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Entries in Rum House (3)


Monday, Sept. 27th, 2010—Bar 260

Day 260—Sunday, September 26th, 2010
Pig 'n' Whistle (Times Square Location)

Okay, more special guest stars are going to arrive on the 365 bar crawl and tonight’s couple are here all the way from Australia. No, Clacky didn’t get here early, this down-under duo’s name’s are Claire and Mick. They don’t comment, but they’ve been following the 365 crawl/lblog for quite a little bit now. I’m meeting them at the Pig and Whistle in Times Square and they've come all the way from Melbourne, Australia. The reason I chose this bar is that it’s not far from the Rum House and sadly, this is the last day that bar is going to be open. I’ll post photos from the last night at The Rum House in the bonus photos below. Now let’s go find Claire and Mick.

And here we are, The Pig 'n' Whistle.

Cahterine the lovely hostess greets you as you enter.

Lots of seats at the bar, maybe Claire and Mick aren't here yet.

Here's Mark the bartender in action at the bar.

There's a painting at the front of the bar. Hey is that a young Jack Nicholson at the right?

There's tables up front with nice view of the street.

I found some fellow mid-westerners at the end of the bar. Anne, Kathy and Randall were visiting from Chicago. Sadly, this was their last day in the Big Apple.

Some of the lit-up booze behind the bar.

A long shot of the dark, wooden bar.

Hey, who's that down at the end of the bar?

It's my new Aussie friends, Claire and Mick! Welcome to the crawl!

Bartender Mark told Sarah about the bar crawl and they posed for a photo.

It was kind of noisy downstairs, so we took our beers and headed upstairs.

Ah, it's much quieter up here.

And, no offense to Mark, but bartender Heli is a lot cuter!

Cheers from the three of us!

Claire and Mick settle in at the bar as I go to take some photos.

There's a nice terrace up here with a great view of 47th Street.

And moments after I took that shot, these four hooligans from England took over one of the tables. From left: Lee, Matt, Dan and Tom. Cheers, guys!

Heli, Claire and Mick are deep in conversation back at the bar.

We each ordered the house specialty, The Pig Sandwich.

Heli recommended it and it was delicious.

Obligatory bar room mirror shot! Goodnight, everybody!

There’s several other Pig ‘n’ Whistle’s in town, but this is the original deal. The first Pig ‘n’ Whistle opened around the block in 1969 and eventually ended up here near Times Square in the Theater District. It’s an old school, Irish pub with a dark wooden bar, wooden booths and tables off to the side and in the back and friendly bartenders and staff. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists and during the week you’ll find business people bellying up to the bar to forget the day they just had. There’s also an upstairs bar with an outdoor terrace with a great view of 47th Street in all its glory.

They have a decent selection of bottled beers and a dozen beers on tap including: Stella Artois, Sam Adams, Bass Ale and Harp Lager. It’s a  full bar as well with a nice wine list, a half a dozen varieties of martinis and frozen drinks featuring: a Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri, Pina Colada and a Blue Freeze.

The bar serves food and some of the selections include: Irish Gaelic Style Sirloin Steak, Grilled Pork Chops, Fish and Chips and The Pig Sandwich which is a generous pile of pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce on a fresh roll with cole slaw and fries.

Stop in and dig the pig. (A Tim Carey registered closing sentence.)

Pig 'n' Whistle (Times Square Location)
165 W. 47th St. (Near Seventh Ave.)


Bonus Photos
Sadly, last night was the last night for the Rum House. As reported in By Fat Al over at the Half Empty Glass and by Jeremiah Moss at Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, the old school joint is now shuttered and I shudder to think what’s going to go in there to replace it. I bet instead of being dark and brown, it 's going to be bright and shiny. It was a family owned bar to the end and the Edison Hotel wouldn’t renew the lease, basically throwing out this landmark bar. Mick, Claire and I went to go have a few farewell beers at the bar last night and here’s some photos of closing night at the Rum House.

Not anymore.

A shot of the dark bar that lived up to its name. It's the color of dark rum in here.

Claire took a shot of 25-year veteran bartender Fransisco and myself.

A regular enjoys a few last drinks at the bar.

A shot of bartenders, Brooks and Fransisco. Both of them said they were going to start looking for another job.

You'd never have known it was Fransisco's last night. He worked like a demon till the end.

A bottle of champagne is taken out.

Fransisco pours glasses for those at the bar.

Glasses are clinked...

And Fransisco takes a well-deserved drink.

To the Rum House, R.I.P. Oh, and fuck you, Edison Hotel!

For master Oz bowler, David Brooks. Dude!


Sunday, Sept. 26th, 2010—Bar 259

Day 259—Saturday, September 25th, 2010
Traffic Bar & Lounge

It’s Cheeseburger Saturday Night and I’ve found a place that will offer us a slight variation on the theme. I found the menu for Traffic Bar and Lounge at their website and they have something called “Cheeseburger Rolls.” Sounds interesting, so let’s go play in Traffic.

Down in the subway we go...

And through the magic of the internet we are instantly transported a few blocks away from the bar at the corner of Lexington and Lew Rudin Way. Who the fuck is Lew Rudin?

The Four Seasons.

And here we are at our destination, Traffic Bar & Lounge.

Nice bar and there's a seat at the end with my name on it.

And Luthor, the friendly and hospitable bartender delivers an ice-cold Corona.

This lovely quartet of ladies were seated behind me at the front table in the bar. Clockwise from left: Brittany, Jamie, Mitzy and Kate. Cheers, ladies!

There's tables and chairs opposite the bar.

Here's a mirror shot of the bar. Lot's of TV's for Gene in here!

There's a working traffic light at the bar. When it's green, there's a drink special going on.

As you can see, it's a well-stocked bar.

Here's Luthor with Alexandra and Victoria. Alexandra is a waitress at Traffic and Victoria is the hostess.

Everybody at the bar were playing napkin haiku. Here's a pile of some of the finished pieces of prose.

Here's Lloyd, busy in thought, writing his haiku. Five, seven, five, Lloyd.

And I had to get in on the action. My napkin haiku read: "Ah, beer number one, Bar number two fifty nine, The bar is Traffic." Poetry in motion!

And on the pile it goes.

George and Stuart were here to cheer their hometown Indiana football team on the big screen.

The bar is filling up downstairs, let's go see what's happening up on the top level.

The bar upstairs is set up the same as the ground level.

Here's the top staff on duty, from left: Stephanie, George the manager and Brandi.

Okay, time to order those cheeseburger rolls.

And quicker than you can say, "starvin' like Marvin," Lloyd delivers the rolls.

Goddamn, they look delicious!

They come with a sauce made of Russian dressing and they're great! They're like a cheeseburger in an egg roll, genius!

And I thought it only appropriate to take a photo of traffic from my cab ride home. Goodnight, everybody!

Traffic Bar & Lounge has two floors with a bar and lounge area on each floor. There’s a working traffic light and when it’s green you know there’s a drink special going on. Hint: It’s almost always green. The two levels are almost identically put together with a decent sized bar upfront and a lounge area in the back.The bartenders and staff are friendly and the crowd changes as the day unfolds. It’s got a sports vibe going on in the early afternoon and evening and then as night unfolds around 10pm and beyond it gets a little more clubbish. In other words, a little something for everyone.

There’s a decent selection of bottled and draft beers and there’s a ton of signature cocktails including: The Traffic Jam which is, Bacardi Dragon Berry, cranberry juice, orange juice and a  Bacardi 151 soaked orange wedge; The Cucumber G & T which mixes Hendricks Gin, tonic and muddled cucumber, The Honey Deuce is Grey Goose Vodka, Chambord and lemonade and The Midnight Manhattan which is made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, cranberry juice and a splash of sweet vermouth.

They have a large menu of food featuring: three styles of chicken wings, six choices of sliders and a tapas menu including: Swedish Meatballs, Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Chicken Quesadillas and Traffic Bites which are homemade crispy macaroni and cheese bites served with a creamy marinara sauce.

The bar has a Happy Hour that runs Monday through Friday from 3pm to 8pm with different drink specials on each night. There’s football specials on Sundays from 11am to 4pm including: Twelve dollar pitchers and buckets of five beers for thirty dollars.

Traffic Bar & Lounge
986 Second Ave. (Near 52nd St.)

Bonus Art

Speaking of traffic and cabs, Jaws sent in this piece of art showing off his dream cab.

Bonus Photos

It was the last night in town for Lex, our 365 Canadian correspondent and she sent in these photos and captions from her Saturday night at the Rum House which is closing soon. Have a safe trip back to Canada and hurry back to New York soon, Lex. Great to have you on the 365 team! And say hi to Morley!

This is Matthew in between Mary Ann and Morley. He saved our butts with some (scarce) chairs. He's a regular and will miss this place. I'm here for my farewell Manhattan. Patty isn't here tonight, but Thai served us some mighty cocktails. Cheers!

Thai the drink guy. Nice rhyme!

Casey. Actor. Been coming to the rum house for ten years. He's gonna miss it! His table got stolen tonight by some parade dudes who hung a German flag from the light fixture.

Me and the German guys from Hanover. Karl, Axel and company.


Friday, June 25th, 2010—Bar 166

Day 166—Tursday, June 24th, 2010
Rum House

First off, thanks and a shout out to Fat Al for giving 365 a shout-out about the Subway Inn stop in his blog, “The Half Empty Glass,” that he writes and runs with his fellow contributer anonymous271. Here’s the post: 365 in the Half Empty Glass. Thanks, Fat Al, let me know when you guys want to join the crawl, I’ll buy the first round.

Every year Esquire magazine puts together a list of “America’s Best Bars.” There’s two bars in New York City that made the list this year and one of them (Old Town) I’ve already been to. The other is a place called The Rum House in the Edison Hotel on 47th St. near Broadway. That’s within walking distance from where I work, so let’s go see if Esquire called the right shot here.

Okay down 30th street...

Over to Broadway...

And awaaay we go!

Hello pretzel man.

Hello smiley pretzel man.


Yikes, it feels like last Friday all over again, where the fuck is this hotel?

Whew! Here we are. Now where's the bar?

Right next door, and it looks promising.

Nice and dark inside and it has the feel of the old Times Square. Nice choice, Esquire! I'll renew my subscription.

Francisco is a true gentleman and an excellent old-school bartender. And he knows the secret way to hold the 365 Bar Crawl card. Not too many people are clued into this.

Part time waiter, Steve told me the bar is struggling to exist, with rising rents and other bills bars face. Stop in here and have some drinks and let's help this place survive. It's one of the last worthwhile watering holes in Times Square.

Free pretzels!

A great tin bartop.

There's tables in the back.

Mary and Brian work down the street and said it would suck if the place closes.

The crowd here is a nice mix of friendly locals and tourists.

Francisco hard at work.
Meanwhile, back at the bar I met Martin, who was visiting New York from Ireland.

Then Joan and Lasse stopped in. They're a fun couple visiting from Denmark. The beers are really starting to flow now, along with good conversation. Tonight is one of the great night's on the old crawl.

John and John (could it be that I've drank so much at this point I'm hearing double?) join the party.

Another great night meeting and hanging out with new friends from all over the globe on the Bar Crawl! Goodnight, everybody!

Okay, since I got the idea to go here from Esquire, I’ll reprint their review (this way I don’t have to write one!)


The Rum House at Hotel Edison, New York

You're having: Scotch, rocks

When I'm in New York, I often ask to meet people at my favorite dark bar, a place called the Rum House that fronts the Hotel Edison on 47th Street. Not because it has a good jukebox (it does), or because the drinks are remarkable (they are not), or because it's an old-timey Times Square haunt. I like it because the windows in the Rum House face north, toward the cold cavern of a midtown cross street, hugged as they are on either side by heavy curtains. Because passers-by tent their brows and press the glass for a look at the guts of the place, which the darkness does not yield.

Because when I get there early and let my eyes adjust, I always get the first long look at the blinking and uncertain face of whosoever I am meeting. The place gives me options while they search the darkness. I can stand, or I can wave them over to where I sit, or I can wait until they recognize who I am and where we are. —Tom Chiarella


Esquire, you made the right call on the Rum House, one of Manhattan’s finest and a dying breed of a bar. Good review Tom, but I had a Beer, bottle; about seven of them. Cheers!

Rum House
228 W. 47th St. (Near Broadway)