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Entries in NYC Dive Bars (7)

Tuesday
Jun082010

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010—Bar 149

Day 149—Monday, June 7th, 2010
Blue and Gold (Originally was going to go to Cheap Shots)

Okay, last night’s feast was a great meal at the Old Homestead Steakhouse, but as with most good things, it came with a price. I’m not going to say how much it was, but the bill could’ve funded several nights here on the crawl, so tonight I’m looking for cheap-ass drinks. One dive bar I’ve been meaning to go to is a bar in the East Village called Cheap Shots, so I thought tonight would be the night, until I read this: EV Grieve—Times Are Tough. I’ll keep you posted as to whether it re-opens or not, Mayor Bloomberg and crew strike again! Oh well, another inexpensive and infamous dive bar I’ve been to in the past and is on my list is the Blue and Gold, which is also in the East Village. So check your couch for spare change and let’s go!

The Blue and Gold, the water looks 100 proof, let's dive in!

Love the Pabst neon and Pabst is what my pockets are asking for.

Love this place!

Bartender Emily was cute, friendly and fast on the draw with the Pabst. A perfect bartender!

A three buck can of Pabst, just what I needed. Cheers!

Mike was seated next to me and was enjoying a glass of wine at the bar.

The beer selections and drink specials hang over the festive bar.

Booths and tables line the walls opposite the bar.

Let's go check out this quartet of lovely ladies at the front of the bar.

They were a fun and friendly group and were very supportive of the whole 365 bar crawl idea. From left: Layal, Taylor, Laura and Ashley.

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

I think it's genius they post specific rules for pool at the Blue and Gold. No last minute arguements over games here.

Checkers and backgammon boards are engraved into some of the tables for old-school gaming fun.

Back at the bar Emily was busy serving the crowd. She's an expert bartender, I never had to wait over a minute or two for a refill. To Emily!

Homer and Troy share a manly kiss at the bar.

There's lots of great tunes on the jukebox along with staff picks.

Claire and her friend Eric were seated at a back booth and Eric wanted to shoot a few photos of Claire and I. So here's photo number one.

Claire and I, take two.

And Eric told us to get goofy for the last shot so here we go! Goodnight everybody!

Review
The Blue and Gold is an legendary NYC dive bar, that’s had patrons swimming to it since the ‘60’s. The booze is cheap and the staff and patrons are friendly, rowdy and fun. The bar is up front with booths off to the side and in the back. There’s a pool table compete with house rules in the back and an eclectic jukebox with tunes ranging from varied artists such as: Jim Stafford, White Stripes, Blondie, Etta James and Tom Waits. Colored lights hang from the bar, vintage photos decorate the back walls, there’s two TV’s and the tables have backgammon and checkerboards on the tabletops for old-school gaming fun.

In addition to the divey and fun atmosphere, the draw here is cheap booze. They have a great selection of draft and bottled beers available. Some of the beers on tap include: Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada, Lucky Cat and their own house Blue and Gold Lager. Bottled and can beers include: PBR, Amstel Light, Heinekin, Red Stripe and Newcastle. And they are all priced between three to four bucks. They also have a full bar with drinks and specialty shots all for five bucks and less.

One word of advice, bring cash, they don’t take plastic here. But you don’t need to bring a lot to cop a buzz. I like that.

Blue and Gold
79 E. 7th St. (near 1st Ave.)
212-777-1006

Tuesday
May182010

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010—Bar 128

Day 128—Monday, May 17th, 2010
Raccoon Lodge

Ding, ding, ding! Once again the PayPal donation board has lit up with some much-needed dough for the bar crawl. Tiki Bar Susie not only  leaves great comments here, but she is the number one donater and her fourth generous donation is for 35 dollars! Thank you Tiki Bar Susie, you help the 365 Bar Site to keep on crawling and I appreciate it!

Okay, once again I’m joining forces with Gene, Debbie and Terry, the Baltimore Bar Crawlers I hung out with last night. These guys are real pros, I just spoke with them and so far today they’ve gone to 128 bars today and had roughly 10,479 drinks between the three of them. Once again, since they’re the guest bar crawlers, I let them pick the joint and they chose the Raccoon Lodge in the Financial District. After all those drinks, I wonder if they’re still standing? Let’s go and find out!

The Raccoon Lodge, love the neon, sign of a great bar!

And speaking of signs, this says it all. I think this is going to be my kind of place.

Okay, these guys look familiar. Let me get a beer and check out the situation.

Bartender Arbor provides a Pabst to help me check out the situation.

And here they are, fresh from visiting over 800 bars today, the super Baltimore Bar Crawlers, Gene, Debbie and Terry. Gene starts a new "wearin' of the Pabst tradition."

Together again! The Super Bar Crawlers reunite!

Hats, knick-knacks and bric-a-brac at the Raccoon Lodge.

Alex, Rashan, Hana and Christine were gearing up for one hell of a night. I won't go into details, but let's just say they had more fun than me and probably you. I thought about you guys last night!

You can't call your bar the Raccoon Lodge without some classic Honeymooners photos in it.

Dana and Justyna were celebrating their one year anniversary together. One of the cutest couples yet on the bar crawl, congratulations!

Okay.

The well-stocked bar at Raccoon Lodge.

A Moose head hangs over cases of Budweiser, you gotta love this place!

Some of the games in the middle of the bar.

And the legendary upside down hippopotamus which hangs from the ceiling. This puts your pink elephants to shame. "Bartender, I need another Pabst!"

Not everyone wants their picture taken in here. Linda enjoys her drink while Tarantelli good-naturedly flips me the bird.

Keith was in New York from Chicago and knew the bar Club Foot that I crawled to when I was there a few weeks ago. Here he flashes the 365 card.

Gene picks some tunes off the jukebox.

And Terry is chatting with someone at the bar.

And that someone is Tim, who lives in Ireland but travels the world as a consultant. He's even familiar with my hometown of Peoria. Cheers to Tim!

And sadly, I have to report an ATM without the letters, ATM on it. Sorry, Joey D. You can't win them all. Goodnight everybody!

Review
The Raccoon Lodge would make Ralph Kramden scream, “And awaaay we go!” It’s dive bar with an alcoholic hunting lodge theme going on. Moose heads and an upside down hippopotamus decorate the joint with Christmas lights, collections of baseball caps, vintage beer signs and beer trays on the ceilings joining in on the mix. The bar is drinker-friendly with chatty patrons, a pool table, games in the middle and a table nook in the back for lounging around.

There’s a full bar and the drinks are cheap. Happy hour runs from 11 in the morning to 4 pm with one buck off bottled beers. The jukebox is loaded with classic rock and the bar has the distinction of being one of the first watering holes to re-open after September 11th and was a favorite for fire-fighters and workers during that time.

Great choice from my Baltimore Bar Crawling buddies, Gene, Debbie and Terry. They’re here for one more day, and I’m letting them pick tonight’s bar as well. Stay tuned for more from this edition of the super bar crawlers expedition!


Raccoon Lodge

59 Warren St. @West Broadway
212-227-9894

Tuesday
May112010

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010—Bar 121

Day 121—Monday, May 10th, 2010
Cherry Tavern

Alright first off, the donation board is lit up tonight with good sweet cash! Joel Rosenfeld dropped by where I worked and gave me twenty bucks in good sweet cash for beers tonight. Here’s Joel with the dough!
Joel owns his own company, JMR Trading Co. and he sells digital, graphics and signage supplies and equipment to companies, big and small. If you’re in need of a service like this and would like a quote or help in finding a machine or quality paper products, you can email Joel here: jmrosenfeld@verizon.net. Thanks again Joel!

365 Beers got some more press, this time on a blog. Actually the press is for two magazines I published about a year ago called Natalie Word. The website, Magazine Design, bought two copies and featured them in this post and mentioned the 365 site. Check it out here: Magazine Design.

Okay, now on to the crawl to spend Joel’s dough!
I felt like going to a good old fashioned dive bar tonight so I searched around on the internet and found one in the East Village called Cherry Tavern. All the reviews I read said it’s a friendly, unpretentious joint with cheap booze. Shit, I might have enough dough left over from Joel’s generous donation to take a cab home. Okay, it’s off to the Cherry Tavern we go!

Here we are, the Cherry Tavern in the East Village.

Okay, this place looks like a nice, friendly little place, let's dive in!

David the bartender serves up an ice cold can of Tecate beer.

Cheers!

Tacked on the vintage Texas Chainsaw Poster is a notice saying that Monday is iPod night, I don't have an IPod, so I'm going to concentrate on the cheap beer to be had.

Wilkins and Sam were enjoying drinks at the end of the bar. Wilkins told me he's been a regular here since he was 16-years-old.

David told me that the bar was famous for this Old Glory Special: Sunday through Tuesday you can get a can of Pabst and a shot for four bucks all night long.

Here's Mike and Danielle. Mike lives in the neighborhood and Danielle used to live in New York, but has moved to California and said she misses the Cherry Tavern. In fact this was her first night back on a visit and the Cherry Tavern was her first stop back in the Big Apple.

A Cherry Tavern mosaic on the wall.

Jamie and Erika were shooting pool in the back and having a good time.

Portraits of pool playing dogs on teh wood paneled walls of Cherry Tavern.

And more pool playing dogs on the wall. I love it!

Stephen and Anwar enjoying drinks at a table opposite the bar.

Some of the bottled beer available at Cherry Tavern and...

The three drafts on tap.

The jukebox has a nice selection with artists ranging from: Cheap Trick to Red Hot Chili Peppers to T. Rex to the Sex Pistols to Amy Winehouse. In fact, the next time you're in town Amy, stop by, the Old Glory Special has your name on it!

Bucket of empties!

On the way out I met Bob and Shelly. Bob's a regular at the bar and has lived in the neighborhood for 58 years.

And I had enough dough left over for a cab ride home! Thanks again, Joel and goodnight everybody!

Review

The Cherry Tavern is a nice place if you want to avoid frills and gimmicks and just have a beer or twelve and shoot the shit with the friendly bartenders and patrons that inhabit the place. The bar is small and cozy with a wooden bar on one side and tables and a jukebox on the opposite side. In the back is a pool table and garage sale paintings of dogs playing pool line the wooden, 70’s style rec-room walls. The music is loud enough to enjoy, but it doesn’t drown out the conversation, which happens between regulars and first-timers, it’s a friendly joint where you’re bound to get to know a few people, if not a few phone numbers.

There’s a full bar and drinks and beers are cheap enough that you can get bombed in here even if you’re a week away from payday. The Happy Hour runs daily and it features two buck cans of Pabst and five dollar frozen drinks. The signature drink here is a Tijuana Special—Tecate beer and a shot of tequila for five bucks. And they’re known for the Old Glory Special: Sunday through Tuesday you can get a can of Pabst and a shot for just four bucks.

There’s no food in here, there’s also no gimmicks, attitude or pretentiousness. Just a good old place to sit and get shitfaced. I love it!

Cherry Tavern
441 E. 6th St. (Near Ave. A.)
212-777-1448