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« Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 | Main | Sunday, November 28th, 2010—Bar 322 »

Monday, November 29th, 2010—Bar 323

Day 323—Sunday, November 28th, 2010

I want to send out a thank you to Nick Petri who sent in a generous donation of fifteen dollars to keep this bar crawl on the road. Accompanying his PayPal donation, he sent along this note: “Thank Rick Halberg, he sent me the link to your website. You will need to come to Minonk, IL., to buy me one though... Nick Petri, Petri's Pour House. Rick knows where we are. Good Luck.” Alright Nick, thanks to my pal, Rick Halberg and thanks again to you Nick. Our paths may cross in December!

And now on to today’s bar crawl. It’s the last night of my Thanksgiving four day weekend, but it’s really the start of the holiday season. I thought I’d end this weekend on a festive note, so I’ve decided to visit Rolf’s German restaurant and bar. I had never heard of Rolf’s till a couple of week’s ago when I saw this post on the fine blog, EV Grieve: Lights, Camera’s: Rolfs! It looks like when it comes to holiday decorations they really go over the top, so that’s tonight’s destination. Ho, ho, ho!

Here we are at Rolf's, let the festivities begin!

Holy shitballs, it looks nuts in here.

Ali, the lovely hostess pointed me towards the bar.

Wow, the bar is packed. Looks like a lot of other people had the same idea I did. Let's take a look around till a spot opens up. Warning: You may want to put on some sunglasses for this.

There's lots of dolls hanging around and I have to confess they creep me out a little bit.

There's tables in the back all lit up by the holiday lights.

Okay, these dolls are starting to creep me out big time! I don't like the way the one on the right is staring at me.

Yikes! Can you say, "Redrum?"

I'm starting to get a Christmas sensory overload in this joint, I hope a seat at the bar opens up soon, I need to sit down!

Ask and ye shall receive, I think I spy an empty seat.

Okay, I'm situated into the bar and friendly bartender Shoriful brings me a much needed beer.

Cheers and happy holidays to you and yours!

A shot of the bar from where I sit and an obligatory bar room mirror shot. Can you find me in the lights and glitter?

And hidden away behind the decorations and lights is a tin ceiling.

Richard and Jen were seated next to me and we had a nice conversation about the 365 bar crawl and bars in New York City.

There's booths opposite the bar to sit in and take in the kooky atmosphere in this place.

A long shot of the bar. Bartender Shoriful told me there's over 70,000 lights they put up and it takes five people to do it.

Here's Rachael, Andy and Jennifer who were enjoying some holiday drinks at Rolf's.

Goodnight, everybody!

I know I said I’d start writing my own reviews again today, but it’s Monday, after a four day weekend and I overslept. So once I again I turn to New York magazine and use their review. I hate Mondays.


Ignored by New Yorkers much of the year, the rustic, tchochke-packed dining room at Rolf’s is transformed into a Christmas spectacular that’s as much a December institution as the Rockettes and Rockefeller Center. Twinkling lights, Teutonic dolls, and green garlands like so many boughs of Black Forest don the front bar, while a seasonal roast suckling pig is ceremoniously served at the roughhewn tables and booths in back. Not surprisingly, the food is a mediocre throwback to another era, so don’t be surprised if the stringy sauerbraten can’t hold a candle to your grandmother’s three-day ginger snap-marinated wonder. But crispy potato pancakes and simple, hot-dog-like wursts keep kids complacent, while a few steins of the remarkable array of German pilsners and hefeweissen will find mom and dad satisfied, if not altogether oblivious. Carla Spartos

Recommended Dishes
Potato pancakes, $9; wurst, $23.95


I told you I hated Mondays, right? Good. Sneeze ya tomorrow.

281 Third Ave. (@21st St.)

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Reader Comments (25)

My eyes hurt now .... :(

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@GENE: My retinas are scorched!

November 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

HA HA HA! That mirror shot of you is HILARIOUS!!!! Rolf's is crazy. I think I'd probably get claustrophobic after about 5 minutes in there! Although, now that I'm thinking about it, why WOULDN'T you get CLAUStrophobic in there? HA HA HA! Christmas humor is hilarious! In any event, I'm stuck between thinking Rolf's is cool and thinking it's just too much. Maybe I should drink a couple of hot toddies and revisit this. In the meantime, congrats on the status of your crawl. If you were looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, I believe you've found it here!

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

"now that I'm thinking about it, why WOULDN'T you get CLAUStrophobic in there?"

@Biff: Ha ha ha! You still gots it, Bifferoonie!

November 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Hey Marty, Nick and I have been friends for years. He's a great guy and I've been looking for a good excuse to hit his place in Minonk. Hope we can make it there in January! GREAT pizza and GREAT atmosphere.

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergroovyrick

An absolutely festive post...and you were right about the sunglasses! You're also right about the dolls. Rod Serling's Night Gallery, in it's first season, featured one of it's creepiest segments ever called 'The Doll'...one of the most unsettling evil doll stories ever produced. Ever since, I can't look at a doll without suspecting evil intentions on the part of the doll. Dolls and evil clowns...brrrr!!!

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@groovyrick: Sounds like a plan! I'll give you a call and we'll figure out the date.

@Jaws: That's one of my favorite Twilight Zones and it stars a pre-Kojak Telly Savalas!

November 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

I like this festive place. Lost should film an episode in there. Where's Sunday dinner?

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

a belated prost! or zum wohl!
that pic of ali is a sensory overload :-)

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteresquared

I have a bar in my home town like this.....Appleton WI...............Cleo's

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

@Al: The lights took away my appetite!

@esquared: Zum whohl!

@Jamie: Send in a picture of your bar if you can and I'll post it.

November 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

SPF-50 aside, it's a "bright" spot on the crawl.
I'm with Biff, I love the "Where's Wombacher" mirror shot.

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

I'm blind!

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

I leave the internet for a few months, and I come back to find you ensconced in a veritable north pole winter wonderland. Holy crap.

Happy thanksgiving a few days late!

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzRocks

@SuzRocks: Nice to see you back here! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

November 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

This might inspire Thomas Dolby to do a Christmas song: "They Blinded Me With Christmas." LOL!

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBilly T.

see motherfucker...nice mirror shots...smiles rules...KOC


November 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Those are some curvy ho's. Wow, that is Christmas decorating! And yeah the mirror shot is great. Pretty sure my brain would not be able to handle that place after one drink, but hey, what ever gets you in the mood!

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

I place is a must stop during Santacon! (I'll bring pins for the dolls)

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

@365: Im late I know but gotta admit that this place was pretty cool. I reminded me of this funky indian restaurant Shannon and I went to in the east village that had hundreds of mini lights. I don't like dolls. I feel uncomfortable around them.
I bet you're glad you gave up the acid many years ago before this place, Marty!! ha ha ha !!!

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

@Clacky: The place definitely gave me an acid flashback. Luckily I was armed with a roll of Tums!

November 30, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Im all for holiday decorations - but that seemed really excessive!!
And hello, those dolls? TOTALLY SUPER CREEPY!!!!

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

forgot (or that "rutgut" 45 was kickin' in) to say how cute your ho, ho, ho was...KOC

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

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