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Friday, November 19th, 2010—Bar 313

Day 313—Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Kenny's Castaways

Kenny’s Castaways has been a fixture in New York City since that magical summer of love, 1967. The name refers to the original owner, Patrick Kenny who opened the doors to a bar and original live music, originally on E. 84th St. and then moving to the current location on Bleecker St. in Greenwich Village in 1974. In the 43 years since its opening, a diverse group of musicians have played at Kenny’s Castaways, many cutting their musical teeth on the stage in the back of the bar. They include: Professor Longhair, Koko Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, The New York Dolls, Danny Gatton, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, The Allman Brothers, Ray Davies, Peggy Lee, Doc Pomus, Suzanne Vega and many other legendary names in the musical world. They have live music, seven nights a week, so let’s go see who’s playing tonight.

Bur first, a pause for this commercial announcement:
I just got an email from Printfection, who is the hosting site for our 365 Bar Store maintained by our in-house artist, “Boris.” The store features t-shirts and various items all emblazoned with the 365 Bar Crawl logo that “Boris” designed. Here’s the email:

The season is flying by and it's time to get ready for the next holiday sale. Starting Wednesday, November 24 to Sunday, November 28 we will be offering free shipping on all orders with a subtotal of $35 or more. Including International!

So there you go, if you’ve been thinking about buying something from the store, there’s no better time than now. We now return to our program already in progress (on the subway.)

Welcome to Greenwich Village!

And welcome to Kenny's Castaways.

Holy mother of fuck! It's packed up front, let's go towards the back and see if it's any better.

Wow, it's just as crowded back here, but I do see an empty stool where a couple are standing, maybe I can squeeze in there.

They encouraged me to sit down and I told them about my 365 journey and they were very supportive about the idea. Their name's are Jaclyn and Hiroshi and they're very nice people who moved so I could sit at the bar. Thanks for the kindness!

Andrea was one of the bartenders on duty, and as you can imagine she was swamped, but still humored me with a photo, thanks Andrea!

Jaclyn took this photo of me with my first drink of the night. I read online that they had a specialty vodka lemonade drink, but Andrea told me they were out of lemonade, so I settled for a vodka tonic. A small disappointment, but you learn to roll with the punches on the 365 bar crawl.

My view of the bar from where I was sitting.

There's a couple of shots of Kenny's back in its heyday. The top one features Bruce Springsteen and Handsome Dick Manitoba. Handsome Dick now owns a bar in the East Village and it was stop number 42 all those bars ago.

Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's a tin ceiling, always the calling card of a classic bar.

Mark was seated next to me at the crowded bar. He's a DJ and a photographer and he pointed this out to me...

A little devil bottle opener behind the bar. He asked me to take a photo of it and I happily obliged. I take all requests here!

There's a signed Danny Gatton promotional poster behind the bar. Danny Gatton played Kenny's many times in his career.

A framed photo of Joey Ramone who used to come here to see the New York Dolls.

A shot from the other end of the bar.

There's a second floor upstairs, let's go have a look.

Plenty of seats at the bar up here, probably because there's not a bartender behind it. I bet it's open on weekends.

There's couches and comfortable chairs up here, giving it a lounge-like vibe.

The lonliest can of Pabst in the world.

Hey, the band is starting, let's go down and check them out.

The back room has candle lit tables to sit at and enjoy the music.

Tonight was jam night with Big Jason's Jam, hosted by Jason Rosen. It was a great night of music with jams ranging from funk to rock to sweet soul music.

On the way out, Glenn the security/door man asked if I was with a magazine because he had seen me taking so many pictures. I told him about the 365 bar crawl and he gave the idea a thumbs up.

Out the door and on to Bleecker Street and suddenly...hats! Goodnight, everybody!

Original owner Patrick Kenny died in 2002, but the Kenny family has kept Kenny’s Castaways alive. The front bar is always lively with a large wooden bar and chairs opposite. Vintage photos and press from days gone by line the walls. There’s also knick-knacks and various bric-a-brac that’s been collected through the years hanging from the bar and walls. In the back room there’s tables and the stage that houses whatever bands are playing that night. There’s live music here seven nights a week.

There’s a full bar at Kenny’s and happy hour is all day and all of the night, to quote Ray Davies who has performed at Kenny’s. Six bucks will get you a beer and a shot, a can of Pabst is three dollars, domestic drafts are four bucks a glass and well drinks are five dollars. They have a decent selection of draft and bottled beers including: Guiness, Newcastle Ale, Corona and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

If you’ve gotten a contact high from the musicians van outside and have the munchies, you’re in luck, there’s food to be had at Kenny’s. Some of the offerings on the menu include: Shrimp Tacos, Kenny's Burger, three styles of pizza and meat, chicken and shrimp Empanadas.

Kenny's Castaways
157 Bleecker St. (near Thompson St.)


Bonus photos from Gidget!

Gidget, the coolest DJ in the world, recently took a trip to California and one of her stops was at a Tiki Bar that she deemed 365-worthy. After reading her blog about her trip, I agree. Here’s some photos shot by Gidget’s friend Rachelanne with captions by Gidget.

Rachelanne sneaking a sip of Gidget’s virgin mango daiquiri.

A shot of the bar from the back.

Gidget makes and gropes a new friend.

The money shot (almost better than a tin ceiling.)

Gidget’s brother Glenn, Best homey Dan and Gidget.

Gidget and Rachelanne at the tiki water fountain.

Don’t forget to tune in to Gidget’s wonderful show on Woody Radio, it’ll make you rock hard!

Bonus Woody Radio with “Boris!”

And speaking of Gidget and Woody Radio, the "Secret Weapon" (for those of you that don't know, is the automated bot of all "Boris" music, featuring past and present favorites, obscurities and a few guilty pleasures thrown in) will be broadcast tonight from 10pm ET until Saturday Morning. Sort of a "Friday Night Pajama Party" on the radio. Thanks tol DJ Gidget for running the bot and archiving the music “Boris” has sent her. Listen in on Woody Radio, iTunes or here: Woody Stream Server. Tune in and enjoy the tunes!

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Reader Comments (18)

Nice one, Marty. Kenny's is practically the last hold out of the olde Bleecker Street from a time when it was the hippest place to dig the scene in the Village. And did you know it's been a bar for like a century and a half? It once housed a notorious brothel and some claim it was the first openly gay bar in NYC dating back to the 1890's! That's the gay '90's. Goog "The Slide" and Bleecker Street for more salacious details.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNed Sparks

@Ned Sparks: Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the historical note!

November 19, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@365: Another great stop here,,,I really like bars that promote live music from local musicians and this place is that. Youngsters involved in music is a positive thing and more places should have this type of outlet for them. @Boris: Will you have any black t shirts with sleeves for men with the Crawlapalooza logo in time for the free shipping week? Marty can you give Boris my email address? I didn't see it on the site. @Gidget: Those creamy ice cream drinks at the tiki bar will knock you for a loop,,,,great pics and a great place,, I like the Tiki Ti on Sunset in Hollywood, 2 drinks and L.A. becomes LA LA land.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Marty! Glad you were able to hit Kenny's.
I remember stumbling in there years ago in my "former life during a few "daze" of CBGB's, Max's Kansas City, Kenny's and got knows where else. I may have literally been crawling at Kenny's.
Great shots of California Tiki-land Gidge and thanks for pimping the "Secret Weapon" and for her making it a possibility and a reality.
@Al: The final shirts will have the names on them.
I could probably add a black (sans names) in the store or even just that design without the names.
Might be a good idea.
Do up the basic colors and IF anyone wants something special or merch with it.
Just contact Marty or myself and I will accommodate you.
Seriously, the magnitude of this Crawl and the journey Marty has been on has taken on a life of it's own and amazes me. Seeing references to Manitoba's and seeing it was way back ay Number 42 kind of proves it to me.
Time flies when your Crawling along!


November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Kenny's is a great choice. Now where can I get me one of those devil bottle openers?

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

I can feel the good time vibes of Kenny's Castaways radiating at me right through the monitor! Great stopover, Marty!
@ Gidget; great to finally get a good look at you! Love your You Tube channel!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Cool eclectic looking bar, with an awesome ceiling. Love the devil. And love live music. Love your pics Gidget, and you. Guess its a love friday.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

I've read about this place in a number of rock and roll books, I didn't know it still existed. Great stop at a legendary joint. Nice photos Gidget, always fun to see other people crawling along. And "Boris" is a DJ too? Very cool!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Wow! Look at all those hats! Marty, remind me to tell Paulie about that place next time we're in town. Kenny's, oh Kenny's, what can I say? You look like the perfect bar. From the ceiling to the photos to the barback to the floors. Plus, the cool-ass bottle opener and what could possibly be the very best pub sign in the world. I wish my hubcabs looked like that! The upstairs lounge is a great thing, as well, with its comfy seats and a real-live tube tv. If I were a can of Pabst, flying solo and wanting to hear some sweet live tunes, that's where I'd be too. Hooray for live music and hooray for Kenny's Castaways! And hello to Gidget and friends! Tiki huts rule!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

i dont know why, but that hat photo made me laugh out loud! cool place and interesting history behind it. thanks for the link ned sparks! and i'm glad its still family owned. and nice pictures gidget!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

@365: Since you're taking all requests...how bout throwing a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans in the mail? Awesome bar. I simply didn't have enough time and local knowledge to check these places out.
Great vantage point upstairs to catch the bands. I love Greenwich Village. It's like a magical land of opportunity, music, beer and bong shops. Thumbs down to Glenn the security guy for raising the wrong digit.
@Glenn the Security guy: Don't you have a middle finger?

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky Downunder

@Clacky Downunder: I'll work on that Pabst package for you! And you're right, I should've asked him to give the 365 salute, maybe I'll get one tonight.

November 19, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

MOG... OMG...WOW...ARG...AWB...BIC....PCS...
what does this all mean?...i have no idea...please enlighten me....just left a site about kenny;s and all above plus others were used...damn most be gettin' old...
glad to see 365 "fought" his crowd phobia and brought kenney"s onto the crawl...
you want the salute check www.badfrog.com....
gidget...nice shots out there in CA...with that gropin' maybe you should get a job with the TSA...
kenney's great addition to the crawl...used to stop in as boris would say "my former life"...
fat al...good luck finding that bottle opener...think that one is from an or two past...KOC


November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

might to key an era or two past...damn this evil computer...KOC


November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@raginrr: Admit it, you're the one that invented the infamous: LOL!

November 19, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

AL et al. There is NOW a "Crawlapalooza Men's T-Shirt available in ALL Colors (including Black)
Should I make a women's T-Shirt )or Tank etc.) as well. Let me know and I will gladly do them.
Get that 365 Christmas Shopping done early and take advantage of the FREE Shipping Marty mentioned!
Thanks to all of you.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Damn uneditable typos... ha.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

I also added the Women's "Crawlapalooza" Organic Tee available in a variety of colors including Black.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

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