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« Thursday, December 9th, 2010—Bar 333 | Main | Tuesday, December 7th, 2010—Bar 331 »

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010—Bar 332

Day 332—Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Ding Dong Lounge

First, the bad, bad, BAD news: The end of the Mars Bar as we know it may be coming. Read about it here at the EV Grieve blog. It’s funny but I discovered the EV Grieve blog after I went to the Mars Bar on Easter Sunday and bought a pizza dinner for myself and everybody in there and he blogged about it, you can read that here: Easter At The Mars Bar. People always ask me what my favorite bar has been and I always reply that I don’t have one because there’s been so many good ones, but I always tell them that my favorite night was Easter Sunday at the Mars Bar. I was going to make it a tradition to buy pizza there every Easter Sunday. Fuck. First Fedora’s, then the Rum House, probably Ruby’s and now maybe the Mars Bar is going to be disappearing. Motherfucker, I need a drink. Luckily I’m going to a bar within minutes. I’ll drown my sorrows there, I don’t want to even think about this shit right now.

Easter Sunday at the Mars Bar.

Last night, Maddy suggested I go to the Ding Dong Lounge, a cool bar uptown. I’ve been meaning to go there, I wrote a review of it for newyork.citysearch.com years ago and had a good time there. I remember it was not long after September 11th went down and I was nervous about taking the subway uptown. Well, I’m not nervous tonight, so it’ll probably get blown up and you may never read this. We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks for the suggestion Maddy, this bar’s for you!

Okay, here we are at Penn Station to take the train uptown.

Step back? It's obvious the cretins at MTA don't read The Half Empty Glass because...

You  need to lean back, motherfuckers!

Okay, once again through the magic of the internet you're spared a ride with a screaming baby, loud teenagers and a ten minute wait at Times Square and here we are at the Ding Dong Lounge. The place is a little bigger, but looks pretty much the same as it did ten years ago when I wrote my review.

Wow, this is one of the darkest bars yet. You'd love it in here, Al!

And here I am closing the deal on my first beer with Johnny the bartender.

The photo above was taken by Adrianna, one of the owners of the bar. Adrianna is a photographer and her husband is another co-owner and played guitar in a punk rock band before he opened this bar. Like an idiot I forgot to write down the band's name...

But here's Adrianna with a photo of the band. That's her husband on guitar on the left. UPDATE: According to Gidget and/or Linda, the name of the band was the Mobile Homos.

Here's a shot of the dimly-lit bar from my perspective.

There's a pool table up front.

And there's candle-lit tables opposite the bar.

There's a table and a wndow seat in one of the front windows.

The Circle Jerks opening for Run D.M.C. That had to be a great show!

A vintage Plasmatics poster.

A Buzzcocks poster hangs behind this faux window.

There's a brick-walled lounge area in the back of the bar.

Empties, a shot glass and...FIRE!

Ralph was seated next to me at the bar. He's a regular who's originally from Haiti but lives here now.

A shot of the candle-lit bar.

Here's Will and Chris who were chilling out near the bar and enjoying beers.

Johnny's taking care of business behind the bar.

And speaking of taking care of business, I had to make a bathroom stop. Check out the cool flyers on the walls in here!

Sometimes that shit works both ways. Goodnight, everybody!

Once again I found my old review at newyork.citysearch.com and once again those asswads have removed my byline. I’m reduced to a “Contributer at CitySearch." Oh well, they paid me the princley sum of 25 bucks to write the fucking thing, I guess they can do whatever they want to with it. Here’s the review (with my byline restored!) below which still stands pretty true today, except CBGB’s is gone now. But you can still buy a T-shirt.


City Search New York
Top rated (4 stars)
By Marty Wombacher

The Scene
The compact Ding Dong Lounge is dark inside, with brick and blood-red walls surrounding a plain-and-simple atmosphere befitting a true punk rock bar. The walls are decorated with posters of vintage flyers advertising punk gigs from days gone by. While a few college kids have started checking out the bar, the clientele tends to be an even mix of thirsty men and women between 25 to 40.

The Draw
Punk rock from the Stooges to Turbo Negro blasts on the sound system; a DJ (Gidget knows one of them, hi Linda!) mans the turntables almost every night, with live music on a limited schedule. Beer goes for $4 or less, and shots for between $4 and $5. And most surprisingly of all, the bathroom is clean. Take that, CBGB.


And there's a sister Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne, Australia! The first one of my Aussie mates that sends in a picture of that Ding Dong Lounge gets a free 365 Down Under T-Shirt, designed by "Boris."

Ding Dong Lounge
929 Columbus Ave. (Near106th St.)

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Reader Comments (27)

That sucks about the Mars Bar, one of your classic posts. Oh well, at least the Ding Dong Lounge looks like it's going to survive. This is a great bar, love the darkness and the punk rock vibe in here.

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

One of the darkest bars, right? So for me its a great one. The place oozes atmosphere and how about the plasmatics poster,,,,,Wendy O Williams RIP.

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Dark as a dungeon at the Ding Dong...and Adrianna is absolutely beautiful!

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Al: I knew you'd like this one! TO WENDY O. WILLIAMS!

December 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

HA! I love it!!!!
My brother had a Wendy O Williams poster on his bathroom door..
I remember my mom and i visiting him and my mom saying "hey Glenn i am not sure I like your bathroom decor"
it was the one with the electrical tape on the nipples
I am sooo excited you went to the Ding Dong Marty!!!!
Linda is freaking hot!!!!

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gidget: I'll make a return stop and hopefully Linda will be there next time, I'm dying to see her now!

December 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Love the darkness of this bar and those round tables with FIRE! All the posters are cool too. Hey, Adrianna looks real familiar. Is she from Ohio?

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: I don't know if she's from Ohio, maybe she'll chime in here in the comments, I need to find out the name of her husband's band.

December 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Well I'm glad you didn't get blown up! Everything looks better in darkness and candlelight glow. Can't wait to see if one of the Aussie's steps up with a pic!

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

hey so Linda posted on the FB page...
so for those not on the FB page:)
"Linda Rizzo Hey it's the Linda that Gidget knows ;-) Come back this Friday night 12/10 cause I am DJ'ing there!!

And BTW - the name of the punk band Bill was in...The Mobile Homos"

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@kari: I have a feeling Clacky's up to the task!

@Gidget: How cool! I have to find a bar close by, do that one and then stop by and see Linda! Thanks for the update, I can't see the facebook page here at work. You rule, Gidget!

December 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@365 and Kari: I'm not sure if I'll be scooping up that free Down Under T shirt. As I said to Marty via email, I'd have to catch a plane because Melbourne is in another state or do something like a 15 hour road trip. But If by chance I end up in the AWESOME city of Melbourne anytime before the crawl is over, then the Shirt is MINE!!
I can't remember if my old band played there or not. There are so many cool bars in Melbourne.

Sad, sad news about the Mars Bar. Another place that I couldn't find while I was in town and will for ever regret not drinking there.

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

@Clacky: I thought you were closer, shows you what a geography ace I am! It really sucks about the Mars Bar, that was the most unique and crazy bar in Manhattan. They owner says that they're going to let him rebuild a bigger bar, but there's no way you can duplicate the Mars Bar. I'll have to stop in for another drink before the bar crawl is over.

December 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

boo on the mars bar closing, yay for ding dong lounge! looks like one of the best dark bars so far!

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

man where to start...who the fuck knows...i shot the clown did not shoot no deputy...
al....missed (missed last nite) you are batting a thou..

ding dong...thought maybe jaws would break into a text karoline "of the witch is dead"...

another ex crack den the crawl has visited...

off topic...what else is new?....clacky or frizy is/or is it true?...Oct 2001: Worlds greatest band, Australia's Cosmic Psychos, play Ding Dong as only stop on North American tour.

...leave it there...KOC


oh yeah....were the cuckoo clocks still above the bar?

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@ragin'rr: Shit, I forgot to look for them, but I'm going back, so you will find out!

December 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

noone on the crawl mentioned that 30 years ago...well now yesterday...john lennon was gunned down...what a loss...KOC


damn forgot to lament the news about mars bar...guess that "rotgut" 45 is also rotting my mind

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@Raginrr: Fuck Man!!! I haven't heard the Cosmic Psychos in years!!!
Are they still around?!

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

clacky i really don' know...just was wondering if the statement in ding dong history was true...KOC


December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginnr

@raginrr: I didn't put anything up because of Lennon's own quote of: "What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean," Lennon says. "I'm not interested in being a dead fucking hero...so forget 'em, forget 'em." I think John Lennon would look at a place like Strawberry Fields in Central Park and throw up.

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Imagine all the people not blocking my way into the park.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: Ha ha ha! How true! And there's always some asshole in there with an acoustic guitar murdering a John Lennon song. Elvis Costello had a good line when he sang, "Imagine a millionaire singing, 'imagine no possessions."' Ha ha ha!

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Oh, Im sorry to hear about the ending of Mars Bar. And hello? The Circle Jerks opening for Run D.M.C. That had to be a great show! Um YES. The Ding Dong bar looks like the darkest bar on the whole crawl!

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

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