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« Wednesday, Sept. 15th, 2010—Bar 248 | Main | Monday, September 13, 2010—Bar 246 »

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010—Bar 247

Day 242—Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

The PayPal donation bell has rung again and it’s a donation from Ryan Borho who joined me on the bar crawl about a month ago, check it out here: Bar 225 with Ryan. Well, Ryan sent in a generous 30 dollar donation and said he had a good time at McAleer’s and wished me good luck with the remaining bars. Thanks so much Ryan and I hope you can join me again on the crawl.

Okay, the last couple nights we’ve been to a wine bar, an off Broadway play and a lobster bar, time to get back to the basics and hit a good old-fashioned dive bar.
365 commentator, Al Rizo wrote to me today and suggested Sophie’s bar in the East Village and like all of his suggestions, it’s golden. Sopphie’s is a classic neighborhood dive that’s been on this Lower East Side block since the mid-80’s. The bar is named after the original owner, Sophie Polny, a tough as nails Ukrainian woman. You can read about the bar’s history in this posting on Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York blog: Sophie’s on JVNY.

Here we are at Sophie's bar. There's no sign outside, but the neon in the windows tells me we're here.

Nice and dark inside, looks perfect.

And before I sit down, the lovely and friendly bartender Ama serves me up a pint of Yuengling.

And just as it's served Jason and Ama's husband David join the party. From left: Jason, Ama and David.

Here's a photo of actor Jeff Bridges playing guitar in the window of Sophie's.

And here's a vintage shot of the bar before Sophie took over the place.

Here's the beer selection and as you can see, you won't go broke buying a round in here.

A full shot of the bar in all its lit-up glory.

Here's Benno enjoying a beer at the bar. Benno says he's been coming here 365 days in a row with a zero added at the end. Translation: He's a regular here at Sophie's.

There's a well-worn pool table in the back of the bar.

Ama announces that it's time for pickle back shots for the night. Yeah, I didn't know what a pickle back shot was either.

You start out with Tito's Handmade Vodka, of course.

And then Ama pours pickle juice into smaller shot glasses and the bigger ones contain the vodka.

Then you drink the shot and follow it up with the pickle juice and it takes all the sting away from the shot. Pickle shots, a first on the bar crawl, cheers!

A shot of the bar from the other end.

There's tables opposite the bar and local artwork hangs on the walls.

Some of the art hanging on the wall at Sophie's.

Krystine and Eddie mugging it up at the end of the bar. They're great people and were very supportive of the 365 bar crawl idea.

And one more for the road. Cheers and goodnight, everybody!

Like it’s sister bar, Mona’s, you’ll find no sign outside telling you you’re at Sophie’s, but if you find the bar, you’ll find one of the true Lower East Side dive bars in all its glory. Sophie’s bar has been on the block since the mid ‘80’s and thankfully little has changed inside the well-worn tavern. The bar is in the front with bric-a-brac tables and chairs opposite. There’s a pool table in the back and a jukebox featuring such varied artists as: The New York Dolls, Duke Ellington, Nick Lowe, The Ramones and Bo Diddley.

There’s six beers on tap for under three bucks a mug. Bottled beers can be had for between four and five bucks with selections including: Corona, Red Stripe, Sierra Nevada and Heineken. There’s also a full bar with inexpensive mixed drinks.

Sophie’s is a cozy, friendly, low-lit oasis on the Lower East Side that reminds you of better days gone by. Turn off your Crackberry and belly up to the bar for good times.

507 E. 5th St. (Near Ave. A)


Bonus Photo
Want a baby, but don’t want the mess of having sloppy sex with someone and nine months of pregnancy to get one? No problem, Old Navy is selling them for five bucks a pop. It's a parade of cute! I got one and it was delicious. It tasted like chicken.

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Reader Comments (30)

Another great old school NYC bar with history, but Marty...pickle juice?!?!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

"I got yer pickle juice right here pal!"

Great night of Crawling Daddio!
You are finding some good haunts to go to regularly when the mission is completed.
This sounds like one of them.

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Man, if I had a buck for every evening I whil'd away at Sophie's back in the day...

Great choice.

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

Look's like a real good time. And Sophie's delivers,,,I like the pickle shots. My kind of bar, old, worn, dark,, great prices. Look at the picture behind Jason,,,,then go to sister bar Mona's, very similar picture behind clarinet player, for sure same artist. I notice the weirdest things,,,huh? Thank you Marty,,,now I got my dive bar fix for the next few days,,,,full steam ahead, to the dives!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

hey man, love the site
2 comments/questions
1. does your liver hurt?
2. will you go to a gay bar?

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternicholas

@Al: To the dives! Great suggestion!

@nicholas: 1. I'm taking Milk Thistle for the liver and so far it's not quivering! 2. I'll go to a gay bar, do you know of one that wouldn't mind me bringing the 365 bar crawl to its establishment?

September 14, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Nice low key, no frills place. I love pickle juice, wonder if I would like the shot.

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Oh, and I'll have to stop by Old Navy on my way home, $5 is a pretty damn good deal.

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

another great spot and i too like that pickle juice shot, i gotta try that! and the bonus photo...LMFAO!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

I will go to Old Navy first pick up my 5 buck baby & then go to sophie's & asked to grill it , & make it bloody as Hell , & while I am waiting get some of those pickle shots , sounds so Gooooooood .

What goes Hummmmmmmm , & then brrrrrrrrrrrrrum ?
Baby walking into a Fan .
OK not so funny , but gald I finally got a internet connection in France using an American Keyboard !!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang is in France



September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

OK...I've calmed down but you can understand why I'm scared....she's brining 300 of her most loyal fans along....

@365: Another great East Village stop. So they just use the brine from the pickle jar? Sounds interesting...Milk thistle hey? I could use a visit to my chemist. I take this stuff called Inner Health Plus to level out the toxicity. It works but it's a never ending battle....seriously though, she'll devour us all and throw our bones to her minions.

@Fitzy: She threatened to visit some Kwalas!! Looks like you'll be puting in some overtime down at the supermax....

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Jason: Glad you made it safely and you're back on the internet. I'm having a horrible night at work. One of the worst!

@Tim Clancy: Run and hide! I'm pretty sure they just use the brine and it sure takes the sting out of a shot. I learn something new every seven weeks like clockwork.

And where the hell is Fitzy? Has he run off with Oprah?

September 14, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Well, seeing Oprah is coming to Australia to do one of her final shows, I suggest we try and get Marty to Australia for one of his final bars.

I'm prepared to donate $200 to get him here. Who's with me?

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brooks

@David Brooks: That's generous of you, mate! But I don't know with the flying time if I could pull it off. Plus I think I have my final bar picked out, but I appreciate your offer! One day I will be in the land down under and buy all of my Aussie mates a Cooper's or seven!

September 14, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@365 Beers - hahaha - No worries mate - I know that you can't just fly to the other side of the world on a whim.

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brooks

I saw that Oprah fat bitch shit and was very scared for my down under friends:(
we're scared of her here.. she used to live out by me..before I moved here.. and i heard awful things from her neighbors.
i hate pickles
i think i might actually hate babies too.
well no they taste good with a general tse kinda sauce.
oh yeah i am kinda grumpy...
just ignore me in the corner...

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

I'm late to the party today! Great dark bar, nice pick Al! And like everyone else, I love the pickleback shot and have to get a bottle of pickles and try it myself, I doubt my local keeps pickle juice on hand, they barely have ice cubes. And for all the Australian followers, start hoarding food now, Oprah will empty your food banks out in a single week. LOL! Good luck with that big, fat, know-it-all!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

P.S. Loved the bonus photo and caption!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

@marty & clacky...i'm here, & yeah heard all bout the Oprah shit.....& naa marty i'd have to be pretty pissed off with me penis to run off with the Harpo girl....

i hate to say it, i'm no Oprah fan, but it would be fucking awesome if she visited the hospital.....might make Oakshott (our Member of Parliment) pull his finger out & provide some Federal funding for the poor littl' buggers.....i dont think Oprah would have any problems conveying the message of how numbers are dwindling due to over development & that we dont receive jack shit funding from local, state or federal govts....to the govts, FUCK YOU!!!...( & Oprah, bring ya cheque book....)

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

"i'd have to be pretty pissed off with me penis to run off with the Harpo girl...."

@fitzy: Ha ha ha! Good to see you back, mate! It would be great if she could get some dough for the hospital, but watch out, she just might bring a grill and cook the whole joint up!

September 14, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@365: Clancy? I'll let you off this time Ha ha ha...You'd never make it here in time and, I'd have to check the rule book, the aeroplane isn't a bar...
Sorry everyone for creating wide spread panic about Oprah. I love that episode of South park when her arse and vagina rob a bank....you can't write quality comedy like that!

@Brooksy: I'd sure as hell donate but making donations to myself to go there myself...

@Fitzy:Funny bastard. Everyone in the audience gets a free Koala!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Tim CLACK: Jeesus Christ, it was a bad night at work, sorry, mate!

September 15, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

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