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Entries in Lower East Side (19)


Tuesday, June 15th, 2010—Bar 156

Day 156—Monday, June 14th, 2010
Friend House (Originally headed to The Penny Farthing)

Okay, first things first. Remember that fucking creepy-ass bar, Apotheke that gave me the willies? If not, refresh your memory here: Day 150. Well, the co-owner who calls himself the chief "cocktail artist" or whatever (you’re pouring drinks into a glass, just call yourself a bartender, it’s a noble profession and you really should get over yourself) Albert Trummer got arrested for setting the bar on fire with customers in the place. Check it out here: NY Times Diner's Journal. So you see, my gut instincts don’t lie! Thanks to Mark Smimmo, Fat Al, and “Boris” for the hat tips about this.

And speaking of “Boris,” I have a contest today where you can win a t-shirt from the store he created and is maintaining right here: 365 Bar Store. I’m giving away a ring t-shirt to the first person who can answer the following bar trivia question in the comments section. And here’s the question: What was the name of the bar that was used for outside location shots and was the original inspiration for the hit TV show, Cheers? The first one with the correct answer in comments gets a large gray ringed 365 Beers t-shirt with the logo designed by “Boris.” “Boris” is the resident artist here at 365 and he also is availalbe for freelance work if you need a logo, website art, CD or book cover or anything else. Just email me your request and I’ll pass it along to “Boris.”

Alright, on to the crawl!
I found a somewhat new bar tonight while Googling around for a bar. It’s called the Penny Farthing and it caught my eye because at first I thought it said, “Penny Farting,” and I thought, “What a cool name for a bar!” The bar just opened about a month ago and it looks pretty nice. So let’s go kick the tires and have a beer or four.

Okay, here we are, The Penny Farthing. It was a long night at work and I just want to kick back and have a few drinks.

Wow, it's packed in here and not a seat at the bar. It looks like a nice place but I'm not in the mood to battle crowds tonight. I may need to find an alternative and come back here another night.

I wonder what this place is across the street?

It looks like a cool place and it's called Friend House. Sounds nice.

Plenty of seats at the bar and check out the bartender! I think this is the spot of the night.

And I chose wisely. Owner Joe and beautiful bartender Anna were happy to let me do my 365 bar thing in there.

Anna was a great bartender. She told me the name is called Friend House because everyone is treated like a friend there. Nice!

In fact she even offered up a free chocolate chip cookie to enjoy with my beer. I like it in here!

Cookies and beer, the breakfast of champions!

Here's Mango, the pretty cashier at Friend House.

There's a nice selection of bottled beers available at Friend House.

This gentlemen was enjoying a drink and the window view from the front banquette.

Candlelit tables line the walls.

Here Anna constructs a specialty drink she literally dreamed up the other night.

Some of the ingredients include lemon, peach, sake and vodka.

Shake, shake, shake!

And here's the finished product. Beautiful! And the drink's not too shabby either!

Delicous! Anna hasn't thought of a name for the drink yet, so I'm suggesting, "The 365 Bartini."

There's outside seating as well. Here's Joe and Anna with Tuyen, who's a regular here.

And here's Stewart with the lovely Anna.

Okay, last call and Anna is making me the Friend House signature drink, the Lemon Gin Mojito. This is the only picture I can take, as the ingredients are secret.

And here's the finished product. The best mojito I've ever had! Great job, Anna!

And finally, everybody else got their picture taken with Anna, so now it's my turn! A great night at Friend House! Thanks to Anna, Joe and everybody there for such a fun night. Goodnight everybody!

Friend House Asian Bistro is properly named. It’s got one of the most customer-friendly staffs in the entire Lower East Side. Everyone is treated like a life-long regular, even if it’s your first time in, as it was mine. The bar is Industrial and modern with candle-lit tables, banquettes facing the street and outdoor seating when the weather permits. There’s an upstairs space available for parties as well. It’s a cozy space with an intimate and warm atmosphere.

There’s a full bar with a decent selection of bottled beer including: Budweiser, Heineken, Corona and Chimay. They have specialty cocktails available and the signature drink is the Lemon Gin Mojito. In addition to the fun and friendly bar, it is a bistro with an Asian menu featuring: Tri-Color Sashimi, Curry Chicken Casserole, Pepper Salted Crispy Shrimp And Scallop and Black Pepper Filet Mignon Cubes. There’s also a large selection of sushi and hand rolls. They also offer seven tasting plates.

Friend House more than lives up to its name, stop by for drinks, great food and you’ll make some new friends.

Friend House
106 3rd Ave. (@13th St.)


Sunday June 6th, 2010—Bar 147

Day 147—Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Ding, ding, ding, the PayPal donation bell is ringing again! Ryan Levenic from AirportBars.com sent in a generous donation of ten dollars with the stated purpose on the receipt saying: “To assist Marty in making the world a better place one drink at a time...Cheers Marty from AirportBars.com” Thanks Ryan, I love airport bars and your website rules, check it out here: AirportBars.com.

I'm a guest blogger today at my friend Gidget's blog, check it out here: Gidget's Blog. Gidget's not only a great writer, but she's one of the best DJ's in the world. You need to check out her show on Woody Radio and you can find the schedule here: Woody Radio. Her show rules and Woody Radio will make you rock hard! See, Motherfucker?

Okay, it’s Cheeseburger Saturday Night, where I focus not only on a bar and booze, but on a cheeseburger as well. I just found out about a place bar called Royale and you can get a Royale with cheese in there. Just like Vincent Vega when he went to McDonald’s in Amsterdam! So now, I’ve got to go, check out the cheeseburger and see if the place is named for that scene in Pulp Fiction. Hopefully Marsellus Wallace isn’t bartending, I’d hate for him to get all medieval on my ass!

Here we are at Royale. Is Vincent Vega in the house?

I don't see him, but I like the fact that the bartender is keeping limber.

And she proves how limber she is by quickly grabbing me an ice cold Corona. Her name's Aviva and she's one of the nicest and cutest bartenders on the crawl so far. Love the sunflower!

Cooper and Mark are two regulars and they invited me to join them at the front of the bar, so I did. Mark is in sales for the Cintas company and you can check out their website here: Cintas.

Cooper was drinking Porkslap Beer avaiiable from Butternuts Beer and Ale. Royale introduced this beer to New York and it's really taken off.

Aviva pours a can and it was delicious.

Neir was sitting close by and has a toast with the lovely Aviva.

Rows of dark wooden tables and chairs line the wall opposite the bar. There's couple at the end, let's see who they are.

it's Jennifer and Tom who were enjoying beers at the end table. Tom's from Australia, I keep meeting Australians on this crawl and it's always a treat.

Okay, it is cheeseburger Saturday night, so let's check out the menu. There it is, the Royale with cheese! Perfect!

For an appetizer I had the homemade potato chips and onion dip. Savory and delicious!

Here's the kitchen where they were assembling the Royale with cheese.

And here it is, it looks great!

Delicous, Vincent Vega would be proud of this tasty burger.

After the burger I strolled outside to the beer garden. It's nice and relaxing out here.

Katie and Nick were enjoying the day and beers outside in the garden.

Edyta and Julie are two of the friendly and pretty waitresses at Royale.

Meanwhile, back at the front of the bar, the lovely bartender and manager Sara is saying hello to Mark. I told you it's friendly in here!

Hey, what's up? Are you guys slacking over there?

Okay, that's more like it, back to work for Aviva, Juan and Sara. Thanks for the great service, cheeseburger and hospitality!

It's been awhile, so I thought I'd end the night with an obligatory bathroom mirror shot. Goodnight everybody!

First things first, yes, it’s named after the scene in Pulp Fiction, but you’ll find no clues in the bar. There’s no pictures or tributes to Vincent Vega anywhere to be found, except for the soundtrack on the jukebox. What can be found within the bar is a lot of brown mahogany wood and dim lighting, friendly and pretty bartenders and staff and a neighborhood crowd that lacks any kind of pretension. The music from the jukebox isn’t overpowering and allows conversation to flow freely in this friendly neighborhood saloon. The bar is narrow with a long wooden bar and tables opposite to sit at. There’s a nice outside beer garden to lounge at as well.

There’s a decent choice of bottled beers available including: Corona, Amstel Light, Heineken and Pork Slap beer in a can.
Since the bar is named the Royale, of course the signature dish is a burger and there three delicious varieties: The Royale, The Royale With Cheese and The Bacon Royale. If you’re not in the mood for a burger there’s other sandwiches including: a Turkey Club, Grilled Chicken and Grilled Cheese. They also offer homemade potato chips and onion dip to snack on. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday 4pm to 8pm with half price drafts and well drinks.

So when you want to get your Vincent Vega on, check out the Royale. You’ll dig it the most.

157 Ave. C (near 10th St.)


Friday, June 4th, 2010—Bar 145

Day 145—Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
The Local 269

Okay, tonight I was trying to figure out what bar to crawl to and it fell right in to my lap. Or perhaps I should say it fell right in to my email. Let me explain.

Months ago I met photographer Jason Kuffer on the 61st bar of this sudsy sojurn. You can read about it here: Bar 61. That was a great night and today Jason emailed me about an auction that’s going on at a bar in the East Village at The Local 269. It’s a punk rock auction presented by musician/author, Mickey Leigh and Erin O’ to raise money for the Joey Ramone Lymphoma Foundation. That sounds cool and I appreciate Jason telling me about it, it should make for a nice night on the town. But I’m wondering, how do you have an auction in a bar? I’m not sure, but we’re about to find out!

Here we are at The Local 269 on the corner of Houston and Suffolk.

Wow, the place is packed! Lots of people showed up for the auction.

I managed to wiggle in and get beers from the friendly bartender, Mickie.

I think I know who that fellow in the yellow t-shirt is.

It's the co-presenter of the punk rock auction, Mickey Leigh with his friends. From left: Yoaz, Mickey, Tina and Izzy Bella. Mickey is Joey Ramone's brother and recently wrote a book with Legs McNeil called, "I Slept With Joey Ramone." A great book and I highly recommend it. Mickey's friend Yoaz plays bass with the band, Ingrid and the Defectors. They're playing tonight at Kenny's Castaways on Bleecker, go check them out, I'd go but they go on at nine and I'll be at work. Sob! Let me know when the next gig is Yoaz and I'll try to make that one.

And here's Jason Kuffer! Jason's a great photographer and you can check out his photos here: Jason's photos. Check out his shots from the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. Great photography, Jason!

Here's Jason getting a shot of Mickey Leigh.

The DJ for the auction was Steve Craig from 101.9 RXP. He played some great punk rock tunes and lots of Ramones classics.

Here's the lovely co-presenter Erin O' sipping a drink at the auction.

Kim, Jason and Morgan were seated at a table at the front of the bar.

Jason liked the 365 Bar Crawl so much he wanted to take a photo of me outside the bar, so I had him take one with my camera as well. Cool photo, Jason! I guess if you're named Jason, you're a natural born photographer.

Here's a shot of me taking a picture of Jason who's taking a picture of me. That last sentence just made me dizzy. I need to sit down...oh wait, I already am. Never mind.

Jason introduced me to Sarah, who's the Edito-in-Chief of Stay Thirsty. Check them out here: Stay Thirsty.

I found out how the auction worked. The items were placed around the bar and you put your name on a sheet if you wanted to bid on it. Some of the items up for auction included: A New York Doll's movie poster signed by photographer Bob Gruen, a gift package from CBGB's gift store, a Cyndi Lauper Barbie Doll and cool photos including this one of Joey Ramone at CBGB's signed by photographer Godlis.

It already had a bid on it.

Here's a great shot of Joey and Dee Dee Ramone.

Here's a photo of writer Legs McNeil and Marky Ramone and it's signed by the photographer, John Nikolai. Legs was the first person to publish my writing when I moved here to New York in 1993 when he was the editor of Nerve magazine. And I interviewed Marky Ramone for my magazine fishwrap back in the '90's, so I had to bid on this one!

I hope no one outbids me.

I got it! Now I need to get it framed and find an empty space on my walls to hang it.

The bar cleared out a bit as the auction ended and the band was setting up to play for the evening.

The band playing was The Joseph Walsh Quartet (insert Eagles and/or Rocky Mountain Way joke here.) They performed jazz and pop standards.

Great band, but they ignored my request to play, "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue." Oh well, you can't win them all. Goodnight everybody!

If you didn’t know better you’d think The Local 269 has been a fixture in the neighborhood for quite some time. It is called the Local after all, but truth be told it’s a fairly new bar. There’s no tricked out gimmickry here, inside it’s dark (the way bars should be) and the space is intimate. There’s a bar that seats around 10 to a dozen and tables behind it. Mismatched chandeliers hang overhead in the dark brick-walled space. There’s a few small tables to sit at when the bar is full and the bartenders and staff are friendly. The crowd is a mix of punk rock, hipster and neighborhood regulars. Old school TV’s loom from atop the bar and there’s a stage up front. You’d expect the band’s in here to be punk rock and/or garage flavored, but Monday’s they have a jazz night and the night I was there it was the Joseph Walsh Quartet doing an evening of jazz and old school pop standards.

They have a decent selection of bottled and draft beers, drafts range from Guinness to Brooklyn Lager and if you’re in the mood to get buzzed in a hurry you can get five shots for ten bucks. There’s a nice Happy Hour here that runs daily from 4pm to 8pm with 2 for 1 beers and well drinks. The food is standard pub grub, but if you’re a grilled cheese fanatic you’re in luck. There’s three different varieties to choose from here. They also host a weekly jazz brunch.

Check out The Local 269, it just might become your local watering hole.

The Local 269
269 E. Houston St. @Suffolk