Tag Archives: new york bars

Black Bear Lodge Officially Extinct?

No more Big Buck Hunter. No more back room fireside chats. No more beer soaked carpet.  No more feeling like you’re in Colorado for a few hours before stepping back out onto 3rd Avenue.  Black Bear Lodge, you will be missed.

Anyone care to share a Black Bear Lodge story in the comments?

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An Open Letter to the Guy Who Brought an iPad into McSorely’s Old Ale House, NYC

Dear guy who brought the iPad into McSorely’s,

This may come as a shock, because you didn’t take your eyes off of the ultra-high resolution screen in front of your face, but McSorely’s is a traditional place. I think the wrinkled and chipped photo of the “McSorely Nine” baseball team, all with mustaches that would make any Williamsburgian hipster tear up with pride should have tipped you off. If that didn’t do it, then perhaps Houdini’s handcuffs, the saw dust on the floor or dust-laden chandelier would have done it. Actually, you should watch the iPad around all that dust — can’t be good for it.

I understand how proud you must feel to show off your new iPad to your friends. If I had one I’m sure I’d want to let them feel how thin it is, slide their fingers across the touch screen and then snatch it back with a smirk and say, “Get your own.”  

But not in McSorely’s, man.

Have a brew.  Talk it out.  Check out one of the few women who are brave enough (and awesome enough) to walk through it’s iron grate doors. 

McSorely’s is one of those rare spots with the power to transport you to another time, another state of mind.  How many places in America have both Abe Lincoln and John Lennon, and a myriad of other notables, downed a pint in?  It’s a special escape.  That’s why you go there.  It’s certainly not for the food or the amazing array of beers (McSorely’s Light or McSorely’s Dark).  But you have to let it do it’s magic and embrace it for what it is.  Abe would have left the iPad in his cabin.  And, if he wouldn’t have brought his iPad, then, my friend, I believe your unconscionable act spits in the face of presidents.  It defies the constitution.  And is as unAmerican as french, I mean freedom fries (which McSorely’s doesn’t serve), tango (which McSorely’s thinks is a Sylvester Stallone character from the late 80’s), and falafel (which you can get down the street and is actually quite tasty).

Next time, think before you bring your iPad into historic bars.  Abraham Lincoln would have wanted it that way. And John Lennon too.  Don’t tell me you don’t like the Beatles now, too? 

See you at the bar.

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Kettle of Fish: Doesn’t the Sign Go on the Outside?

The sign used to be outside, at the bar’s old location. And when I say old, I mean it. Kettle of Fish has been around in one iteration or another for 60 years, always in the Village, always a good time. In the 50s the beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac (who has a photo of himself in front of the then outside ‘BAR’ sign) and the like would hang out there. Since the beat went on, a host of journalists, musicians and New York personalities have frequented the place.  Students in my writing class have even met there to review work (even though the famous beat poets never hung out at this location) and I give it my drinking stamp of approval, for what it’s worth. Just don’t look for it by the side. Sometimes they draw the shades.

Check out this video from the bar’s website. It pretty much says it all.
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