the mystique.

January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

How can a bar called Johnny Utah's not have any references to Point Break?

January 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I would not be caught dead in this place........Sorry Pal!

Mason Dixon on the LES (Essex St) has a bull as well -


March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Hoops has those metal stalls in both their upstairs and downstairs bathrooms but they aren't painted. And Gidget, HellsAngel guy you were thinking of was Sonny Barger.

June 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheChief

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