365 Merchandise
About Me
Press for 365 Bars
Banner Art
Contact Me

Entries in Beat Poets (1)


Sunday, October 31st, 2010—Bar 294

Day 294—Saturday, October 30th, 2010
Kettle of Fish

Okay, this is going to be a big day/night. Daily commentator Biff is coming in to town with some friends and once in a while commentator Aaron who is the drummer in the wonderful band, The Joans is coming in to join the party from Chicago. The last time the three of us were together was in Chicago.

But first, I thought I’d do the bar crawl stop before I meet everyone. Actually, I am meeting someone on the crawl. I’m meeting yet another Australian who’s a silent reader (meaning he doesn’t comment) and is in town for a few days. His name’s Colin Young and I wanted to show him a real authentic, old-school New York bar and before I could start looking for one I got an email from the 365 co-pilot, Al Rizo. Al sent me an email with a suggestion of going to a bar in the West Village called Kettle of Fish. Bob Dylan used to hang out here, so if it’s good enough for Bob and suggested by Al, it good enough for me. I think I smell some beer foam blowing in the wind!

Here we are, 59 Christopher Street and the Kettle of Fish bar.

Wow, it's crowded here for an early Saturday afternoon, but there's a seat here at the end of the bar.

And no sooner do I sit down than Terry the friendly bartender magically appears bearing a gift in the offering of a bottle of Budweiser.

The back of the bar is loaded with booze, knick-knacks and books.

And of course this title is sitting pretty back there.

The ceiling is adorned with lights and a lone Green Bay Packer helmet. The Kettle of Fish is Manhattan's premier Packer bar. On game day, brats are cooked and cheese and cracker trays are put out. And the bar gets packed. No pun intended. Okay, maybe it was.

And speaking of Green Bay Packers,  these four fans were in town from Minneapolis (do you know them Jaws?) to see the Packers, Jets game today. From left: John, Patty, Bart (and yes, he's named after legendary Packer quarterback, Bart Starr) adn Jenelle.

Terry heard us talking about Bart Starr and showed us this Packer helmet which was sitting on a shelf behind the bar.

It's signed by Bart Starr and was recently acquired by the owner Patrick at an auction.

And speaking of the owner Patrick, here he is along with yours fooly. Cheers!

A wooden railing opposite the bar is decorated with some Halloween pumpkins and skeletons.

In the '50's and '60's the original Kettle of Fish was a hangout for the beat poets and folk singers. Bob Dylan, Dave Von Ronk and others called it the office. Here's a photo of beat poet Gregory Corso in the original Kettle of Fish hanging on a wall in the back. The photo was taken by Allen Ginsberg and has an inscription and is signed by Ginsberg.

There's a large back room with tables and chairs and...

Two state of the art dart boards.

Obligatory bar room mirror shot!

Here's the original bar sign from the MacDougal Street location.

Here's a photo of writer Jack Kerouac with the sign behind him.

Another shot of the bar, which is still hopping.

And more Packer fans arrive! From left: Amy, Brian, Donnie and Jen. I think they were in town from Denver but by now I've had a few beers, so my journalistic skills are fading.

And here's Donnie with his two brothers, Tom and Jamie. Peeking in behind them is Isabella.

And here's Colin, who's a 365 reader all the way in from Sydney, Australia. We toasted beers and then I found out that Colin had never had a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.

So we had another beer, a glance out the window and went out in pursuit of a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.

And luckily, just blocks away is Wogies, a bar/restaurant that specializes in them.

See what I mean?

And here's Colin happily breaking his Philly Cheesesteak cherry!

Okay, as I mentioned, Biff, Aaron, Paul and assorted others are in town for a few days. We decided to meet at Old Town Bar which was bar 151 on the 365 bar crawl.

The front of the bar was used in the opening of the original David Letterman show on NBC.

And the gang's all here! Clockwise from left: Chrissy, Colin, Janie, Bifferoonie, Paul, Aaron and myself. Many beers were had, hotdogs were served and they'll be more adventures with this crew tonight. Stay tuned. Goodnight, everybody!

Okay, since I have a ton of shit to do and then meet up with the Biff entourage later, rather than write a review of Kettle of Fish, here’s a video made by the owners which gives you the rich history of the bar which has been a staple in Greenwich Village for over 60 years in various locations.

Thanks to Al for a wonderful selection. Okay, I’ve got to go and get my Halloween costume ready for tonight. Boo!

Kettle of Fish
59 Christopher St. (Near Seventh Ave. South)


Thanks to my co-pilot Al for another wonderful suggestion! Al art by "Boris."

Jaws sent in this piece of Halloween art for today, thanks, Jaws! Happy Halloween, everybody!