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« Saturday, July 3rd, 2010—Bar 174 | Main | Thursday, July 1st, 2010—Bar 172 »

Friday, July 2nd, 2010—Bar 173

Day 173—Thursday, July 1st, 2010
The Local Cafe (Originally headed for The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge)

Tonight I wanted to go to a tiki bar. Originally I was thinking about this place, Painkiller, but then I was a little concerned I might not be able to sit at the bar, because it’s small, new and it’s Thursday, a popular night out. It’s not a rule that I have to sit at the bar, but I’ve found I have a better experience if I do. So I’m still going to go here, but I’ll go at the beginning of the week, when it’s a little slower. But while Googling around I think I found a real gem. Get the name of this joint: The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge. I love that name and it looks like it’s trying to be a tiki bar, but is really just a dive bar with some aquatic knick-knacks thrown in for good measure. From the reviews I’ve read, it’s a bar that resembles a ‘70’s era, Taxi Driver period. Who could ask for anything more? You talkin’ to me?

And we're off, down 30th Streeet...

And up 8th Avenue.

And here it is in all its glory: The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge. Sadly the owners not only told me I couldn’t take pictures, I got the feeling that my legs would get broken if I stayed there much longer after asking if I could do my 365 thing in there. This is sad for me, because this is a classic NYC bar. It’s a Spanish themed place with tiki touches and the bartenders are Spanish women with short shorts, skimpy tops and little mastery of the English language. Even though I was given my walking papers (I still plan on trynig this place again, though) I suggest you stop by for a beer. It’s one unique bar and a slice of old school New York I hope that never goes away. Okay, on with the crawl.

Okay, time for a lonely walk back down 8th Avenue.

I saw this bar on my way to the Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge (God, I love typing that name!) and put it in my back pocket in case the Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge (LOVE typing that name!) didn't work out. It didn't and here we are.

They just called last call at the downstairs bar, but i'm told that there's a rooftop bar that stays open later. So let's go, up on the roof!

Wow, a nice little rooftop oasis.

And a cute bartender at the helm. Vicki serves up an ice cold beer.

There's a good crowd here enjoying the nice weather and the view.

Tables line the rooftop patio perimeter for a drink and a view of the city.

Which is exactly what Erin and Amanda were doing.

This quartet were enjoying beers and happily posed for the 365 camera. From left: Fernando, Natalia, Liliana and Mark.

Meanwhile back at the bar...

I met Mark, Ollie and Andy who are soccer coaches in town from the U,K. Cheers, guys!

This waitress didn't want her name revealed, so we'll call her the Anonymous Waitress.

Jordan and Jeanette were seated next to me and wished me the best on the bar crawl. A really nice couple!

Goodnight, everybody!

The Local Cafe is a hidden gem near Penn Station. The downstairs bar is nice enough with a small bar and communal tables but the big surprise is the upstairs rooftop bar that is open during the spring and summer. It’s a horseshoe bar with a nice view of Penn Station and the surrounding streets and office buildings. The crowd is a mix of tourists and commuters and it’s a big after work draw for those in the know.

They have a full bar with a good selection of draft and bottled beer. They also offer up signature specialty cocktails such as: Dragon Punch which is Bacardi Dragon Berry, Barcardi Select Sour, Orange Juice, Grenadine and Passion Fruit Puree, Garden Breeze which consists of Grey Goose Orange, Pineapple and Cranberry and 3 Sheets which is a mixture of Hendricks Gin, St. Germain, Fresh Lime Juice and Club Soda. There’s food available too incuding: Eight varieties of burgers, hot dogs, boneless wings, calamari and a Local Pu Pu Platter with Red Hot Boneless Wings, Chile Salt Calamari, Ketchup Meatloaf Meatballs, Mini Grilled Cheese and Potato Pancakes.

Stop by and enjoy this bar with a view.

The Local Cafe
1 Penn Plaza (near Eighth Ave.)

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Reader Comments (21)

Cheers to the bar crawler who never says die! The Wakamba joint looks awesome and I hope down the road you try it again, but you bounced back in true 365 fashion! Great little rooftop joint!

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Love calamari! Nice bounce back, Marty!

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

you turned it around again! cute rooftop bar and bartender! the wakambar looks a little nasty! LOL!

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

Glad you noticed a second choice on your way. Seems like something you need to do each time, just in case. We have soccer coaches coming in next week from the UK to do a big soccer camp. Coincidence?

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@kari: It would be great if it was those guys!

July 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

and away we go..."Originally headed for" says two strike that three words...another classic 365 post...see mortherfucfer...KOC


p.s. when there is a vote off...if ever...for the 365 calender (great idea whoever) vicki and any one of the ladies in this post should be in the running...KIM should have the month of her choice 'cause she showed up w/365 stuff....as well as numerous others with or without 365 stuff.....damn forgot what i was goin' key...maybe later...KOC

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

yep i'd have a feed there, how where the food/drink prices Marty?

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

@rr: Don't worry about the old train of thought getting de-railed! It happens about every half-hour for me, too!

@fitzy: The prices were a little on the steep side, but that's typical because it was a rooftop bar with no cover. You have to kick in a little for the view, although I was content to stare at Vicki for most of the evening!

July 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

i hear ya Marty,we have a pub down town over looking the main st, $4 a schooner.....we have another pub 30m away but it overlooks the breakwall & mouth of the river, schooners are $5.50 for that view.....it is bloody nice spot, Kim & i had lunch there a few times,food was excellent....

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

The Wakamba is a great dive,,,featured on Bourdaines show but they need a reality check. Wakamba is not a gold mine and the people in the business need to get off their high horse. Im glad Marty moved on and hope they come to their senses and allow pictures to better their bottom line. The Local looked too sleek for me, too industrial. Great rebound Marty.

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAL

Im loving the roof top Bars you guys got in NYC....... another one to add to the very long list i already have to check out when i get there. Keep up the good work Marty!

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAussie Matchy

Wakamba Lounge sucks. Period. Don't go ! I've been there twice ... and it's overpriced, and sucks. You didn't miss anything. Go to Manitoba's ... it's right across the street from the Horseshoe Bar -- that would be about 3,875 times better than the sucky Wakamba Lounge :)

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Aussie Matchy: Let me know when you're coming and you can join me for a drink on the bar crawl!

@GENE: I've already been to Manitoba's, number 42, a great bar!

July 3, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Wakamba Lounge didn't let you take pictures because it used to be a Bar that you can get Crack , but you need to know whom is selling it or be beaten !! So there was a incident with a undercover cop in 2000 , which he tried to get Crack , but from the wrong guy , & then he insisted this was the right guy , so then a fight breaks out & undercover cop shot him dead , & pleading self defense , but the guy didn't have a weapon or Crack & was a security guard . This was big time news in my neighborhood , & paper , & with protesters in front of the Bar that week about the Fucked up Police .

So Marty is this why you where acting weird at work , need to find Crack ? , If so I can show you where in my neighborhood , I wouldn't try The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge , since if you do score it would be probably wonder bread bunched up in to a crumb to look like Crack .

Oh , The Local Cafe is a much better Bar , but they don't have Crack .

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Bummer that the Wakamba didn't work out. I love that place. But one of the things that's great about it is the freaky, kind of shady things that appear to be going on in there, and the general suspicion that everyone looks at you with when you walk in. It's one of our pre-MSG standbys, but you're a brave man toi be trying to snap pictures in there.

As someone already mentioned, it is also the bar where Patrick Dorismond was shot and killed. Not the NYPD or Rudy Giuliani's finest hour.

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

@Fat Al: I read when the shooting went down, Giuliani said that Dorsmond was no altar boy to try and ease things up. It was later reported that Dorismond was indeed an altar boy in his youth. Open mouth and insert foot, Rudy!

July 3, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

That Wakamba place looks great. I bet you they don't have a clean bathroom in there!!!

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheChief

Oh and I just read the wikipedia entry of the security guard from that bar. His name was Patrick Dorismond. Good old Rudy released his sealed juvenile deliquency records right after the shooting saying that an individuals right to privacy does not survive an individual's death.

And one more thing @FatAl: not only was the guy an altar boy but he went to the same Catholic School as Guiliani himself! The irony is pretty thick in here!

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheChief

@Marty: too bad you can't visit Manitoba's twice ... (at least on the record for 365) ... but that is one of the better places around. Wakamba blows monkey balls !!!

July 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Heh heh...you said pu pu platter.

July 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

"a nice little rooftop oasis" indeed!

What a great looking bar with friendly folks enjoying the spectacular views.

Nice job Marty!!

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

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