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« Wednesday, February 10th, 2010—Bar 31 | Main | Monday, February 8th, 2010—Bar 29 »

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010—Bar 30

Day 30—Monday, February 8th, 2010

Welcome To The Johnsons

Okay, last night’s anti Superbowl night was fun, but it was a little pricey.
Don’t get me wrong, it was worth every penny, but tonight I need to balance things out with a bar that has cheap drinks. So I Googled cheap drinks and one click led to another and soon I found a bar in the East Village that features two buck cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon all night long. I’m originally from Peoria, Illinois, where Pabst used to be brewed. In fact a friend of mine used to work there and whenever I’m drinking a can of Pabst I think about the stories he used to tell about pissing in the vats of beer while he worked there. It helps me cut down on my drinking.

Anyway, according to reviews,Welcome To The Johnsons is a dive bar decked out to look like a circa 1970’s rec-room. In fact some people call it “That 70’s Bar.” I just pray that Ashton Kutcher isn’t there. Come on, let’s go see if we’re welcomed at the Johnsons.

From the outside I thought it might be closed due to the lack of outside lighting.

But the door was open and the bar was full.

I found a seat at the bar and Jack the bartender served me up a two buck can of Pabst.

Here's my patented pointing at the cheap can of Pabst pose.

The retro furniture is covered in plasic in case you have too many Pabst's and an "accident" occurs.

Sitting next to me at the bar was Susie, who was enjoying a jello shot. Susie is origanlly from Cleveland, Ohio where her mom has a bar called. "Dolly's Place." Maybe we'll make it there on the 365 bar crawl.

Here's the vintage fridge that houses the cold cans of Pabst and other beers at Welcome to the Johnsons.

Holding up the far end of the bar is Pete and Marcel. Pete flashes the 365 card!

A well-worn pool table sits at the back of the bar.

Jack mans the cash register at the bar on this busy Monday night.

This guy was hovering over the Pac Man game and told me he goes by the name of Dr. Gonzo. Could this be the second coming of Hunter S. Thompson?

Here's the good doctor with his nurse Katrina flashing some sort of nimble-fingered gangland sign.

Credits roll on a TV from a keg party circa 1976.

This fellow didn't want his name published, but he was a master pool player.

Whoops, I fucked up this shot. I should learn to take the photos first and then start drinking.

Okay, take two, that's better. From left it's, James, Susie and Lilly!

It's Christmas every night of the year at Welcome to the Johnsons. Could that be Mr. Johnson on the left?

The jukebox at Welcome to the Johnsons is an eclectic treat of punk and rock and roll tunes.

There's no mirror on the wall in the bathroom for my obligatory bathroom shot, but there's plenty of graffiti. Goodnight everybody!


If you’re on the lookout for cheap drinks and a comfortable divey atmosphere, then you should definitely welcome yourself to the Johnson’s. The rec-room bar is styled in early ‘70’s wreckless alcholism and is a great atmosphere to throw back cheap booze in. The kitsch and kaboodle inside this unending ‘70’s rec-room includes Christmas lights, faded family photos on the walls, genuine fake paneling, plastic covered chairs, a pool table, a vintage refrigerator cooling cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a flickering TV set from decades past.

The atmosphere in the bar is reminiscent of drunken high school parties, seven nights a week. There’s a six hour happy hour featuring $1.50 cans of Pabst, two buck well drinks and three dollar Budweisers. The jukebox is an eclectic delight featuring tunes from The Smiths, Blondie, Dead Kennedys, Cheap Trick, Rolling Stones and N.W.A. And the bar promises that if you come in and ask for a white wine spritzer or a Jack Johnson song you will get a Pabst poured on your head. Welcome to the Johnsons!

Welcome to the Johnsons
123 Rivington St. (Between Essex & Norfolk)

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Reader Comments (11)

I am FINALLY home!! Now THATS my kind of bar. In these tough times, finding a bar with 1.50 beers and 2.00 well drinks is hard. You're doing us all a great service, Marty. I will visit Johnson's very soon, thanks to you. Did it have a dartboard? That would be the icing on the cake. (That and a resident coke dealer.. for 1.50 a beer I am going to need a few "bumps" to keep my head on straight.)

I agree with BS fan, home sweet home! And I'd love to buy Susie her next jello shot!

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Bars here in lovely laporte Indiana look like that arent arent considered retro LOL...
This looks to be a fun place.. but I will pass on the pabst:) 15 years in seattle wont let the beer snob out of me.

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

I've serviced a great many bars similar to welcome to the Johnsons in my years driving a hack. No shots of the toilet itself this time, I see and I understand completely. Some of us may have just eaten. Classic neighborhood bar though, great place to enjoy an off color joke or two, some pinball, pool and a beer!

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

That looks like every house party I went to between the years of 1985 and 1993! I'll go in for a beer or two, but I fear that if I tried to keep up with those kids, my liver would explode. And if it happens in the bathroom, no one will notice for weeks!

If you head to Dolly's Place, let me know and I'll meet you there. GO BROWNS!!

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

That is what I love most about these amazing accounts of your visits to bars around town the variety and juxtaposition between one bar and the other. That was certainly the case last night as compared to the Sunday night bar.

Very cool!!

Will be sending money soon!

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

My favorite kind of place.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

This looks more like home! Serving a Milwaukee beer too! 2 bucks for a can of PBR in New York City is not a bad price at all! Cheers!

Looks very cool. I like kitsch and cheap booze. I'm easy that way. Wait, that didn't sound right.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I LOVE this bar! Love Love LOVE IT!

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

Pretty accurate assessment there. Great bar.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThat Dude

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