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« Monday, October 25th, 2010—Bar 288 | Main | Saturday, October 22nd, 2010—Bar 286 »

Sunday, October 24th, 2010—Bar 287

Day 287—Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
J.G. Melon

Live from New York it’s Saturday Night Cheeseburger. With the Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher and musical guest Iggy Pop. And now, tonight's host, J.G. Melon!

But first a word from our sponsor.

Tina Hennessey sent in a more than generous donation of $25.00 and I thank you mucho, Tina!
All the best to you, Tim, your kids, my Godson, Brian and that little fucker of a dog, Rocky. Tell him he’s going to get barked at come Christmas time. Thanks, Tina and now, on with the show!

Union Square Park is bustling as we make our way to the subway station.

Here's the artist who simply wanted to be billed as, "The Artist from Union Square" with his painting of Fanelli's Cafe, a bar I need to include on this bar crawl.

Okay, let's make our way down into the inner bowels of the New York subway system.

It's bustling with people on this Saturday night.

And when I get to my stop a train has just pulled up. I love it when this happens!

As you can see, it's a full house in the subway car. And I think someone just farted. Never a good thing when the car is packed, but what are you going to do?

And through the magic of the internet, we're almost there.

And here we are, I love the neon sign.

Even though it's only 6pm, it's crowded in here, but I spy a seat at the bar.

And the lovely and friendly bartender, Kitty serves up a beer and flashes the 365 card.

Seated next to me were Sherry and Paul who live in the East Village, but Sherry told me she's been to my hometown of Peoria, Illinois in her travels.

And so we have a toast to Peoria. To Peoria, cheers!

A shot of the well-stocked bar.

Some of the melon art that hangs behind the bar.


And of course there's the sign of a great bar overhead, a tin ceiling.

It's starting to fill up in here and people are waiting up front for a table.

And they'll be waiting for awhile, the back dining room is packed.

Here I am with the manager of the joint, Bob. Bob jokingly referred to himself as, "The mismanager."

The kitchen area is opposite the bar.

The sight of those burgers frying are making me hungry.

Here's David, who's replaced Kitty as the bartender. In between filling drinks, he took my order for a bacon cheeseburger.

As you can see, this place really packs them in at night.

Okay, the time is near, the condiments and napkins are placed...

And here it is, the J.G. Melon legendary bacon cheeseburger!

Here I am devouring it.

Goddamn, that is one tasty burger!

And here's Iggy Pop! Goodnight, everybody!

J.G. Melon has been a neighborhood local on the Upper East Side since it opened in 1972. The bartenders are friendly and fast with a drink and the crowd is local, but friendly to newbies. The long wooden bar takes up most of the front space with the kitchen visible opposite. The dining room in the back is covered with checkered table cloths and people noshing on the infamous J.G. Melon cheeseburger. Melon-inspired art covers the wooden walls and there’s a red tin ceiling overhead. If you come on a weekend be prepared to wait for a table or a seat at the bar, this joint packs them in.

There’s a full bar with beers including: Heineken, Bass Ale, Pilsner Urquel and Corona.
The food menu includes chili and several types of sandwiches and cottage fries, but take my advice, order the bacon cheeseburger. It’s one of the best in town and is served on the freshest roll I’ve ever had, which bartender David calls their secret weapon, and I agree.

J.G. Melon
1291 Third Ave. (@74th St.)

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Reader Comments (25)

Burger and the unusual fries looked delicious! And sorry the tradition didn't continue, but I can't really see Kitty giving you the one-finger salute. That would be wrong.

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@kari: The tradition will continue, just at select places. I agree, I didn't want to ask Kitty to do it.

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Great bar and that is one delicious looking burger! Great shot of the artist in Union Square, love the little slices of NYC that comes along with the crawl. And a great Iggy Pop tune! Love the Cheeseburger Saturday Night!

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Farting on the train is just plain wrong. But that bacon cheeseburger is all right! Love the old school feel of this place. I'm penciling it in for lunch.

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Kitty looks like a great bartender and as Kari said, I can't see her giving the fun finger either. These type of places with dressed up bartenders in shirt and tie's is the old school way. The way it was a long time ago in New York, Chicago, LA, etc. A great stop here on the crawl. The burger looks thick and juicy, just fantastic. You are a mustard, no ketchup type,,,,me too. Ive met Iggy (he lives down here) and he goes to outdoor dog friendly cafe's, a real dog lover,,a real nice guy, down to earth, no attitude (Attitude is for his shows only).

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: Next time you see Iggy, get a picture taken with him!

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Hey, any relation to Blind Melon Chitlin? Great looking cheeseburger...baconate me dude! Warm, cheery looking place...and if I was to go home with only one single souvenir from New York, it would have been that painting of Fannelli's cafe by "The Artist'...very striking, did he say how much he wanted for it?

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Jaws: He didn't, but I can give you his email if you want it. It's a great painting.

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

3 words..IGGY. FUCKING. POP.

@365: Sweet digs on the crawl and congratulations on not having to take a walk through Lonesome Town. Cheers to the staff and chef looks like he's really under the pump.
Man that burger looks amazing! Check out those chips!! They look like Pomme Gaufrette except thicker. I made some similar with a mix of potato, Sweet potato and beetroot all fried up and crispy with a big New York Striplion.

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Jaws: Ahemm...Blind Baby, Blind Baby....ah...listen the kids today they're hung up on the lyrics...
ya know?...I'm gunna read you what I got...
I'm gunna go down town just to see my girl
I'm gunna sing 'er a song
Gunna show 'er my Ding Dong!...
Ding Dong!....yeah that's right Ding dong!

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

Marty -
Just a bit of sad news regarding Bar #1. From EV Grieve (evgrieve.com)

Early-morning fire at Otto's Shrunken Head

An employee arriving to work this morning just after 9 at Otto's Shrunken Head on 14th Street was met with thick black smoke coming from inside the bar.

According to a reader, the damage at Otto's from this morning's fire isn't as bad as first feared. Still, the back room is a mess... Everyone seems to be saying the same thing: It could have been a lot worse

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBoston365Fan

@Tim Clack: The burger and the chips were amazing, one of the best burgers on the crawl!

@Boston365Fan: Yeah, I saw that on EVGrieve's site, a fucking shame and I let a comment saying so. Hopefully they'll be back up and running soon. And yeah, it could've been worse. To Otto's Shrunken Head, my first bar crawl stop!

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

To Otto's Shrunken Head! I hope they're back in business soon. Maybe you can make a return visit when they are.

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

@Barfly: You can count on that! TO OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD!

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@marty, ya cant beat a good fart amongst friends!!! elevators & ques at McDonalds are a personal fav......

i miss those cheeseburgers!!!! arrrrgh!!!!

@clacky & Jaws...well i've done it again, pulled off another "Fitzy you fukwit" incident at work....i gets to work yesterday morning & here is this young chick sitting at the smoko table studying...me being me thinks she is a HSC work experience kid studying for her finals & she looked like she was waitng for her mum to come in & pick her up...i introduce myself & make comment to see how her final year is going, when she proceeds to say to me "oh you're Fitzy, hi i'm Lisa... the team leader told me you would take me around & show me how to feed the koalas & general koala & yard care...oh & by the way i did my HSC many moons ago, & now i'm in my 1st year doing my PhD at Sydney Uni...i'm here developing a new anti-biotic for all marsupials who contract chlamydia, i am running tests on one of your ICU koalas"...mmm, yep i gave meself an uppercut & took her to work after picking up my jaw...i mean what??? not in my wildest dreams would i have ever thought i'd be teaching a Phd student!!!!...a bloke just never knows what is gunna pop up at this place....anyway not only did Lisa have a good brain but she had great reflexes when i told her Barry was about to bite while feeding the old fart...cheers Lisa!! luv ya work!!!!

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

Fucking Eagles going down to Titans. I'm watching Packers v Vikings....I'm gong for the Vikings but thinks the Packers will take this one....

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Fitzy: I couldn't picture you giving a lecture, mate....maybe a a lecture in bullshit down the pub!

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

Melon's is a true NY classic, great choice. I can't believe you actually got a seat at the bar. Well done.

And here's to Otto's. Never been there, but hopefully it'll be back up and running soon.


October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

@clacky, too right mate, too bloody right!!!! hahaha!

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

damn sad news about otto's...let's hope it won't be lost...this stop does look like a classic...appears to live up to all that has been written about it...the bacon cheese did look tasty...am sure jules and eldrick would agree...KOC


October 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Fucking Exhausted from working long hours the last six days , need that burger to give me more energy !!!
JG Melons sounds familiar , someone used that name for a movie I think , but not sure .
They should have a Bartender with Nice Melons ( * )( * ) , so when I get drunk there I can talk to her melons & ask if I can feel if they are ripe !!!

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang Love's ZioumZioum

you handled the crowd very well Marty. I'm a tad hungover from a full day of football, so that cheeseburger photo was almost as good as the real thing.

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Thorton Melon. Back To School. Rodney Dangerfield.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEat Cawk.

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