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Let me start listing some of the "joints" from Charlie LeDuff's Work and Other Sins (see Currently Reading). Anyone know these places, and if they are still open, please chip in:

 

Cafe Bar (Astoria)

The Schlitz Inn (Port Morris)

Denny's Steak Pub (Kensington)

Mimi's (52nd and 2nd)

Montero's (somewhere near Red Hook)

Well, Mimi's is still thriving. It cropped up in a New York magazine article about libido this week. Described as "boisterous". Some of the reviews on CitySearch are less complimentary.

 

Nobody been?

 

I shall have to investigate.

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After all the sad goings on at the former Mare Chiaro and Marion's on the Bowery, maybe we should have an ongoing thread for threatened NYC bars.   Latest warning signs come from the wonderfully nam

i had just pm'ed him that you'd be coming after him. i see it didnt take long.

Time Out has it under their Just Opened heading.

I posted in the New York forum about 169 Bar on East Broadway, a true survivor which gradually evolved from a bleak dive to an unpretentious music/performance lounge with cheap beer, but which now looks kind of out of place with the Forward Building next door converted into millionaire condos.

 

Similarly, I was wondering how the hellish Mars Bar, an establishment which definitively blurs the line between bar and restroom, on the corner of Second and Second is going to get along with the spanking new residential development looming over it.

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Last month Deb and I were looking for a place to have a drink in the Village. I had done some research and settled on The Dove on Thompson Street. Unfortunately someone had booked the place for a private party so we had to do some scrambling. We wound up hitting Minetta Tavern, a former speakeasy that’s been open since 1937 and never saw the need to redecorate.

 

From New York Songlines:

 

“An Italian restaurant founded in 1937, it was a meeting place for Ezra Pound, e.e. cummings, Ernest Hemingway, etc. Joe Gould (who Joseph Mitchell often wrote about) worked on his Oral History of the World here; murals depict Village history. Until 1929 was The Black Rabbit, a speakeasy run by Eve Adams before Eve’s Hangout; Eugene O'Neill and Max Bodenheim were customers. Reader’s Digest was founded in the basement in 1923. The restaurant appears in the movie Jimmy Blue Eyes as La Trattoria, a mob-run joint …”

 

It’s a place that makes you feel like time stopped there 50 years ago. It was quiet when we walked in. A few NYU students at the end of the bar talking quietly. Satellite radio – Jonathan Schwartz playing Sinatra, Gershwin, Keeley Smith and Cole Porter, perfect for a bar like that in the late afternoon. The martinis were good – big ones for $9.00.

 

More people came in later – a mixed crowd of all ages. They have a restaurant which looks really atmospheric. Very Bogey and Bacall. Little lamps with shades on the tables. I did some research and found it’s straightforward old fashioned Italian of average quality. Prices were standard.

 

It’s just down the street from Bellavitae where we ate another outstanding meal. As for Minetta Tavern, if you took the right type of person there for a drink they’d be extremely impressed. The wrong type would think it’s a dark dive.

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This is a very good description. I strongly recommend this place - note also the exceptional collection of cartoons on the wall depicting local characters. Hasn't changed ownership in the long time. Back room serves pleasant, simple Italian food and has a lovely, soothing atmosphere.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought I'd bump this brief list up for my own benefit. Some curious bars to visit now the sun is shining. Any more?

 

Cafe Bar (Astoria)

Denny's Steak Pub (Kensington)

Mimi's (52nd and 2nd)

Montero's (Atlantic Avenue)

Pedro's Spanish-American under the Manhattan Bridge (Brooklyn side)

Farrell's (Prospect Park)

 

Must pay my annual visit to Ruby's on Coney Island too.

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Montero's was well worth the visit, and especially welcoming after a walk across Brooklyn Bridge on a chilly day. It's just the other side of Brooklyn Heights, on Atlantic Avenue near the water. The bar will be sixty years old next year, and it recalls the heyday of the Brooklyn waterfront, being stuffed to the gills with maritime memorabilia: lifbelts, wonderful model boats. Mr and Mrs Montero are no longer in evidence, but the current owner is most genial, and the atmosphere in the bar is timeless and calming.

 

It's a bit like visiting a licensed museum.

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Montero's was well worth the visit, and especially welcoming after a walk across Brooklyn Bridge on a chilly day. It's just the other side of Brooklyn Heights, on Atlantic Avenue near the water. The bar will be sixty years old next year, and it recalls the heyday of the Brooklyn waterfront, being stuffed to the gills with maritime memorabilia: lifbelts, wonderful model boats. Mr and Mrs Montero are no longer in evidence, but the current owner is most genial, and the atmosphere in the bar is timeless and calming.

 

It's a bit like visiting a licensed museum.

I've been to Montero's about 5 or 6 times. We usually hit a couple of other bars first in order to get in the right frame of mind. The place attracts more than it's share of zany characters ... almost as if it sends out bar pheromones which seem to draw in people who would be out of place in any other bar on Atlantic. Well, almost any other bar.

 

Montero's is the only bar in New York where I ever order Budweiser. I operate on the assumpution that they don't have anything else anyway and to ask for a Sierra Nevada or Brooklyn Lager would identify me as someone on an anthropological field trip. They can probably figure that out anyway but no need to scream it.

 

The original Waterfront Ale House is just up the block. Great beer selection and very good burgers.

 

If you're looking for a nice bizarre scene there is Hank's Saloon on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Third Avenue. Hank's was formerly known as the Doray Tavern, a dark and scary place catering to a rainbow coalition of lowlifes. For years the front wall was emblazoned with their slogan - "Where Good Friends Meet." The patrons looked like vampires that were down on their luck. Shudder.

 

Around 4 years ago the Doray morphed into Hank's Saloon which features live garage bands on weekends. The interior has been hosed down and the crowd is now about 80% scruffy kids of the type that appreciate garage bands of indifferent talent and the fact that there's no cover charge. Of the remaining 20%, half are people like myself who enjoy the occasional weird evening.

 

The other 10% consists of the original hard core patrons who are so addled that they think the place is still the Doray. The scruffy kids have adopted them as mascots and buy them drinks.

 

I'm good for 2 Hank's visits a year. Occasionally one of the bands is actually good.

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Thanks, Lex. It looks like a good strip for a bar crawl altogether.

 

I wonder if anyone knows about any of the Middle Eastern/Lebanese restaurants on the street?

Waterfalls is a favorite of Omni's. There used to be some decent places but they gradually all went away. Tripoli is a tourist trap.

 

Near Montero's is a place called Magnetic Field which sometimes has live music. Occasionally there's a young female DJ who has an amazing collection of Motown singles. She performs live in a Motown revival group called the Dansettes. There are some shows near you in May. Highly recommended.

 

The Brazen Head, a very nice beer bar, is a few blocks up the street. Convenient to the currently closed Brooklyn House of Detention.

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  • 2 months later...

Big downhill alert on Waterfalls, I'm afraid. The baba ganoush was acceptable; the hummus was utterly smooth and utterly bland. The lamb in the shish kebab tasted fishy - yes, I mean like fish. Borderline rancid, and it was chewy too. The kofte kebab was better - it could hardly not be. Salads were limp and tired. Quite bad food altogether. The kitchen staff were Mexican - not that Mexicans can't cook any cuisine perfecty well, as they do all over the city, but does that signal a change of ownership?

 

We looked wistfully through the window of Tripoli - everyone warned us away, but it looked more pleasant, and how could the food be as bad?

 

Montero's was a charm, as ever, and the Brazen Head is a pleasant, knockabout bar too.

 

Passed Queen on the way back to the train - must remember to try it.

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When will our suffering end?

 

According to TONY's "Are you thirsty?" issue (greeted in my house with a response involving bears, woods and pooping), the glorious Coney Island stalwart Ruby's Old Time Bar is under threat of being turned into a...

 

...community center...

 

shudder. I am not clear how it can be taken away from its owners and dealt with in such fashion, and apparently the outcome is undecided. But a community center at the heart of the Coney Island boardwalk?

 

Anyway, if you haven't been, go. Budweiser in a plastic cup, a pile of fried things, and don't forget to look at the old photos before repairing to the terrace and observing the passing crowd.

 

Founded just over thirty years ago by two brothers, Phil and Ruby, now deceased.

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Guest Aaron T

From Eater comes reports of an opportunity to speak up for the relocated Blind Tiger Ale House at the Community Board Mtg. Hopefully the anti-liquor nuts can be stopped in their tracks. Report here.

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