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« Monday, October 11th, 2010—Bar 274 | Main | Saturday, October 9th, 2010—Bar 272 »

Sunday, October 10th, 2010—Bar 273

Day 273—Saturday, October 9th, 2010
Circa Tabac (Originally headed for The Broome Street Bar)

Okay, it’s Cheeseburger Saturday Night and through a Google search I found a bar that sounds like it has a great bacon cheeseburger. The bar is The Broome Street Bar and it looks like a classic, old-school joint that’s been on the block since the ‘70s. Let’s go check it out, I’m jonesing for a cheeseburger!

Here we are at the Broome Street Bar, smack-dab in the middle of Soho.

Uh, oh, looks like a lot of other people had the same idea. There's not a seat at the bar. Time to improvise.

Luckily, I remembered another bar that I've been meaning to go to and it's just a couple blocks away. In fact through the magic of the internet, here are at Circa Tabac. And what does that say? Smoking Lounge?

Yes, that's right, smoking is permitted in here. Translation: Fuck you Mayor Bloomberg!

It's nice and dark inside and plenty of seats at the bar. I think we've found tonight's destination.

And as friendly bartender Damil serves up an ice cold bottle of Red Stripe, I know we've found tonight's destination!

Something I haven't seen in quite a while, an ashtray in a bar.

And there's a tree of cigarettes at the bar.

Usually I just have one or two cigarettes before I go to sleep, but what the hell. When in Rome, light up or leave me alone.

Here's a full shot of the bar.

The draft beers available.

There's a large candle-lit lounge behind the bar.

Rows of wooden, candle-lit tables line the walls. Each has its own ash tray of course.

Large bay windows give a nice view of the street outside.

A reserved banquette in the dark corner of the bar.

Cigarette art hangs on the wall above the banquette.

A classic shot of Humphrey Bogart and his ever-present cigarette.

Another view of the front bar.

And it's dinner time! Jennifer, the beautiful waitress on duty serves up a chicken sandwich with a lovely smile.

They didn't have a cheeseburger on the menu, but this chicken sandwich was just as good. The chicken is parmesan encrusted and served on a croissant with melted mozzarella cheese and a chipotle mayonnaise. I also got an order of onion rings. Delicious!


There is one place you can't smoke in Circa Tabac, the bathroom. Which can only lead to...

The almost-forgotten, obligatory bathroom shot! Goodnight, everybody!

Circa Tabac is one of the last places you can enjoy a cocktail and a cigarette in New York City. Since they sold tobacco products, they’ve been able to escape the smoking ban in bars. And if you don’t smoke, don’t worry, the air purifiers make sure that the place isn’t a den of second-hand smoke. The bar is dark and lit by dim chandeliers and candle light. The crowd is a mix of neighborhood locals and tourists amazed at seeing ash trays on every table and people using them. The music is eclectic and ranges from jazz, to hip hop, funk, pop and rock, played at a conversational level.

There’s a nice selection of bottled and draft beers, but this place is more of a cocktail bar.
Some of the house cocktails include the signature Circa Tabac Cocktail which is Cognac, Grand-Marnier, Honey and Lemon Juice; a French Martini, Passion Fruit Caipirissima and a Chocolate Kiss which mixes Godiva Liqueur, Vodka, Creme de Cacao and it’s topped with a Hershey Kiss. There’s also a food menu, featuring small plates such as: pigs in a blanket, a mini rack of lamb, crab cakes and a chicken sandwich.

And there’s a large variety of cigarettes and cigars to be had here as well. Smoke if you got ‘em!

Circa Tabac
32 Watts St. (Near Sixth Ave.)

Bonus Story by Nick Tosches

Acclaimed New York writer Nick Tosches is a regular at Circa Tabac. He's the guy on the far right in this portrait that hangs in the front of the bar Here’s  what he wrote about the bar.

The Last Bar
By Nick Tosches

I know the dirty secret of why and how the no-smoking con went down.
It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s still a joint—Circa Tabac—where I can go, set myself down, order a drink and light up. One last breath in this dying hick-town mall that used to be Manhattan. A real Bar, with real ashtrays and real people. I used to call it the last bar in New York. Now that London and even Paris have folded, I call it the last bar, period. And that’s what it is: a bar that is as bars once were, and as bars should be. The last of them. See you there, baby, see you there.


Bonus Cartoon by Jaws

Jaws just sent me this hilarious smoking ban cartoon. Check it out!

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    365 Bars - A Virtual Bar Crawl - Sunday, October 10th, 2010—Bar 273

Reader Comments (22)

I would have thought that place would be packed on a Saturday night with it being such a rare thing. Food looked delicious. And your bathroom shot looks like maybe you were smoking something else ;)

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

My God...a bar where you can smoke...A BAR WHERE YOU CAN SMOKE!! The health Nazis certainly have gone berserk over the past ten years or so, haven't they? There was a bar here in the Twin Cities than got around the smoking ban by declaring 'Theatre Night'...where all the customers could declare themselves actors and their cigarettes necessary props for the nights 'play' of community inter reaction, but the state health inspectors eventually came down on them like a ton of bricks.

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie


Marty, you look funny smoking !

I'm back in the good ole U.S. of A. !!!

Time to work up my beer tolerance, watch football all day, and enjoy the
hell out of regular life !


October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Cool come back !! Broome St Bar is always crowded on the weekend !!
I forgot you smoke .

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang Love's ZioumZioum

Oh no Marty I cant ever kiss you now....
yuck no ...
i was a cigarette girl for so long that when they made smoking dissapear in SF my money kinda dissapeared too..
then I couldnt afford to smoke anymore.
I like smoking bars.. they need a cigarette girl!

and Damil is very pretty to look at!

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@kari: I haven't smoked "something else" for years, it makes me too paranoid. However back in the day, I would've made Bob Marley blush!

@GENE: Welcome back, Kotter! Glad you got back in one piece! Now it's time for you to relax and get back here on the bar crawl! Let me know when you're coming back to NYC!

October 10, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Unreal you found a joint (no pun) where you can smoke. Great dark bar with candles, doesn't get better than that. Biggest onion rings on the crawl so far? You need to snap a shot of a toilet bowl next time for nostalgia sake. Last Bar letter was great. Florida law allows smoking in bars as long as food sales is less than 15% of total sales. But most bars here, like California have patio's where you go lite up. @Gene: Marty does look funny smoking. You have to go during the week to that Broome Street bar,,,really looks good.

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: The onion rings were the biggest so far and the tastiest! And the chicken sandwich was unreal! I will head back to the Broome Street Bar soon.

@Gidget: If you've got a cigarette girl photo of yourself, send it in!

October 10, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

The king of the bounce-backs strikes again! A bar where you can smoke! Only in New York Fucking City! Great place and your dinner looked delicious. And speaking of looks, Jennifer's pretty easy on the eyes, ooh la la! Great crawling!

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

There's 2 amazing parts to this post. The Onion rings and Jennifer. Yummo!
You do look a bit odd with a dart in your mouth instead of a beer. I like the bar but I don't smoke anyway but something about cigarettes are still pretty cool.
How fucking cool is Bogart. Thats how I see myself sometimes...we do share the same birthday 25th December ho ho ho!

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack

@Tim Clack: Are you calling Humphrey Bogart a ho? Shame on you!

October 10, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@365: I'm callin' you a ho! If you played blues guitar I'd call you Ho Diddley! (rimshot!)
'ho ho ho' in reference to christmas day birthdays.

@Gene: You and I have got the same idea. Ravens 31- Broncos 17. Was there really ever going to
be a competition there? I'm heading over to a local club to watch Eagles v 49ers around 11am. Goddam Commonwealth games cutting out the monday live NFL.
Good to hear you're home back from the desert.

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack

@TIM: When willl you be in NYC? I'd love to join you and Marty. !

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Tim Clack: Hey Ho Diddley!

@GENE: Tim and his wife will be in town I believe from Nov. 1st to somewhere around te 10th. It would be awesome if you could join us!

October 10, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

TO: Jennifer!

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brooks

Marty Just steal one off my page....
there's a few on my FB....
I think the peachy puff site itself has a few of me...
yes peachy puff.. ha, makes jokes....

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gene: We'll fly in on Nov 1st through to the 14th or 15th. I'm sure our paths will cross.

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack

@Gidget: Okay, I'll go look.

@David Brooks: Did you resend the picture? TO JENNIFER!

October 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Tim: Excellent. One of my trips will be Nov. 11th thru the 14th. We should have a 365 palooza !

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

I don't smoke anymore and, therefore, prefer to hang in non-smoking bars (even though those three words together sound wrong), but I probably would make an exception for those onion rings.

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Cool Place Marty.

I've never see you smoke before. I don't mind smoking, my whole family does except for me....weird isn't it?

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@Tiki Bar Susie: I only smoke two or three at the end of the night, I really should just try and quit, especially since cigarettes are now over 13 bucks a pack out here!

October 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

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