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Bars I Have Loved


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Some fun, for a change. This is the interior of the French House, in London's Soho. It was taken after the long-time landlord Gaston Berlement retired, because he didn't permit stools at all. In Ga

Nearly went there last week, but ended up in Walker's instead.

I've spent a few late afternoons at Pete's on Irving Place. It's the typical neighborhood dive bar but I like it.

 

Probably New York's oldest continuously operating fully licensed bar. Usually a lot busier than this:

 

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Nah, looks about the right.

 

It was my 4:00 watering hole when I stayed in Union Square and my gf took her mid afternoon, post-shopping, pre-dinner nap.

 

Drinking at Olives was always an expensive proposition.....the whiskey pours barely tinted the glass.

 

That explains it. Slammed at nighttime.

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The name doesn't seem to hurt business. It's crowded at night. In the afternoon it varies - it can be sleepy and relaxed or jammed and noisy. You can probably figure out which I prefer.

 

They usually get a pretty well behaved crowd but there are occasional exceptions. Once at around 4:00 in the afternoon we encountered a group of profoundly drunk 27 year olds. Screaming at the top of their lungs. Raucous laughter. Braying donkeys and donkeyettes.

 

They pumped some money in the jukebox and played stuff like AC/DC, singing along with the choruses. When the jukebox finished I hustled over and figured I'd play some things that would either soothe them or drive them out entirely. I told Deb my strategy and she approved.

 

First up - the old doo wop classic - I Only Have Eyes for You.

 

They screamed (SHOO-BOP-SHOO-BOP!) and stomped their feet and began to sing bad harmony. I put a pantomime gun to my head and pulled the trigger.

 

After another 10 minutes they left, staggering into the sunlight. They said they were going to a party later. Since they were ripping drunk at 4:30 I wonder how their evening played out.

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I don't think I posted the Coach & Horses in London's Soho. Just found a decent picture of the interior. The cartoons decorating the walls are originals of work by Michael Heath, published in Private Eye magazine, depicting life in the bar.

 

Coach+and+Horses-7.jpg

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Yes, wonderful interior. Just around the corner from my old haunt, the London Library, and off Jermyn Street, one of my favorite shopping streets. Fortnum & Mason's, Paxton & Whitfield (the supreme London cheesemonger before Neal's Yard), Geo. F. Trumper (the barber), Harvie & Hudson, Favourbrook.

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My company had offices in St. James square for awhile and I got to know the neighborhood. My memories are a bit hazy but I remember Fortnum's was especially useful. Even though these were business trips people back home expected me to return with little gifts. I found Fortnum's sold assorted soaps, beautifully wrapped, for a very reasonable price. They became my de facto gift along with their teas and were very well appreciated. Nothing like one stop shopping.

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