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« Saturday, October 16th, 2010—Bar 279 | Main | Thursday, October 14th, 2010—Bar 277 »

Friday, October 15th, 2010—Bar 278

Day 278—Thursday, October 15th, 2010
Tropical 128

Alright so I’ve decided not to grumble about work here anymore (although today and tonight sucked just as bad as the rest of the week) and just put on my happy bar crawl face and hit the road. I found a place online that sounds like it’s a deliberately cheesy place. It’s called Tropical 128 http://tropical128.com/ and it’s a tropical bar/pool hall. If nothing else, it sounds like it’s sure to be different. Let’s hit the road for some well deserved cocktails.

Okay, here we are, Tropical 128. Time for a nice relaxing, tropical break.

Ahh, Negra Modelo is served here, great! I love this beer!

Just a oouple people at the bar, perfect!

Usually when I tell the bartender what I'm doing, they smile, laugh, sometimes high-five me, because they realize that their bar is going to get some nice publicity for free. Here I told the woman behind the bar and her face went from unsmiling to a scowl. And when I asked her if I could take a picture of her serving me up a beer, it was met with her telling me no in a most unfriendly way. I asked the other bartender and she too said no, but agreed after much persuasion to let me photograph her hand. Months ago I had a bartender who didn't want her photo taken, she told me she was shy, so I did the hand photo, but she was nice about it, and we had a nice conversation at the bar These two served me the beer, then retreated to the far corner of the bar and pretty much ignored me and the other couple of people at the bar. The other people left soon and then it was just me and the two anti-social bartenders. It really felt uncomfortable in there.

One of them begrudgingly took my photo. One thing a lot of people don't realize is that it's a lot of work to write these captions. You have to try to keep people interested and keep the captions brief but zingy. And I have to do it first thing in the morning before I go to work. But if I've had a good time at a bar and the bartender and people were friendly and fun, I'm happy to go the extra mile and do my best at trying to provide good captions to go along with the photos. But if I've had a shitty time and the bartenders were pretty much rude to me and didn't even say, "Thank you," after being tipped for every drink, well...


Blah, blah, blah...

I don't even know what the fuck this is, alien eyes?


Blah, blah...

They have a nice billiard room, but it's empty on a Thursday night. Gee, I wonder why?



Suddenly...Saltines! Goodnight, everybody.

What’s sad is this place could be a fun joint. The front bar area is cheesily decorated and there’s a first class pool table area in the back. But if the bar is empty and the bartenders are anti-social, well, I’d rather drink in a deserted doorway, standing in a puddle of piss.

In my travels on this bar crawl, people sometimes ask me what makes a great bar. And I always tell them, it’s not really the bar, but the people inside that make an outstanding bar. And it all starts with the bartenders. They are like the captains of the ship in a bar. They set the mood. I’ve found that if the bartender is friendly, fun and outgoing, then the crowd follows suit. But if they act annoyed to be there and it’s obvious they think they’re above serving you a drink, much less talk to you, well, then there won’t be people in the bar and when it’s just you and two bartenders that are pretty much socially retarded it’s about as much fun as playing Twister with a crew of scab-riddled lepers, with their limbs falling off at every twist and turn.

Now I gotta get to work. Hopefully tonight will be better. This bad luck streak in dancing school can’t last forever. Onwards and upwards!

Tropical 128
128 Elizabeth St. (@Broome St.)


Bonus Video

365 commentator and soon to be visitor, Tim Clack sent in this video with this message:

"This is Hollywood's impression of you by Friday....ha ha ha!"

The way things are going, it might just happen! Stay tuned.

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Reader Comments (23)

Goddamn...this has been a rough week for you, so I appreciate you for not throwing in the bar towel. Keep on bar crawling, this is the universe sending you a test, you've passed and I think things will get better soon. Cheers!

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Keep the faith, Marty, this too shall pass. Wow, man. That was quite a post. Pretty instructive, despite or maybe because of your pain. Well, you can't bat 1000 forever. How long do you think this place will last? They start with a sure-fire hook like billiards and plastic palm trees and douche it up with surly help? Fail.

But the silver lining is "Suddenly…Saltines!" is now my new catch phrase this week. It ought to be a movie title — maybe something with Susan Hayward?

Chin up, you're bound to score big tonight.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNed Sparks

I agree,,,,its the people that makes a regular bar into a great bar. I appreciate what you do day in and day out, trying to make this interesting to us and funny also. I know it's not easy and places like this, though rather cool with the blue lights and dark atmosphere, will probably be forgotten because of bartenders that are not really customer friendly. Sad when the only good thing here was a box of Saltines,,,lol.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

I know you were trying to make a point, but that Twister game sounded kind of fun to me! Hope you have better luck tonight.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Everybody: Thanks for the kind words, things have to get better, they really can't get much worse. Now into work and then...Suddenly...Saltines! Cheers!

October 15, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

My view is that it is generally difficult for an empty bar to suck (I quite enjoy empty bars), and yet these schmucks seem to have achieved that rare feat. Onward and upward.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

In regards to tropical 128; Blah....blah blah blah blah? Blah. Blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH blah. Blah? Blah. BLABIDY BLAH BLAH BLAH...BLAH!!! Blah blee blah? BLAH. I'm outta here. Better luck next time Marty, you're still doing a major public service by warning every one about places like that. Keep the faith, dude.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

I thought you said the bartenders were chicks? It looks like a man-hand! I kid, I kid......but seriously! Keep up the good work, enjoy your site! Slainte!

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike D.

I surely hope the OWNERS of this bar somehow see your post. Perhaps that will lead to getting this place "adjusted". Why open a bar if its not going to be friendly and fun? It's competing for business and losing in a big way. Keep the faith Mary, there's always tonight's bar.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermattyanza

Can I get in on the Twister game? I'm sure to win..having 4 limps and no signs of lepercy.

Thanks for the support everybody! Let's hope for a change of luck tonight. Cheers to you all and thanks for crawling along with me! Now back to work. Fuuuuckkk a duck!

October 15, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

(Don't) Say Cheese(y)!
Hell of a way to run a joint.
You had class though, Daddio.
Hang in there.
Good talking with you last night.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@"Boris:" Thanks Daddio, great yakking with you last night! Tonight's going to be a different story, I can feel it in my bones!

October 15, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@martholemew.....if you have a green ball in your left hand, & a green ball in your right hand, what do you have??????........Kermits undivided attention!....sounds like 365 has you there Kermit.....the fukin' sad part is wot tha fuk are we gunna do post 365????

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy


October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Duck

@Fitzy: Ha ha ha! It ain't easy being green! Post 365? Motherfucker, let's just get through the 365 first!

@The Duck: Quackin' back atcha!

October 15, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

sorry you had a bad night, but you're so right, a bad bartender can really "f" up a bar. the video tim clack sent in is hilarious. that's you tonight! LOL!

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

@365: I couldn't find many clips with Clyde the orangutan flippin' the bird but Philo whips that guys ass good.
What a pack of inhospitable ASSHOLES! If that were my bar I would sack their incompetent asses without hesitation.
I've said ASS quite a lot in this comment.
I was under the impression that if the service was poor that you didn't have to tip?...and you still tipped? What's the tipping ratio in the bars?

@Tim Clack: It's up to the customer, but out here it's customary to tip a buck a beer. Most bars will give you a buy-back on the fourth or fifth beer. I tipped last night in spite of the shitty service, because at least they let me take photos in there and I didn't have to drag my tired ass somewhere else. Okay, I'm off to tonight's bar right now. Hopefully it'll go better. Cheers and beers!

October 15, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Guessing there aren't any regulars there. Hope you're getting smothered in positive attention right now ;)

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari


Funny post !

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@kari: Last night went great, the post will be up around 2pm.

@GENE: BLAH BLAH BLAH! (Glad you got a larf out of it!)

October 16, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

"In my travels on this bar crawl, people sometimes ask me what makes a great bar. And I always tell them, it’s not really the bar, but the people inside that make an outstanding bar. And it all starts with the bartenders. They are like the captains of the ship in a bar. They set the mood. I’ve found that if the bartender is friendly, fun and outgoing, then the crowd follows suit."

Very brilliantly written Marty and so incredibly true.

You absolutely nailed it.

Thanks for letting us tag along, cranky bartenders and all. It ws still a trip...

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

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