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« Monday, August 30, 2010—Bar 232 | Main | Saturday, August 28th, 2010—Bar 230 »

Sunday, August 29th, 2010—Bar 231

Day 231—Saturday, August 28th, 2010
Essex and Laugh Lounge (Originally headed for Antibes Bistro)

Today my downstairs neighbor Deloy is joining me on the bar crawl and then we’re meeting other tenants from our building at a comedy club to watch our upstairs neighbor in the building, Austin Poplin do a standup comedy set at Laugh Lounge on Essex Street in the Lower East Side. But first Deloy and I are going to Antibes Bistro for an early dinner and a few pre-show drinks. I don’t see a cheeseburger on their dinner menu, so we’ll have a little switch foodwise, I’m going to Queens tomorrow and do the cheeseburger thing there. Okay, let’s go get Deloy downstairs and get going. (P.S. Below this post, check out a mini Australian bar crawl, courtesy 365 commentator, Tim Clack. Tim is a chef at the Maryville Tavern and he sent me some photos of the tavern. He also sent me a fantastic book of Australian breweries, beers and pubs called, “Beer Lovers Guide To Australia.” Thanks so much, Tim! The coasters are cool, too. The beers are on me when you get here, mate!)

Okay, here's Deloy's door, let's see if she's ready.

And here she is, we're ready to roll!

Thanks to a swift taxi, we're at Antibes in minutes.

Hmm...tables on chairs aren't a good sign. It turns out they're not opening till 7pm. Which is weird because Deloy made a reservation for 4pm. They should check with Open Table and get on the same page. So it's time to improvise. 

Luckily, the Essex bar and restaurant was just a couple blocks away and right down the street from the Laugh Lounge.

It's a nice bar, but a little too bright for my tastes, I'm not a fan of the sunshine.

Here's Deloy and I at the bar. Aaahhh, I'm covered in sunlight. I'm melting!

Elizabeth, the lovely bartender serves me up a screwdriver which comes along with the brunch.

Here's a view of the long wooden bar from the other end.

There's an upstairs area available for dining.

And there's tables and booths opposite the bar.

And here's the dining area in the back.

And speaking of dining, when I get back to the bar, the food is served and it looks delicious!

Here's Deloy enjoying her meal while being bathed in sunshine.

And here I am inhaling the cheeseburger. Man, it's really bright in there, would it kill them to invest in some blinds for the windows?

Here's Sarah, the friendly nightshift bartender, serving me a beer for dessert. Nightshift? That means the sun is going down soon, hooray!)

As we prepared to leave, we noticed tennis balls on the wall. Why are they there? Why not?

And as the sun sets, we make our way to the Laugh Lounge.

Here's the upstairs lounge area of the club.

Classic comedy album covers line the walls. I had that Steve Marin album!

Comedian and actress Pat Ceasar was on the bill. Check out her website here: Pat Ceasar Website.

And here's our group, from left: Deloy, Sheryl, Eric, Ben and Mark. For those of you keeping score, Deloy, Sheryl, Eric and Ben all work together, Ben is my upstairs neighbors and Sheryl and Mark live on the top floor of the building.

And here's the guy we came to see, Ben's roommate, Austin.

The stage is set.

Ladies and gentlemen, the comedic stylings of Austin Poplin!

Austin killed onstage and got lots of laughs.

After the succesful set, it was time to say..."Goodnight, everybody!"

(I’m running late today and I have to go to Queens for the bar crawl today—you can read all about that tomorrow, so I’m going to cheat and instead of reviewing Essex, I’m going to post this review that was in New York Magazine’s website.)

Indulge your inner lush at this lofty Lower East Side restaurant whose all-weekend brunch special includes three drinks: mimosas, screwdrivers, or horseradish-heavy Bloody Marys. The lively atmosphere and intriguing Jewish-Latin fare can mean long waits, so make reservations. And don't be afraid to take matters into your own hands if the wait staff loses its collective train of thought; a recent Sunday afternoon found one group of hipsters heading to the bar for their refills; the bartender was more than happy to oblige.

Brunch—Sat–Sun, 11am-4pm; cash only.

120 Essex St. (@Rivington St.)

(And here’s New York magazine’s review of the Laugh Lounge.)

Marquee lights give this LES comedy club a glitz it's been lacking since vaudeville died. But owners Delilah Ramos (a former Gotham booker) and Sandy Kaul (a Wall Street suit) aren't simply reviving the neighborhood's long-forgotten past. They've added a newfangled twist: a red lounge where clubby, low-to-the-ground furniture lets patrons make out before the actual show. Downstairs, the theater isn't quite so glamorous since exposed plumbing is more basement than boudoir. As to the entertainment, the stand up comics are at that stage where they've appeared on late night talk shows but haven't had their major breakthroughs. When a host screams out "Everything is going to be taken to the next f**kin' level!" you wonder if he's fantasizing about his own career or introducing the next act. After the show, the lounge turns into a nightclub and the performers assume a rock-star status as sweet as the syrupy drink menu. — Shira Levine
Laugh Lounge
151 Essex St. (Near Stanton St.)

Bonus Photos!
And now as promised, Tim Clack’s bar crawl of the Maryville Tavern, where he’s the esteemed chef. Take it away, Tim and thanks again for the fantastic book, "Beer Lovers Guide To Australia."

The Maryville Tavern.

The front bar at the Mary. It's like having a time machine that permanently stuck in 1962. Usually full of old-timers having a bet on the horses on a Saturday but generally it's a quiet little hide away. The locals are mostly friendly but don't take too kindly to outsiders coming in and winning the raffles.

Some by product of the bar. An ice cold Schooner of VB. Not my personal fave but they don't have Carlton Draught on tap....only reason I took a photo was to make it last longer.

This friendly chap is Steve Price. He's a third generation truck driver. When he's not sinking piss and eating potato wedges he's usually driving a truck.

The Cheeseburger!

The Cajun Beef salad (nice one!)

The Surf and Turf Sirloin (I think I cooked this one Medium.)

The recipients of the Surf and Turf. This is George and Mark. These blokes were up from Sydney for the day and George was appropriately dressed for this photo session!

Another legend of the newcastle food scene: The Chicken Caesar salad.

My Lunch. An open steak burger.

Looks, delicious Tim, mate! Great job and thanks for sharing the photos and giving us a bar crawl down under! Cheers!

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Reader Comments (26)

"Man, it's really bright in there, would it kill them to invest in some blinds for the windows?" LOL!!

The comedy club looks like fun and your dinner looked delicious!

Cheers to you Marty and Deloy, Sheryl, Eric, Ben, Mark, and Austin!!

Glad to hear that Austin was great that night.

A big "THANK YOU" toTim Clack for including his bar crawl of the Maryville Tavern. I love betting on horses and am quite an accomplished handicapper. You have to love a bar where you can enjoy a beer or three and bet on the ponies. Great job Tim on your Downunder Crawl Contribution!!

August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

That was a little bright out. I think we are so used to seeing dark photos on here its kinda hard just to look at the bright ones. Your neighbors all seem like a good group of people, and there is a cutie in there too. And glad Austin had a good night.

@tim the food all looked amazing, especially the burger!

@fitzy, sorry to hear about Barry, hope he enjoys his last few months.

September 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@kari: I agree, you need sunglasses with this post!

September 1, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

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