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« Saturday, March 6th, 2010—Bar 55 | Main | Thursday, March 4th, 2010—Bar 53 »

Friday, March 5th, 2010—Bar 54

Day 54 (Where are you?)—Thursday, March 4th

Okay, my parents are coming it to town this afternoon and I can’t drag them on this bar crawl, so for the next four days I’ll be going to bars in the afternoon.
Today we’re going to try and make up for last night’s bad time and bad mood. I’m feeling much better and found a bar called Winnie’s in Chinatown. Supposedly it’s a legendary dive/karaoke bar and it looks kind of interesting. Normally I avoid the karaoke, but I have a feeling in the daytime it’ll be toned down.It’s a New York Magazine critics pick, so let’s see if it lives up to their review.

Here it is, Winnie's bar, deep in the heart of Chinatown.

Eng serves up the first beer of the day.

And here I am with the aforementioned beer. Cheers!

Pictures from days gone by hang above the bar.

I'm the only one in here, but it is daytime after all. The crowds build as night comes.

Here's Q the bartender, armed with a bottle of Snapple. Q's top three karaoke songs you should not put on when she is working are:

1. Sister Christian.

2. Bohemian Rhapsody.

3. Total Eclipse of the Heart.

The bar was originally called Happy Bar and here's the sign which hangs on the wall.

Red banquettes line the wall opposite the bar.

Here's Eng and Walter, a Winnie's regular.

Walter poses with Q.

Walter was kind enough to buy me a drink and here I am downing it. Huzzah!

I got to eat off the empoyees menu. A deep fried pork chop Eng cooked up for me. It was spicy and delicious!

Here's the bar's cat, guarding the karaoke stage. Her name is Mao Mao. Good kitty!

Some of the specialty drinks available at Winnie's. And don't forget to tip your bartender!

Winnie's has a festive, clubhouse atmosphere.

Here I am with another regualar, Jimmy.

Tony is Jimmy's son. He's a dancer and an artist. Check out his website here: Tony's Website.

And here's the whole gang! Thanks to Q, Eng and everybody at Winnie's for a delightful daytime adventure!


Okay, instead of a review, I’m going to just write up what a good time I had at Winnie’s and what a refreshing change it was from the pretentious atmosphere of last night.
I have to admit, I was kind of dreading to going to a bar in the daylight. I mean I’m a guy who’s worked night’s since 1985 and I rarely lurk about when the sun is shining. So I thought day one of the daytime bar crawl might be a bit of a drag. Luckily I started it at Winnie’s bar in Chinatown.

Okay, so it’s about 1:30 in the afternoon and usually I’d have posted the day’s bar crawl review and be back in bed, but today I had to be at a bar in the afternoon. I took a cab to Winnie’s, and walked in the door and no one appeared to be there. I shouted out, “Hello?” and that’s when an Asian man came running out and asked me what I wanted. I ordered a Budweiser, asked to take his picture and he was more than hospitable, he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and told me his name was Eng as I shook his hand. And then the door opened up and he said, “Here’s who you should take a picture of!” And he was right. It was Q the bartender who was super-cute, funny and had baskets of fun bartender tales to tell. She really made me feel like we were having a little party in this cozy, fun and clubhouse-like dive bar. And Then Eng brought out deep-fried pork chops that were delicious, I got to eat off the employees menu for free. And then Walter came in and then Jimmy and then Tony and goddamn it all I had a freaking blast, all before five in the afternoon!

So, the bottom line is this, I don’t believe in bottom lines so there isn’t going to be one here. But if you want to have fun with genuine characters in a bar that’s loaded with character make your next stop Winnie’s. It’s the most fun I’ve had on the bar crawl so far! Cheers and beers to the gang at Winnie’s for making me feel so welcome, it was a true blast!

104 Bayard St. (between Baxter and Mullberry St.)

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Reader Comments (10)

Yay, Winnie's! Looks like a great bar, Marty and I'm glad you had so much fun that you forgot all about that horrible place you went the night before. Can't wait to visit so I can try a Purple Mofo and/or a Farmboy. Hey! They should make up shirts: I went all the way to New York City and all I got was this Farmboy! Anyhoo, nice digs and hi, little kitty Mao Mao!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Best bar yet! Looks like you had a great daytime experience with a group of fun people! Loved it!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

"Love on a Farmboy's Wages" Biff.

Reminds me of a little joint I'd spend way too much time in when I'd
drop off my laundry to have done and I'd sit and drink all day.
SOMETIMES I'd even make it back to pick up my clothes before they closed.
It became a Saturday ritual of sorts.
Those were the "daze" for me.

Always seems you rebound nicely after a bad experience.
Great review of a cool little place.
Count me in when I visit.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Winnie's looks so comfortable, I'd even "Pooh" there!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Blonde

Oh I love this place...and not just they have a cat called mao mao.
I smiled the whole time reading this!

And funny mr "Boris" I have that song cued to play today on my show.

Being from San Fran I miss asian bars. They are the best...

I am really happy you had a good time Marty after the horrible bar the day before.

Bars should be like this and make you want to spend all day there.. Please Marty when this all over go back and visit them:)

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Bar 54 (Where Are You)? HA HA HA! You still gots it, Marty! You still gots it!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

I thought Q was an old crusty white guy from James Bond movies who made weird shit waaaay before MacGuyver was on TV . Man, was I wrong!! Helllooooooooooooo Q!!!!!!!!

Hai Marty! It's Q!! We had a blast with you there that day, come back to Winnie's anytime and we shall knock back some REAL Winnie's specialties - Henny shots and water back! LOL! Unti then, have fun with your bar adventures :D

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterQ

Hey Q! Great to hear from you! That was the best bar so far, thanks so much to you, Eng, Walter, Jimmy and Tony for making it so much fun! My favorite bar so far on the bar crawl! I will try to get back there again and maybe this will be the 365th bar, we'll see. Great to hear from you!

March 7, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

YEAH !! I'm a Karaoke fan !! I want to go there when I'm back !!!!! This place and people look so friendly! and if there is Karaoke, that's a little paradise to me !!!

With the top 3 Q's songs, for sure she has a very great voice!! they are difficult songs!! I would be happy to hear Total eclipse of the heart,I like this song.
The good point is that I can't put on this 3 songs! ;) I don't get the voice and I never really sing in English. I sing French, italian or spanich but I doubt to find too much song in french? I don't know!
Here my 3 top songs ;)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z7npqBBa4o
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mdyFdgUNfI
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usmn6LsFydU

But there is only one band I can sing in English: Lynyrd Skynyrd !! normal for a zioum zioum fan ;)

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