Thursday, June 30, 2005

Rudy's Bar and Grill

Rudy's Bar and Grill
627 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036-3702
(212) 974-9169
Btw. 44th Street and 45th Street

Rudy's Bar and Grill has been around for the Hell's Kitchen (or "Clinton" or whatever its called now) gentrification, but has kept much its same character. There are regular drunks, after work yuppies, college kids, and folks who are nursing their beers while eating free hot dogs and popcorn.Insides a bit of a smaller space with 5 booths (2 round) and a long bar (the end of which has a newfangled electronic jukebox). There is an outside for smoking and drinking, which is pretty spacious, but like all outsides in NYC, closes around 11:30/12 or so. The beer is cheap, the liquor is moderate with a pitcher of American going for $8 a pint for $3 and a Wild Turkey for $5.50. The hot dogs are pretty good (just ask) and the bartenders will hand them out or giving out popcorn (though I hear sometimes they give patrons wait). Thanks to gentrification it's more of a faux-dive, its still a fine place to hit up when you're hard up with free dogs nd cheap beer.

Decor (4/5) - Grime and taped up seats make the decor pretty crappy - which ranks high in a dive bar site

Crowd (4/5) - Mixed, many a group of people come here, but after some drinks inter-mingling occurs. All types show up.

Drinks (4/5) - The beer is cheap, but the liquor is a bit more

Dive Factor (4/5) - If the clientele were more down, and the bartenders surlier, this would be a true dive but alas, happy faces and neighborhood gentrification has made this a destination for transplants who want to go to a dive.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Blarney Cove - Pic

Blarney Cove Exterior
Originally uploaded by NYC Tom.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Blarney Cove

14th street bet. A+B

Ignore the Time Out New York "best dive bar" review in the window -- this isn't the best dive bar in the city (but it's a good one) and, more importantly, it doesn't seem like the kind of place where you'll run into any Time Out New York readers. On a Monday (Tuesday? they're starting to run together) night, the place was almost totally deserted except for a couple of guys at the jukebox and the bartender playing video games in the back.

Decor: long and narrow; the kind of brassy, seventies interior you might associate with mob movies. A little faded, but not in poor repair. 4/5

Jukebox: if we had a "weirdest jukebox" award would go to the Holiday Lounge (*three* patty griffin albums? did she come in with a shotgun and load it herself?) but this place would be second. lots of frank sinatra with the white stripes and other newer, hipper stuff sprinkled in unselfconsciously. includes "she's got you" by patsy cline, which i have to stop using as a metric though because most bars seem to have it. 2/5

Drinks: ridiculously cheap if you stick to the specials -- two pints of killian's for $5. we didn't sample the liquor but will add something in the comments when we do. 4.5/5

Dive factor: this place really feels like a dive without feeling like they're going out of their way to be one (see Mars Bar, Botanica, etc, fine establishments all), which is unusual. And only matched so far, in this reviewer's opinion, by international bar. Which i would link to the review of if I knew how. 4.5/5.

UPDATE: Our team of experts found the link to our previous review

The Delancey

The Delancey
168 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-9920
Cross Street: Clinton Street
Directions: F at Delancey St; J, M, Z at Essex St
If going by cab, take Ridge down and then right onto Delancey before you get to Clinton

1/2 hipster, 1/2 striped shirt, The Delancey (though it sounds like a hotel it is not) is an odd duck. Usually a cover, but well drinks ($5) are cheap. Check out the "Death Disco" party every Wed., for good punk/hardcore bands, a good DJ/VJ on the main floor (the place has multiple floors), and, most important in the summer, no line for the roof (though it is quite crowded - FYI the roof closes at 12:30). Other days have varying covers, but usually no more than $7/$8. thankfully, its been open over a year so the buzz crowd is dwindling and the usual Lower LES crowd takes over. The mix that results is a good one, on the night of review, 3 transvestites, a group of JP Morgan summer investment banking associates, out of towners, art types and punk fans. Pretty good.

Decor (3/5) - The bottom and main floor are "trash-ablanca" to steal from a Black Betty review, but the roof is pretty swank - you wouldn't guess its a rock club.

Crowd (3/5) - Mixed which is nice, though points lost for a seeming lack of alcohol problems. Go there if you are in a good mood, not if you want a depressing dive (see the upcoming Blarney Cove review for that)

Drinks (4/5) - Strong and cheap

Dive Factor (3/5) - Bottom floors and location add to it, but the roof is pretty nice, it has goldfish and fountains! Oooo lala.

All in a nice place, pay the cover if you are seeing a band, if not go early in the week when the roof is not to crowded and fight off tropical Malaria with G&T's

Biny Karaoke

Biny Karaoke
8 Thompson Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013
(212) 334-5490

An ok place, the song selection is above average, as is the communal karaoke room - it is actually used and non-G&R songs are sung. The drinks are not cheap, and though it looks dumpy, is somewhat trendy.

Decor (2/5) - OK - the private rooms are oddly placed, and the communal room is oddly designed

Crowd (2/5) - Frat guys circa 1987 and locals

Drinks (2/5) - Over-priced and watery

Dive Factor (1/5) - Not a dive, just poor looking

Go to Sing Sing on 8th or K-town to save yourself the hassle.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Biny Karaoke - Picture

BINY Kareoke in C-Town 6/11
Originally uploaded by NYC Tom.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Trash Bar

The Trash Bar
256 Grand St. at Roebling
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 599-1000

A bar set up to be a dive, but don't tell the bikers and sweaty rockers that. The highlight of a recent evening in the area, Trash offers seating in the form of old car seats (upstairs front seats, in the downstairs "lounge", back seats). The jukebox is excellent, 80s, Willie Nelson, hard rock metal - pretty comprehensive. $2 hot dogs aren't that great a deal but the free tater-tots every hour are. $2 PBR, cheap well drinks, and other cheap drinks makes one wax nostalgic for those 7th grade lunches eating army grade cafeteria tater tots and sipping on cheap booze (some of us went to NY public school). There is live music in the back, for those who don't care for a lack of high pitched ringing in the ear. Friendly hipsters, some biker and some rockers make the crowd interesting.

Decor (4/5) - Car seats, license plates, general roadside theme gets good points. Plus, car seats are pretty comfy

Crowd (4/5) - Nice mix, not too crowded, not too empty. Some counting on the free tater tots for dining, some hard-core drinkers

Drinks (3/5) - Average strength, fair prices

Dive Factor (3.5/5) - The faux dive turned into a pretty real one, though points are lost for not rock-bottom drink prices and general friendly atmosphere

Black Betty

Black Betty
366 Metropolitan Ave (at Havemeyer)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Phone: 718-599-0243

Black Betty is set up as a faux North African themed dive. Red walls, tattered seats, and other touches give the place a produced seedy decor, but one that is still a pleasure to spend time in. Ample room, many group tables and a central Wburg location makes it an ideal place to begin an evening. Though there early at time of review, there are DJs and live music (check out the website for further detail). The outdoor space is great, not too crowded, table seating, relaxed atmosphere... you can eat out there as well. This is a nice spot, though not a down an dirty dive, the drinks are pretty cheap, and the atmosphere is not pretentious (you won't find lone drinker, but you won't find striped shirts).

Decor (4/5) - Tricky, the divey middle eastern in contrived, but still divey. It works well however, along with the good seating and outdoor space.

Crowd (3/5) - Hipsters, vegans and neighborhood folk (who are hipsters)

Drinks (3/5) - Pretty good, $4-5 well, $7 top shelf. Well mixed.

Dive Factor (2/5) - Too friendly and laid-back a place to be a real dive, but still a good time. Looks like a dive, at least. Good compromise for your out-of-town friends who want to "totally go to a dive" but won't step foot in a real dump (i.e. Mars Bar)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Open Bars and All-you-can-drink Specials

New York Metro, a fine source for lists of drinking related items, put out another list of places which have open bars or all-you-can-drink specials. Some applicable ones follow:

Select deals cribbed from New York Metro - extensive list here:

8-11pm: Doc Holliday's The Deal: $5 for unlimited Bud Lite drafts.The Draw: Drinks are always as cheap as the dirt on the floor at Doc's, but this may be their best
special of all.
9-12pm: The Cellar The Deal: $12 for all-you-can-drink Bud, Yeungling, and well drinks (Thursdays also). The draw: Compared to Doc's, this basement bar's backyard patio is literally a breath of fresh air. Service can be slow: the barkeeps card all the babyfaces who walk in from the NYU dorms. Stay sober by making use of the pizza joint next door or the many takeout menus on hand.

6pm-3:30am: Bar 4 The Deal: Any day of the week, $15 for unlimited PBRs and Yeunglings. The Draw: Hand over a $20 and get the change in quarters: the day-long beerfest at this casual Park Slope spot means you'll have plenty of time to beat the high score on the Ms. Pac Man/Galaga machine.