Day 345—Monday, December 20th, 2010
I’m near the end of this journey and I just got a Christmas donation from the 365 Canadian correspondent, Lex. She sent in a generous donation of fifty dollars. In case you weren’t following the blog, Lex was in town last September with her in-laws, Mary Ann and Morley and they joined the bar crawl when we went to Hurley’s. And Lex not only sent in a nice donation, she sent me pictures from when she was at when she and her family were on vacation in Revelstoke, British Columbia. Lex sent in some photos of a bar she got trashed in nightly visited a few times. The photos are down below in the bonus section following the review. Thanks for the donation and photos, Lex, have yourself a merry little Christmas!
Okay, on to the bar crawl. I’ve been meaning to go to Julius’ bar for awhile now, and since there’s just 21 days, I’ve decided I better go tonight, before this thing is over. Julius' is important to Manhattan’s rich bar history because it’s the oldest bar in Greenwich Village and it’s also the oldest gay bar in the city. The bar has been in operation since 1864. According to their website, the bar started getting a gay crowd in the ‘50’s and in 1966, four activists staged a “sip in” at Julius’ to challenge the NYS Liquor Authority’s regulation that prohibited bars and restaurants from serving homosexuals. From what I’ve read, this place is not only New York’s oldest gay bar, it also sounds like a classic dive bar. Let’s go dive in to Julius’.
Here we are, it looks nice and dark inside, let's go check out Julius'.
It's late on a Monday night, so there's plenty of seats at the well-worn, long wooden bar. Let's settle in.
And Scott, the friendly and hospitable bartender quickly serves up an ice-cold beer.
Cheers from the 345th bar. Only 20 more to go!
A shot of the lit-up bottles behind the bar.
There's circular wooden tables opposite the bar, with a nice view of the street outside.
The vintage cash register is adorned with some Christmas ornaments and decorations.
Here's Greg with a dancing doll. We named the doll, Santa Julius.
Vintage photos line the dark, wooden walls. Walter Winchell tells you why to go to Julius'.
There's a brass dachsund foot rail beneath the bar to rest your dogs on.
David was seated at the end of the bar. When he found out my hometown is Peoria, Illinois, he told me he was stationed in nearby Champaign, Illinois for year when he was in the air force.
Vintage horse photos hang atop the festive, lit-up bar.
Here's the kitchen that stands opposite the bar where the legendary Julius burgers are made.
Karen was the chef on duty for the evening and we had a nice talk about the whole 365 journey.
They have a great jukebox here stocked with everything from Barbara Streisand to the Animals to Liza with a "Z", to my favorite, Joan Jett.
Single antique lamps hang overhead and illuminate the bar.
A long shot of the etched wooden bar.
Thomas was seated next to me and raised his glass for the 365 camera.
For five dollars you can buy your very own Julius shot glass, which I did, and then I had Scott pour some whiskey in it for my nightcap.
One final glance out the window and it's time to hit the road. Goodnight, everybody!
Julius’ is a true dive bar. A gay dive bar, but as far as dives go, this fits the bill. It’s dark and the long, well-worn wooden bar has been there since prohibition ended and is carved with initials and memories from days gone by. Dim antique lights illuminate the bar and there’s circular woodend tables and chairs opposite the bar. The walls are lined with black and white photos and old reviews of Julius’.
There’s a full bar at Julius’ and you won't have to go on payday to enjoy a few drinks in here. Everything’s inexpensive and there’s a generous happy hour from 4pm to 9pm with half-price beers and well drinks. Sunday is the day that they have an all day beer blast with half-priced beer all day long. There’s not a huge selection of food here, but they’re known for their hamburgers which are just five bucks. There’s also hot dogs, grilled cheese, french fries, onion rings and assorted sandwiches to be had from the kitchen which operates directly across from the bar.
If you’re looking for a slice of New York history, go have a drink at Julius’. It’s a gay scene, but you’ll enjoy it if you’re straight, slightly curved or even a hexagon. It’s a friendly place filled with nice people and it’s a true New York City landmark.
Further reading: Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, Edmund White in New York magazine, Julius’ Wikipedia entry.
159 W. 10th St. (@Waverly Pl.)
Bonus Lex Photos!
As noted above our Canadian correspondent Lex, sent in some photos from The Village Idiot tavern in Revelstoke, British Columbia and here they are, take it away, Lex!
Bartenders Adam and Kaylee serve up some mean local brews.
The local brew, before and after!
The menu? Hilarious! as funny as a good comedy show. The food? Well let's just say that we all look like we're about 7 months pregnant!
Bonus Reader Photo!
Last week Jaws sent in a photo of himself and challenged other 365 readers to do the same. They haven’t exactly been flying in, so I was pleased when I got an email from Guilherme Stecher all the way from Brazil. Here’s what he had to say:
Following Jaws idea, I'm sending a photo from a Brazillian fan. I don't do many comments, but I pass through your blog every day.
Cheers from Brazil, and have a Rock'n'Roll X-mas.
Thanks, Guilherme! Merry Christmas to you and yours in Brazil. And here’s his photo:
Well, as well as Fat Al Liked that Joan Jett video, why not play another. Oh, Joan...
And what the fuck, why not announce my complete love for Joan Jett. You are the total rock star!