A Tasty Visit to The Wing Bar

21 02 2010

The Wing Bar is tasty for multiple reasons: great food that makes me feel like I’m back in college, good drinks at fair prices, and, in this bar fly’s opinion, cute staff.  Their specialty is obviously wings.  You can order anything from 10 wings for $7.50 or 100 wings for $66.50, but hopefully if you do the latter you bring a few friends.  I swung by Wing Bar earlier in the night, but it was packed wall to wall with happy feasting customers.  It was too busy to squeeze in an interview, so I made a few rounds before heading back.

Peter with customers

Upon my return, the bartender, Peter, called me out on my previous awkward entrance and escape.  He also agreed to do an interview after having a smoke and getting some actual work  done.  Brooke, my waitress, got me a delicious $5 margarita.  After a short while, Peter came back, beer in hand, for an interview (and maybe a little flirting?).

Bar Fly: You’re allowed to drink and bar tend?
Peter: Well, luckily I’m also part owner. (Oh, la la!)
Bar Fly: Good for you.
Peter: It works for drinking.
Bar Fly: How long have you worked here?
Peter: Since we opened- July.
Bar Fly: Did you always want to own a bar?
Peter: It’s in our family.  My family has owned bar in Miami since, I think, ’66.  Ukulele Bar.  My grandpa opened it and my dad runs it.  It’s a super dive. (My fav kind)
Bar Fly: So, your vision here?
Peter: Actually it was my brother’s vision.  My dad was in law enforcement too and retired and thought of opening something else down there and my brother wanted his own place and we convinced him to do it up here… we were just lucky.
Bar Fly: Do you like the neighborhood?

An hour earlier ever seat was taken.

Peter: I love it.
Bar Fly: What’s your average patron like?
Peter: Laid back. …It’s a comfortable, low pressure place.  Easy, not pretentious.  I play the music loud.  I’m a big music fan.
Fly:  You have that air about you.  What’s your favorite drink to make?
**Co-worker Justin comes over and says bye to Peter/introduces himself to me.**
Peter: I work at Tribeca Grand Hotel too.  So I like to make classic cocktails.  We try to incorporate some.  Personally, I like Manhattans and Old-Fashions, but in the summer we’re going to do a Raspberry Collins here.  Meanwhile our Firefly’s are popular.
Bar Fly: Most ridiculous thing that has happened here?
Peter: Umm… Probably when the Yankees won, we danced on the bar.  But really, we’re all crazy, so crazy isn’t really crazy, so I’d say nothing.  (How cute is he?)
Bar Fly: When are you the busiest?
Peter: Weekends obviously, but baseball season.  I’d rather play music videos, but I respect [the sports fans]… It’s a neighborhood bar and people come to eat and relax.
Bar Fly: Do you do more food or drink business?
Peter: More food, we pride ourselves on our food.  But the bar is part of the atmosphere.
Bar Fly: When are you open until?
Peter: 3 or 4 if we are busy, but we want to go out too, you know?
Bar Fly: I do (too well).

I stayed for a few more drinks.  Got to know my sweet waitress Brooke and kept having to remind myself not to stare at the adorable Mr. Peter.

Go to The Wing Bar if you’re hungry, thirsty, or… Just go.

– Bar Fly


Bar Great Harry: Pretty Great

20 02 2010

Bar Great Harry

If you’ve been looking for a solid beer selection, you can end your search at Bar Great Harry.  The choices are plenty and delicious.  I went with the Southern Tier Unearthly, which has an enjoyable 10% alcohol (I also suggest you check out ST’s site and their local NYC bar tours where they offer free samples).  The crowd was a little older than my usual, but friendly- especially the customers who came with dogs! Is there any easier way to get a girl to talk to you than to bring an adorable canine?  I think not.

I met Denis, who’s friends were ditching him, and invited him and his pup to the table for an interview.  Let’s face it, I’m pretty much smitten with all dogs, so I really couldn’t get off the topic.

Dennis: I’m going to have my agent with me? (nods to dog)
Bar Fly: Her name?
Dennis: Lola. Well, Lolita.
Bar Fly: Do you bring your dog to bars a lot?
Dennis: Sometimes, I have two.
Bar Fly: Where else can you bring her?
Dennis: Brooklyn Social, but only if you know the people there.  There’s another place on Court and Spark, but I know the owner there too so that’s cheating.    (To Dog)  Are you playing attention, Lola?
Bar Fly: Has your dog ever drank beer?
Dennis: No, no, never. Only water, I actually filter her water with brita.  (Oh, geeeez, I don’t even use a filter for myself)
Bar Fly: So, why do you like this bar?
First, it’s a beer bar and I’m a beer drinker.  I prefer to control my drinking, liquors harder, I don’t want to be “that guy.”  Also, of course, we have an open dog policy, can take them off the leash.  I think this is probably the best bar in Brooklyn…. but knowing the owner or the workers is the golden ticket (thumbs up).

So, stop by Bar Great Harry if you want a chance to enjoy a great beer and drnkenly play with some guy’s or gal’s dog.

Brooklyn Social

19 02 2010

Easily passed from the outside- Brooklyn Social

You could pass by Brooklyn Social without knowing it, but I advise you to take a closer look. Located on 335 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, the outside of the bar is black and signless, and you’ll only know of its existence if you run into some bar-going smokers outside.  Brooklyn Social tips its hat to its roots as an Italian social club, keeping the throw-back vibe for a modern-day crowd.  The decor seems to have changed little over the years, with a classic register, antique ice box and pictures lining the walls of the social club members.   Excellent cocktails for just under Manhattan prices, a staff that looks straight out of Pleasantville, and old-time jazz, make Brooklyn Social absolutely charming.

Jill, Monique, and Rachel were in that easy to approach corner booth and looked like exactly my kinda people.  Jill lives on the Upper West and Rachel and Monique were neighborhood girls.

Bar Fly: So, what the hell made you come all the way out here?
Jill: We came here for a book club meeting.
Rachel: I just came from sitting on my sofa.
Bar Fly: What book were you guys reading?
Monique: Hard Rain Falling.
Bar Fly: Should I know it?
Monique: It’s by Don Carpenter, he’s one of the beatniks.  Like Kerouac.
Bar Fly: Oh, I love Jack.  Oh, wow it even looks like a beatnik book.  There’s always this look about them.  Was it good?

Jill, Monique, Rachel, the lovely ladies of BS

Monique: I only read half, but so far yes.
Bar Fly: Great what are you drinking?
Jill: Old fashions.
Bar Fly: Is that your usual?
Monique: Usually I drink Whiskey.
Bar Fly: Me too.
Jill: I’m a red wino.  But don’t put that in the blog!  (woops!)

: Whatever strikes me, but I’m such a light weight.
Bar Fly: What else is good in this neighborhood?
Rachel: I love Clover Club.  They make fancy cocktails… Oh and One Eyed Jacks.
Bar Fly
: Are these all on Smith?
: All on Smith.
Monique: Oh Char!
Rachel: Oh, yeah.  Char 21 or something good cocktails.  I tried some amazing cocktails at Union Square at this new bar that this guy from New Orleans opened, called Rye, I think.
Monique: Where is it?
Rachel: Right by school.  I got out of school and Kevin and I went there, it’s I think on 14th, and then we went to see Swan Lake…. (long explanation about the beauty of Swan Lake and the Prima Ballerina).
Bar Fly: Do you usually go out on Wednesdays?
Jill:  I don’t like my Wednesday yoga instructor so yes, I usually do.
Bar Fly: What is you favorite thing to do when you get drunk?
Rachel and Monique (simultaneously): Pass out.

one shot I got before being told to "put the camera away"

Jill: Make out… then pass out.
Monique: I like to remember making out.
Bar Fly: Overrated.

Overall- a classy place, classy girls, classy drinks.  Only complaint, they asked me to stop taking pictures.  These shots are the few that I got in before being scolded.


Back to my Roots at McSorley’s

18 02 2010

Outside McSorley’s there’s a sign on the window that says, “We were here before you were born.”  As you walk past the barrels (of what I don’t know) and swing that old door open you already get that rough, but comforting old time pub feeling.  The floor is blanketed with saw dust and stray cats wander around drinking from abandoned mugs.  The menu is simple: Light or Dark beer.  And as you settle into an warn in wooden chair next to the open furnace, you feel at home.  According to the website, “everyone from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon have passed through McSorley’s swinging doors,” and though this place is known by many New Yorkers, it’s far from trendy.

Outside McSorley's

I got myself two mugs of Light (you can only order two mugs at a time) and sat down with some gentlemen in the back.  Chad, Patrick, and Michael were celebrating Mardi Gras in their own fashion and immediately got to mocking me and trying to turn the interviewer into the interviewee.  We began and I knew immediately I had no control over my interview or these rambunctious lads.

Patrick:  So, what’s you’re favorite beer here?  (Yes, he started the questions)
Bar Fly: There’s only light or dark.
Michael: Well, all together?
Bar Fly:  That’s a big question.
Chad: Ever been to Mardi Gras?
Bar Fly: No.
Chad: Why not?  What the hell is wrong with you? (multiple things)
Michael: Do you have bells palsy?
Patrick: He asks everyone that.  I don’t know why.  Put me down as Pat the wanker.
MIchael: Michael the fish diver.
Chad: Look at your writing!
Bar Fly: What about my writing?
Chad: You were making fun of me for my handwriting (on the waiver).
Bar Fly: Oh, but I can read this.  Why so many tats, Chad?
Chad: I have no idea.  It just happened that way.  I meant to stop at half sleeves.  Oh, I lived through Katrina.

From Left: Michael, Patrick, Chad. Fun guys.

Bar Fly: Did I ask about that?
Patrick: What’s your favorite fish?
Bar Fly: Tilapia?
Michael: Your favorite fish to dive for?
Bar Fly: Umm… I don’t know (why would I?). Where are you from?
Patrick: England.
Michael: Phili.
Chad: New Orleans.

Michael: He thinks he is.
Patrick: He didn’t even know Mardi Gras was today!
Michael: No, he just doesn’t know his day of the week.  He is from New Orleans though.
Chad: I knew Mardi Gras started on the 16th, I just didn’t know what day of the week today was.
Bar Fly: Do you have a job?
Chad: I told you, I work at Saks. (maybe he did but they were allll talking at once.)
Bar Fly: Do you guys come here a lot?
Chad: 1st time.
Patrick: But I f-ing love this place.  I give it a 95 out of 10.  (Points to a painting of a naked European woman and nods. Boys never grow up.)
Michael: I’m fucking standing on saw dust.
Chad: I just moved down the street. I live on 1st and Saint Marks.
**The guys get their bill and there’s some mummbling about the cost and figuring stuff out**
Patrick: I rate this place for Value: 10/10,  Service: 9/10,  Decor: 10/10.
Chad: What about the interviewer?
Patrick: 4/10 (ouch)
Chad: Oh, I give the interviewer 9.8/10.
Bar Fly: Thanks, Chad.

Nicole eating Bday pizza in the cold. Funny face.

Obviously that interview went a little off course, but was still fun.  Thanks guys for keeping it interesting.  And, as always, McSorley’s was a blast. Although it turns out they close a little early on weeknights.  Good to know.

Bzzz…  Bar Fly

Fat Tuesday at Continental

17 02 2010

Sometimes you want to go dancing, sometimes you want to have a nice glass of wine with friends, sometimes you want an old booth for snuggling in, but just sometimes you want to get plain old drunk.  For those times, Continental is the place to be.  Five shots for ten dollars, yeah baby.

Continental, classy and right next to McDonalds

My friend Nicole’s birthday was yesterday, so Bar Fly was flying less than solo.  Continental is a big place and it wasn’t too crowded- did no one know that it was Fat Tuesday?  We got a big round booth and ordered a round of 2 dollar beers to go with the M&M brownies I baked for the birthday girl.  Our waitress was efficient, but lacked personality.  I guess sometimes that’s enough.  The movie projector on the back wall was playing classic Superman with helpful subtitles.  After a few rounds I went looking for an interview and found a group of messy boys all clad in plaid.  Jess, Dan, and Hugh invited me to sit, with their cute but not-matching accents, and we got crackin’.

Bar Fly: Where are you all from?
Danny: Ireland.
Jess: Australia.
Hugh: England.
Bar Fly: What the hell are you doing here?
Danny: Oh, that’s aggressive.
Hugh: We did a show last night.
Bar Fly: Let me guess, you’re puppeteers!?
Danny: Ha, no we’re in a band.
Hugh: Rockfest.
**Alex comes over and is hesitant to sign my waiver- yes, I’m official like that.**
Jess: Just sign it!
Bar Fly:  I just want your soul.
Alex: Ok, ok!
Bar Fly: What kinda music do you play?
Danny: It depends what instruments.
Jess: Funk Regae.
Hugh: Slash some rock.
Alex: If it’s good, it’s good.
Bar Fly: Who plays what?
Danny: Base.
Hugh:  (does some mime piano moves) Keys.
Jess: Skins.
Alex: Guitar.
Bar Fly: Are you all here for a while?
Danny: Two days.
Jess : We leave Thursday.
Danny: We’re leaving Thursday morning, but we can’t go to bed Wednesday really.
Alex: Tomorrow’s our last full day.
Bar Fly: Is it your first time here?
Jess: Danny’s first, but not everyone else’s.
Danny: This is our band’s first interview!  Too bad no one has said anything witty.
Jess: One day we’ll be huge and you’ll be famous for this!
Danny: And we signed all our rights away!
Bar Fly: What’s the bands name again?
Hugh: Rockfest.

Rockfest, From Left to Right: Jess, Danny, Hugh, Alex, and the lead singer who's name I never got... sorry!

Bar Fly: Ohhh, I get it, woops.
Danny: It’s funny because we don’t play rock.
Jess: We don’t stick to labels.  (1st band to ever say that, I’m sure!)
**The band picks on me for how slowly I’m writing**
Jess: You should learn shorthand.
Alex: You shitty note taker.  Ha, we’re joking.
Bar Fly:  (I’m bright red) So, has anyone gotten any ass yet?
Danny: In New York?  We’ve been here for one day!
Alex: You should have said vagina.
Bar Fly:  Oh, you guys say vagina.
Jess: Yes, we only say vagina, no slang.  (I sense some sarcasm.)
Hugh: Does that have to mean Ass literally?
Bar Fly: Ha,ha, Let’s see what else…. I see you guys like flannel a lot.
Danny: You should have seen us yesterday.
Jess: Flannel’s a material.  This is checkers (points to Danny).
Danny: Mine is fake flannel.
Bar Fly: Oh, but you’re legit, Jess.  How old is the band?
Jess: Six months.  We’ve always played music  Danny and I have played together for a while.
Alex: We just joined them.
Bar Fly: Who’s the leader.
Jess: He’s coming.
Alex: He’s a muslim.
Danny: But, like he’s strong about religion. He does a loud prayer before we perform.
Bar Fly: Oh sorry, ( have to flip a few pages) my notepad got a little messy, some random sketches.
Jess: If you want to do a sketch of us, I’ll pose.
Alex: You’ll have to take a picture of us for real though.
Bar Fly: I will.  OK, let’s end it before it gets messy.
Hugh: It’s getting messy?
Bar Fly: How’d you find out about this place?
Danny: A person on the street told us five shots for ten dollars.
Jess: That’s attention getting.
Bar Fly: …Let’s get some shots… So how’d you end up with this devout Muslim lead singer.
Jess: He has a good voice.
Alex: And he threatened to kill all of us.

Continental Bar

Bar Fly: American’s like this shit. (Sorry, that’s offensive, I know.)
Danny: The band’s help hostage by a belt of bombs he wears.
Bar Fly
: OK, I think we took that far enough for real this time.  Thanks guys.
: Don’t be a stranger!
Bar Fly: I won’t.  Feel free to come over and serenade the birthday girl!

The boys did come over, with the lead singer who was very nice.  They took some shots with us, but they did not serenade us. In, fact they kept insisting I sing some Irish songs I know.  Which I did not do for them, rather, I saved the singing for Nicole and Ian’s private show later.  What could be a better birthday present than having a tone-deaf drunken girl sing “Irish Rover” and “Danny Boy” a cappella?

V-Day at Bar 4: Laughter, Love, Booze

16 02 2010

Surprise, surprise.  Where did I spend my Sunday night?  At my regular Bar 4. My friends Nicole and her beau Ian, and Angie and her “something” Jeremy came along with my sister and I… just to make us feel reeeeally single.  Oh, don’t pitty me.  I’m kidding, partially because I love my single life and especially since Ian and Jeremy are decent guys (Especially Ian- a whiskey man).  The whole group had a great time, thanks not just to the great bartender, Rich, but because of the best kept secret in brooklyn.  A stellar, FREE comedy show hosted every Sunday by Yannis Pappas.

Unfortunately, Yannis couldn’t make it (Because: A. He was near death or B. Because he had another gig- the answer is unclear).   Luckily for us, host Leah Bonnema filled his big (always fresh) shoes, along with a list of other comedians, Frank Gallo (who actually co-produces the show), George Gordan, Dan Goodman, Chis Laker, and Louie Katz to name a few. (If you were there and remember more comedians names- shoot me a line.)  But, I don’t review comedians, that would imply I have some talent in comedy.  I do not.  I have talent in drinking, so let me get back to the topic at hand.

It was V day, so to get in the mood I picked the cute couple who had taken some heat during the show.  Liz and John are that cute couple.  They have a long distance relationship, no jobs, and like talking about oral sex.  Cool kids, if I say so myself.

Bar 4 is my Valentine!

Bar Fly: How’s Valentine’s Day going?
John: Mellow.
Bar Fly: Liz?
Liz: It’s going well.
John: We had a good day.  It’s her birthday!
Bar Fly: A Vday bday?
Liz: Yep.
Bar Fly: Well, happy birthday.  So, who did you like tonight?
John: I liked the heroine amazon guy. (Joke reference… or rather, very long, comical, but heart breaking story reference)
Bar Fly: Louie Katz.
John: That guy.
Bar Fly: Yep, Louie…  Who else?
John: The southern black boy.
Bar Fly: George Gordan? He’s southern?  I didn’t hear an accent…
(I can’t make out a portion of this interview.  I’m thinking it was something about Dan Goodman of the movie Hell Cop.  Let’s face it I was drunk and my handwriting looks like a blind person was writing with their foot.)
John: And the angry one.
Bar Fly: Oh, Chris Laker.  Yeah, I was the inspiration for his uncle joke.  I’m that girl!  (You’ll have to see Chris Laker to get the reference)
Liz: Ohhh.
John: Yeah, I saw you looking proud after he said that joke!
(Speak of the devil Chris Laker comes over and I interrupt my own interview to say hi. Yes, this is where my Bar Flyness mixes with social butterflyness)
Bar Fly: So, have you guys been here before? And also, sorry I’m writing so slow, I’m usually better at this.
John: No…. something something something “back on the swing.” (I can’t make sence of this quote at all).
Liz: It’s my first time too.
Bar Fly: And was it good?
Liz: I had a great time.
John: Free comedy show!
LIz: I was thoroughly impressed.
Bar Fly: Would you suggest it to others?
Liz: Yes…. You know who you really look like?
Bar Fly: Katherine Heigl.  (I’m not being cocky!  I hear it a lot!)
Liz: Yes- other people say that to you?
Bar Fly: Yes.
John: Is that a compliment:
Liz: Yes!
John: Oh.
Liz: How do you not know Katherine Heigl?
John: I watch House.
Liz: You remind me of that guy.
John: House?
Liz: Well, I don’t watch the show but yes!
Bar Fly: What’s the craziest thing you ever did in a bar?
Liz: Together or separate.
Bar Fly: Uhh, together! It’s Valentines day.
John: I’d say I ate your pussy.
Liz: (Hits John) I don’t know the craziest.  We danced a lot.
John: We made some good drunken stories.  Remember that dive bar?
Liz: John and I tend to dance when no one else is and we have no problem.
Bar Fly: and he apparently goes down on you in bars.
Liz: No, Oh my god.  He does not.
John: It’s the comedy spirit, my dear!

A great couple, a great show, a great bar, and I had a great buzz.  Happy birthday, Liz!  Sorry if I misquoted you guys a tad, this is the danger of drinking on the job!

Bzzz… tomorrow. Bar Flying while celebrating a birthday.  A first!

I’m also considering posting a picture of me in the morning with a crucial hangover.  I look disgusting, but I think it might be worth it for your viewing pleasure.  Let me know if you agree.

Happy Valentine’s Day aka Singles Awareness Day

15 02 2010

Lover Boy, Oh Lover Boy

Happy Valentine’s Day, fellow bar flies!

No, Bar Fly did not get a box of chocolates from anyone this year, but that’s ok, because a true Valentine would have gotten me a 6 pack (don’t worry I got one for myself). But, if anyone should be my Valentine- it’s this faceless man. Where are you, my dear, drunk Prince Charming?

Tonight, I’m off to comedy at Bar 4 in South Park Slope with some good friends.  Because if you don’t have love, at least have laughter.

Drink up, lovers.  I sure will.

Bzzzz…. Bar Fly

A Special Valentine, to that special someone... Beer.