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« March 27th, 2010—Bar 76 | Main | March 25th, 2010—Bar 74 »

March 26th, 2010—Bar 75

Day 75—Thursday, March 25th

First off thanks to Joe Sixpack and the Philadelphia Daily News for writing about the 365 site.
Joe writes a weekly column about bars and booze and graciously interviewed me for this week’s edition in The Philadephia Daily News. You can read it here: Joe Sixpack. And you can visit Joe's website here: Joe Sixpack Website.

And speaking of publicity, a couple weeks ago, Guest of a Guest writer, Billy Gray put up a nice post about the 365 website, you can read it here, if you haven’t seen it, Billy’s 365 Post. (**Update: Billy just posted this today on Guest of a Guest: A Guy Walks Into His 75th Bar. Great post, Billy, thanks again!) sent Billy an email and told him it would be fun to meet some night on the 365 crawl and tonight’s the night, to quote Rod the Mod (boy that reference dates me!) Anyway, I asked Billy to pick the bar and he decided on the legendary watering hole, Lucy’s in the East Village. Since he picked the joint, then that makes me a guest of a guest of a guest...right? Fuck it, let’s not scramble our brains here, let’s roll. Oh, and Billy agreed to be this site’s first guest reviewer, his review of Lucy’s follows the pictures. Thanks, Billy, it gives me a break this morning and allows me time to go out and get some much needed Advil.

Lucy's bar, looks like my kind of place.

And one step inside of the joint I feel right at home.

And these two made feel welcome from the second I stepped in. From left: Kasia and the legendary owner, Lucy. Lucy's a Polish-born barkeep that started working in the bar in the '70's and ended up owning it. A sweet woman who pours a mean drink, you gotta love her!

There's a river of booze to be had at Lucy's.

Billy Gray joined me for drinks this evening and the evening flew by. He also agreed to write the review and did a great job, check it out at the end of the post.

He also shot this picture of myself and Lucy behind the bar. Thanks, Billy!

Sprout was seated next to us and later put some decent tunes on the jukebox, which is loaded with good songs.

It was a full house and a good time was being had by all.

Amanda and Oscar were holding down the end of the bar and Oscar had a bar selection for me, which I'll follow up on in an upcoming post.

There's charming and fun kitsch and kaboodle scattered helter skelter around the bar.

Here's Roi getting ready to make a shot. I hope my flash didn't throw him off his game.

Adam and Danielle were waiting in the wings for their turn. Good luck with the game!


Lucy in action at the bar. She's a star here and a legendary fixture on the New York dive bar scene.

Corina and Katie were enjoying beer and good times at the bar.

A list of some of the many beers available at Lucy's.

It's after 1:00 in the morning and Lucy takes a well deserved break at the front table. Billy and I decide it's time to leave and a good time was had by all. Mucho thanks to Lucy, Joe Sixpack and to Billy for joining the crawl and doing yeoman's duy by writing the review below! Goodnight everybody!


By Billy Gray

Lucy’s is about as bare bones a bar as you can find in shiny new New York. The neighborhood fixture is on a stretch of Avenue A just  a hypodermic needle’s throw away from Tompkins Square Park’s famed gutter punk row and maintains some old school East Village grit (and its Eastern European immigrant roots) while being friendly enough to welcome youngsters who couldn’t even tell you what a squeegee man is.

Marty and I nabbed two stools at the end of the bar.
On a Thursday night, the shallow end dive was crowded, but not too crowded. Lucy herself worked the room like she has for more than 30 years. No spring chicken, Lucy, along with her beloved bouffant, is on her feet doling out no-frills drinks (if you’re an Appletini fan, look elsewhere) to a no-frills crowd every night. Except for when she heads back to her native Poland for a few weeks every year. We moved on from Yuengling to Lucy’s delicious specialty: bison vodka and apple juice.  It’s a drink that the fancy pants “mixologists” down the street at Death & Co. might sneeze at, but coming from a kind-hearted septuagenarian it’s pretty damn impressive.

Lucy’s daughter and granddaughter often join her behind the bar. Last night, Marty also had the honor as Lucy happily posed for a picture. Eternally hip, she couldn’t wait to check out the digital camera thumbnail preview. Lucy approved. For a while Marty and I were sandwiched between a couple of NYU juniors from the heartland who shared endearingly wide-eyed stories about their arrival in The Big City and a grungy veteran of East Village watering holes who might have served as a cautionary tale to the undergrads. But he couldn’t have been nicer, and even asked Marty for his business card. He admitted he was unlikely to remember their interaction.

But Marty and I won’t forget Lucy or her place. Lucy is the kind of barkeep who’ll leave the place unattended and run to the bodega next door when a customer requests a mixer she’s out of. And the regulars—a mix of homesick Slavs, NYU newcomers and, downtown Bukowski types, all of whom know Lucy by name—love her for it.

Billy Gray is a journalist who writes daily posts for Guest of a Guest. In addition he does freelance writing and has his own blog devoted to movies here: He Buzzes Like A Fridge. Great job Billy and I look forward to hoisting more drinks with you along the crawl. Cheers!

135 Avenue A (Near E. 9th St.)

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Reader Comments (11)

"Anythang dat look dat fine jes' gots to be called LUCILLE!"...from the movie 'Cool Hand Luke'. What a great old bar, Marty!

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Lucy's looks like the real deal! Great spot and good post today. Nice review by Mr. Gray too. Congratulatons on 75 bars under your belt!

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Great review!
Put me on the "Guest of a Guest List!"

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Jason would steal those orange flash light ! ;)

and kick the pinball too !!

PINBALLLLLLLLLLLL!!! Can we go there when I come to town? I've just moved Lucy's to the top of my queue.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

I found your site via Joe Sixpack. What a great idea, I love it and am getting thirsty reading it! Keep up the good work, I'll spread the word!

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobbie M.

PINBALLLLLLL!!! i'm with Biff...how cools Lucy having PINBALL! count me in!...but i have to be a ANZAC patriot & visit the "Australian" oh yeh & that other Kiwi pub that had Speights first of all, wot was the name of that one Marty?...if you are wondering ANZAC dates back to WW1 when us aussies teamed up with the kiwis & took on the turks at a littl' place called Gallipoli thanks to still being under Pommy rule...& we got our arses kicked....i'll raise my glass to ANY Anzac currently serving around the world, good onya's fellas!...& on a lighter note, to you too Marty, our littl' ally to the North & in the trenches every night for us beer lovers!!! good onya mate!!!

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

sorry, ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps.....& i will get to Lucys & hopefully & have a beer with you Biff, & maybe, just maybe (which i seriously doubt) give you a lesson in PINBALL!!! haha!

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

good job Joe Sixpack, great read!....& Marty dont even let me walk past King Cole Bar! i'll throw a Bud thru the window of the joint!! actually, naa, that would just be a waste of a good beer....$10 bucks a Bud, thats just out & out RUDE!

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

I wouldn't kick the pinball machine , I would rock that shit !!!

TO: Billy Gray
What a great review !!

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

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