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Entries in Financial District (5)


Thursday, December 30th, 2010—Bar 354

Day 354—Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Jim Brady’s Restaurant

Okay, I’m back in the bar-crawling saddle here in New York. Yesterday I sent in some shots of LaGuardia airport to the fine blog, EV Grieve and he published them here. That led to a bit of an email exchange which resulted in EV Grieve requesting that I check out Jim Brady’s bar and restaurant in the Financial District. I checked out the bar’s website and it looks perfect. And so now, it’s out to the snow we go. Ho, ho, ho.

Okay, once again through the magic of the internet you're spared a subway ride that included me hopping on an uptown 4 train by mistake which sent me to Grand Central Station, so I had to double back and get on a downtown train which took me to the financial district, which I don't know too well. After a half an hour of wandering around, asking directions, I finally found it. Jim Brady's! Let's go inside, I need a drink or four after that journey.

Okay, this looks well-worth the effort to get here, let's snag a seat at the bar.

Joe the friendly bartender serves up a beer. This guy is a quintessential bartender. He knows everyone's names, brings you a beer just as you need one and keeps the bar jumping. There's a lot of regulars here and they all said the same thing, "We come here because of Joe." Cheers to you, Joe!

A view from my perch at the bar.

Adam was seated next to me. He's a firefighter from Washington, DC and this is his first time in New York City. He was waiting for his friend Casie to show up at the bar. Welcome to New York Adam!

Ornate brass light fixtures hover over and illuminate the bar.

A painting of W.C. Fields and Mae West hang behind the bar.

Joe gave me this pamphlet of the St. Baldrick's cancer fundraiser that was founded at Jim Brady's. It's the largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Check it out further here: St. Baldrick's.

You gotta love the vintage cash register behind the bar.

These guys are all regulars at Jim Brady's. From the left: Ivan, Marc, J.K. and Nash. Cheers, guys!

A shot of the drinks at the bar all lined up like pretty maids all in a row.

In June, 2009 Elvis Costello played a surprise gig here and Joe showed me a picture from it. You can read more about the night here: Elvis Costello at Jim Brady's.

The front of the restaurant features this cozy, square dining nook with red leather banquettes and tables.

One of the walls is a tribute to some of the regulars here who were killed in the World Trade Center on September 11th. Sadly a lot of the bars in this area lost regulars on that day. R.I.P.

Here's the main dining room which sits just opposite the bar.

This painting was done exclusively for the bar over 30 years ago and depicts not only "Diamond Jim" Brady, but all of the people in the painting are people who worked there at the time.

Here's "Diamond Jim" in the painting, getting his drink refilled.

And here's the two owners of Jim Brady's in the painting.

Meanwhile, back at the bar, Joe is in mid-conversation with some patrons. Let's go see who they are.

It's Lacey, Ivan (this guy works both ends of the bar!) and Savage. They informed me it was Lacey night, all night long. I wasn't about to argue.

Frank was enjoying some chicken fingers at the bar. He works upstairs, so you know he's a regular.

And look who showed up at the other end of the bar, Adam's friend Casie. The night has now come full circle.

And so it's time for parting shots. Goodnight, everybody!

The bar/restaurant is named after James Buchanan Brady, a.k.a. “Diamond Jim” Brady. “Diamond JIm” was a wealthy man purported to have a voracious appetite for food and pleasure and was a real man about town in New York at the turn of the century. Jim Brady’s restaurant mirrors the man’s philosophy and has been in operation since 1976. The actual bar itself has plenty of history behind it, since it was imported from the 1960’s hotspot, The Stork Club. The patrons and bartenders are friendly and while this line is over used in bar reviews, it’s a genuine “Cheers” atmosphere in here. Everybody may not know your name when you come in, but they will before you leave. Some may not remember it the next day, but hey, what are you going to do?

There’s a full bar here with a good selection of bottled and draft beers and since “Diamond Jim” was known for his unending appetite, there’s plenty to choose from on the menu. The specialties of the kitchen are: Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie, Home Style Chicken Pot Pie and Sausages and Mash with onions and gravy. In addition there’s also burgers, steak sandwiches, seafood and four styles of pasta available.

If Diamond Jim were alive, you know he’d be a regular at this joint. Cheers and thanks to EV Grieve for a great suggestion!

Jim Brady’s Restaurant
75 Maiden Ln.


Bonus Photos from Tim Carey!
Last week when I was in town I met with Tim and Colleen Carey who joined me on the bar crawl way back in May of this year. We were joined by our friend Bob Hurst. The three of us used to goof off and avoid doing anything constructive work at Fleming Potter together in Peoria. It was a nice reunion and here’s a couple pictures that Tim sent me from the evening. (And remember, get a Butch’s pizza or ten for your New Year’s Eve party.)

Proof that you just can't take me anywhere. From left: Colleen, Yours Fooly and Bob.

Take two with Tim in Colleen's place and me continuing to be jackass. Great seeing you guys and thanks for sending the pictures, Tim!


Thursday, November 18th, 2010—Bar 312

Day 312—Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Biddy Early's

It’s been a while since I turned the reins over to my co-pilot and 365 commentor Al Rizo, who lives in Miami, but always finds a great bar for me to visit here in New York. Biddy Early’s is a bar that Al picked and it looks to be a classic Irish pub in the Financial District. Plus I just found out via email that both the BBC and ABC (see photos below), went there last week and they highly recommend it as well. Even though Clacky got thrown out of their kitchen.

Biddy Early was a tradtional Irish healer and if you want to read about her, you can do it here: Biddy Early. Personally I’m more interested in a beer than history, so I’ll read about Biddy later and check out the Biddy bar right now.

Here we are at Biddy Early's in the heart of the Financial District.

It's nice, dark and woody inside. (Subtle plug for Woody Radio!)

And hospitable bartender, Keith serves up a perfect pint of Guinness, which leads to...

The traditional wearin' of the Guinness.

Some of the many draft beers available at the bar.

Biddy Early was a healer back in the day and now she's hawking t-shirts. Welcome to 2010.

Here's a group of guys seated next to me at the bar. From left: Bryan, Rob, Nick, Ray and Yours Fooly.

And they were kind enough to buy shots for us. Cheers!

Here's Bryan with his friend Gerard.

Irish sport jerseys line the wall opposite the bar.

An instructional vintage Guinness sign on the wall.

Here's the kitchen that Clacky got thrown out of.

There's a large dining area in the back.

Meanwhile back at the bar, Keith is busy filling drink requests.

Time has worn on and my neighbors at the bar have left leaving empty drinks and a tip for Keith.

Caitlin and Shawn were enjoying drinks at the end of the bar.

Shawn Washburn is an artist and part of an art installation called, Visual Vaudeville. Check it out here: Visual Vaudeville. I'll be going soon and you can see a full report of it in the future here.

A look out the window and it's time to hit the road.

Cheers and goodnight, everybody!

Imagine an Irish garage sale and you have the interior decorating scheme of Biddy Early’s. Irish road signs, miniature trolleys, vintage Guinness beer signs and Irish sports jerseys hang from the walls and the ceilings in this dark, wooden bar. The front area is a long narrow space complete with a dark wooden bar and friendly bartenders behind it just waiting to pour you that perfect pint of Guinness. There’s a dining room in the back with plenty of tables and chairs to sit and enjoy drinks and food.

Biddy’s has a huge selection of beers to choose from. Here’s just some of the selections to be had on tap: Old Speckled Hen (you reading this, Gene?), Guinness, Smithwick's and their own Biddy's Brew. The bottled beer selection includes: Hoegaarden, Red Stripe, Rolling Rock and Brooklyn Lager. Oh, and they also have Miller Lite (are you reading this, Biff?)

If you’re in the mood for a top of the mornin’ snack or dinner, Biddy Early’s kitchen is open till 2am, seven days of the week. The menu is large and includes such standard tavern fare as wings, calamari, sliders and potato skins. Some of the tradional Irish dishes include: Bangers and Mash, Dublin Style Fish ‘n’ Chips, Homemade Irish Stew and a Traditional Irish Breakfast featuring, sausage, black & white pudding, irish bacon, eggs your style and baked beans.

Biddy Early was a legendary Irish healer, who I wish was around today. Maybe she could get rid of this fucking hangover before I have to go to work!

Biddy Early's
43 Murray St. (near Church St)


Great Choice, Al!

Bonus Photos by Gene of the BBC!

If you follow the 365 blog reguarly, you’ll know I had visitors in last week. There was meeting of the bar crawlers as the infamous, BBC (Baltimore Bar Crawlers featuring, Gene, Smoopy and Terry) met the new kids on the tavern-hopping block, the ABC (featuring Clacky and Shannon.) Gene was snapping pictures the whole time and he sent me some photos from the trip and here they are! And once again thanks to all five of you for hanging out with me on the bar crawl, a wonderful time was had by all. Okay, take it away Gene!

The BBC meets the ABC. From left: Terry, Clacky, Shannon and Smoopy.

Terry gets horny.

Everybody dance now!

A Pabst-wrapped Smoopy.

Shannon and Clacky show off Ninja dance moves and flippage.

Well-worked elbows!

Goodnight, everybody! (Here's a link to a slideshow Gene put together of their trip: The BBC Invade NYC again!)


Saturday, October 30th, 2010—Bar 293

Day 293—Friday, October 29th, 2010
Nassau Bar

I found a review of a bar called Nassau Bar from New York Magazine and the first line read: “Nassau Bar neatly straddles the line between dive bar and strip club.” Say no more, let’s go!

I've got the night off from work so I set out earlier than usual and then learned a sad lesson: Traffic is fucking nuts on Friday night around 9pm.

Half an hour later and we're still barely moving.

And now after a 45 minute ride, my cab driver confesses in clipped English that he doesn't know where the corner of Nassau and Ann is, but we're somewhere near. Motherfucker!

So I set off on foot in the Financial District, where it's kind of a no-man's land in some places. But after a few blocks and asking directions from some people on the street...

I see some neon lights, could this be it?

Yep, this is the joint, the Nassau Bar!

Wow, nice long bar and nice and dark, let's snag a seat.

Holy freakin' moley! The bartenders are smoking hot in this place. Tiffany served up a drink and was really friendly and nice. I like it in here!

As you can see, it's the start of Halloween weekend.

This ghoulish fellow is looking out the window. Hey, stupid, the real sights in here are behind the bar.

Here's the other side of the bar.

Hey, it's the lamp from A Christmas Story!


Here's Isis, another one of the beautiful bartenders.

The DJ for the evening was DJ Pacasso. Check out his website here: DJ Pacasso.

Here is mixing up a tune.

The lovely ladies behind the bar come over to lend some moral support to DJ Pacasso.

A group shot.

Note to self: Learn how to DJ!

Meanwhile back at the bar...

Tiffany poses with her friends Kristen and Evelyn.

And a parting shot with myself and the lovely Tiffany. Cheers and goodnight, everybody!

In a part of the financial district that’s a bit of a no-man’s land stands the Nassau Bar with neon lights to guide you inside. The bar is long and narrow with orange lights overhead and Christmas lights and knick-knacks covering the faux brick walls. The bartenders are female and clad in bikinis or lingerie type wear and are very friendly and fun. The bar has a bit of a go-go bar atmosphere, but instead of scantily clad girls dancing in cages, they’re behind the bar serving you booze. As you would figure, most of the patrons are male and run the gamut from suits and ties to construction workers enjoying drinks and the lovely women behind the bar who occasionally come to the other side to put some tunes on the jukebox and socialize with the happy drinkers at the bar.

It’s a full bar and there’s two happy hours that run from 11am to 1pm and then 5pm to 6pm Monday through Friday featuring three dollar drinks. In fact, you should come at happy hour to fully enjoy the place because it closes early. They shut down on weeknights at 11pm and weekends they’re open till midnight. The bartenders need their beauty sleep after all!

Nassau Bar
118 Nassau St. (Near Ann St.)