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« Friday, September 3rd, 2010—Bar 236 | Main | Today's Post will be running late/The Wee Wee Hours »

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010—Bar 235

Day 235—Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
BillyMark's West

Shit, I’m fucking still at work! and it’s almost 1:30 in the goddamn morning. So I need a place that’s open late and close by. And luckily, through suggestions from two people this week, I have the answer. Both Mark Smimmo, who you met Sunday on my outing to Queen’s Bohemia Beer Hall and Garden, and Fat Al who is one half of the fine blog, The Half Empty Glass both suggested that I check out BillyMark’s West. I checked it out and it’s only three blocks from where I work. So it’s time to clock out and get over to BillyMark’s West before I collapse from exhaustion.

Okay, it's 1:30 in the morning and here we are at 29th and Seventh. Two blocks away from BillyMarks.

And here we are. I"m ready for a drink!

There's more people in here than I thought would be here at this early hour. But there's plenty of seats at the long wooden bar.

BillyMark's is named after the two brothers that own the joint, Billy and Mark and here's half of the team: Billy. Billy's a friendly guy and treats you like a regular from the moment you order a drink.

Here's Randy and Candice who were seated next to me at the bar. Randy's a regular and told me what I realized when I walked in, that BillyMark's is "the real deal."

Here's a great shot of the Beatles behind the bar. Linda McCartney took this photo back when she was Linda Eastman.

More great vintage pictures behind the lit-up bar.

There's large wooden booths opposite the bar.

These lights illuminate the classic photos that adorn the walls. Check out Elvis.

Here's the beer selection, which also doubles as the obligatory barroom mirror shot.

Some of the regulars hanging out in the middle of the bar.

Billy at work behind the bar.

Lots of drinks have been consumed here tonight and here's proof.

A long shot of my beer and the bar.

There's a dartboard in a nook at the front of the bar.

The jukebox here is great and the varied artist's on it include: Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, The Sex Pistols, Queen, The Isley Brothers and New York's very own Dictators.

At the end of the evening Billy gave me a shot on the house. A great barkeep and bar indeed!

And at three in the morning, it's time to call it a night. Goodnight, everybody!

Rather than review BillyMark’s great watering hole, I thought I’d let one of the owners tell you about the history. Here’s something that Billy wrote about the bar that I found on their website.

“In summer of 1997, my brother Mark and I were sitting in his yard talking about our original BillyMarks Bar on College Point Boulevard by Shea Stadium in Queens. 
It was a good size bar -- 35 feet long -- pool table, arcade games, and a slamming juke box.  And the crowd!  What a mixture of people.  We thought about how it would be great to open a bar like the original one, but in Manhattan.  Just a regular place with great music, inexpensive drinks, a pool table and no theme -- a place where the crowd dictates the atmosphere.

Shortly after, we start checking out locations for this brainstorm, but nothing got us really excited. Then we come across this ad in the New York Times classifieds about a bar for sale.  So we go check this joint out, and let me tell you, what a nightmare.  Everything was off: the people; it was dirty; the corner of 29th and Ninth.  What?  Where?  Ninth Avenue?  Who goes there?  But the one thing it had -- that no other place had we looked at had -- was the exact same dimensions as the first BillyMarks.  It was like a time warp, as though someone airlifted the bar in Queens and laid it on 29th Street.

Now we're hooked, and started thinking that if we do this, clean up the joint, change the music, put up some posters and put in a pool table, this place would have the makings of a great bar.

Even with that inspiration, my brother and I never thought it would have become this!  Just an easy, great place to hang, with a bunch of fun bartenders who will talk about anything from ancient history to modern music and a crowd that can run from artist to postal worker to political journalist within the span of three bar stools.

So come to BillyMarks before the clubs or concerts at the Garden for a tune up, or hang with the regulars and pretty soon you'll have a new nickname and you'll be part of the crowd.”

Stop by BillyMark’s West, a true slice of old school New York saloonery.

BillyMark's West
332 Ninth Ave. (@ 29th St.)

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Reader Comments (19)

Which way you goin Billy? I think BillyMark is a great bar. Going in late and still happy you came in,,,that is a nice owner. Beatles picture circa Magical Mystery Tour,,,the walrus was Paul? and Marty dont forget about Gene Chandlers Duke of Earl,,,he should be blowin in the wind soon.

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Great post, Marty and it looks like it was just the right place after that late night at work. I had no idea about the bar's history, thanks for that. Cheers

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

I like this place even though they have a Jets decal out front (GO BROWNS!). Nice and simple, with a pool table and a dart board and unadorned, wooden booths. What a bar should be. And even though it's not vintage, I like the way that their jukebox at least LOOKS like a jukebox and isn't some little square metallic thingy hanging on the wall. I also like the fact that you can buy lotto tickets right next door. And there's even a mailbox out front, so after you win a million dollars, you can quit your job via letter and send it off right from the bar! BiIlyMark's thinks of EVERYTHING!

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Nice job in the wee wee hours! A nice old-school joint and Billy looks like a great guy.

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Another classic old school bar where before long, everybody knows your name. Even dog tired, worn out and overworked, you know how to pick them Marty. Are you psychic...or what? You have an amazing talent for this, my man!

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Reminds me of a place I used to go to that I can almost remember.
A great late night crawl find!
And Lotto nearby!
Do they watch HBO's "Hard Knocks" there this season?
It might be a fun watch while seated at the bar.
Onward and Crawlward!
Coming up on the Maic 265 soon.
Then we can count down from 100!
This has indeed taken on a life of it's own as well as the "regulars" we have here commenting.

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Fucking uneditable posts...
the MAGIC 265.

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@Jaws: Thanks, but I had help picking this bar from Mark Smimmo and Fat Al. Just like Ringo, I get by with a little help from my friends!

@"Boris:" I hear you, it's too cool that a group has assembled here in the comments section, sort of a private cocktail party unto itself. And I appreciate all of you for joining the party, makes it all the more fun!

September 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

I just wanted to add Marty, that I just couldn't do what you do all the time with such style and grace. I just don't have the energy and I'm not that good with people. Sooner or later, if I tried to do what you do so well, I'd piss somebody off, or somebody would piss me off and I'd wind up in a cell with various fractures and contusions and in all probability, a nightstick shoved up my ass all the way to my tonsils with charges pending. I am an excitable boy. Ten years of running a hack has given me a deathly fear of dealing with the public. Damn, you're good!

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Jaws: Ha ha ha! Thanks, Jaws! I'll queue up "Excitable Boy," later on tonight at the end of this post and dedicate it to you!

September 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Boris: Awesome T shirt design. I got my Down under shirt yesterday in the mail. It took a while (that's what she said!!) but it finally arrived (that's what she said!!). Expect a photo on Sunday...I think that will be your Monday.

@365 + Boris:The city that never sleeps. All the pubs are shut here by 11pm. TO Billy marks! Totally agree with the cyber cocktail party that just happened here. Based on the topics ranging from music, work rants and Kangaroo testicles it's got a very similar vibe to sitting down at the local pub with with characters ranging from Friendly, Weird and Marsupial (That's for Fitzy's mate Bazza. If he could comment he would have started the first 'A guy walks into 365 Bar Brawls)....speaking of bar brawls....

@Fitzy: Have you ever been to a Pub in Newcastle called the Iron Horse Hotel (in Cardiff)?
More affectionately known as "Fight Club", we did our AC/DC Bon Scott tribute show there one fateful night a few years back. One guy decided to punch on with another guy resulting in the PA falling on a girls head. I had to throw my bass and help her out mid song (Bad Boy Boogie - Ironic?). We finished up with TNT and the place just erupted into violent chaos with 200 rednecks full on JD. Even the women we're into it!! I had to get to the other end of the room to find Shan to see if she was alright. It was like I'd just pulled up on the beach at Galipolli getting through there. Turns out she was having a blast sitting in the smoking area watching the madness with my mates.

I never go to this pub...(I never go to Cardiff) No disrespect to Cardiffians (that could be a TV show -Keeping up with the Cardiffians?? Are you reading this Rupert? Call me. We'll do lunch. Your shout). But there was a tension in the room from the moment we hauled our gear in. This is the pub to go to when you've been barred from everywhere else.

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Tim Clack: Thanks again for buying the shirt! Can't wait to see the picture! The bars close at 11pm? Even on weekends? Here about half of the bars are open till 4am, the other half 1 or 2am. I think the way work looks I've got another late one tonight. And speaking of work, I better get back to it or I'll be here all night long (to quote AC/DC!)

September 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@clacky, naa mate never been there....been to fuck all pubs in Newcastle actually....& i hear you bout the go to pub when one has been barred from all the others....Fernhill Tavern here in Port's industrial area used to be that pub....my mate Shippy owned it a few years ago....Shippy was originally from Bylong which is out near my home town of Mudgee....he actually founded the Bylong Mouse races....went to them a coulple of years ago with him for the 20th anniversary of the event, Shippy was hailed a hero by everyone out there.....if you havent been, put it on the calender of events, its wild...plus we raised $140,000 odd for local charities, it is huge out there...

but back to the Fernhill, yeah there was no-way i could ever get barred from there....even after Shippy bought a little Goggo Mobile (dont asked me why he bought it, guess it was there it was small dunno???) & had it parked out the back of the pub....me & Reddog went out & jumped in it totally shitfaced ....then i proceeded to drive it in thru the front doors of the pub (the other boys did open the doors for me) parked it at the bar & ordered 2 schooners of New takeway off Shippy behind the bar!!!....the whole place was pissin' em selves laughin', even Shippy after the initial shock that the car fitted thru the doors....

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

@clacky, another pub of good note was the Old Bar Tavern near Taree...i was living in Old Bar & managing one of Taree's local Newspapers....the manager of the Old Bar Tavern was a bit of a tool, but a good bloke none the less....at the time i was riding my Yamaha TT-600 motorcross bike to & from work....i'd knocked off this day & went straight to O B Tav' & got on the piss with the boys....i knew i'd had way to much to ride home, so hit the manager up to help me lock me bike up out the back of the pub....he informed me in no uncertain terms that there was no fucking way he was going out in the rain to help me & to just bring it in & park it on the dance floor...no-worries....he didnt count on me riding it in on the back wheel, then dropping a 2min donut on the dance floor!!! got rave reviews from all the locals cheering me on....the manager was cool, no drama, still remember his jaw on the ground when the pub was filling with the smoke off my back tire.... the black circlework rings are still on that dance floor to this day....hehehe!

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

Nice simple place and Billy looks like he really helps the friendly vibe. And LOVE the lights along the wall. Very cool.

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Great bar Marty, how nice of Billy to give you a shot on the house.

Nice job!

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@Fitzy: Thats fucking hilariious!!! I've gotta get the OB and checkout the donuts!!

@365: Due to Alcohol fuelled violence in the CBD of newcastle the council and local government had to put restrictions on trading hours. My pub shuts pretty early because it's a quiet little joint but thats cool. But it all comes down to how busy it is....The CBD area sucks to drink in on a weekend. Full of dickheads. What those pubs need is some hoon from Port Maquarie on a Yamaha moto cross bike to shake shit up a bit on the dance floor. That Fitzy is a fucking Rat Bag!! Love his work.

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

another nice one on the crawl...KOC


September 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Again your in my neighborhood , & across the street from that bar is the supermarket I go to .
Kind of lost for words since like you I been working long hours & fucking tired , are you working this weekend ? I am , but I will be relaxing for 10 days very soon .

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