Monthly Archives: August 2011

How did you spend the weekend of Hurricane Irene?

I spent a good chunk of my Saturday afternoon and evening at Ryan Maguire’s on Cliff Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.  This bar had a fire in early 2010, closed for about one year, revonated and re-opened just in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2011.  Great staff, a fantastic spot overall.  Definitely one for the Irish pub crawl in NYC’s Financial District.  So, where did you spend the weekend?  Please share your stories here.



Looking for an open NYC bar to wait for the storm? Check out these spots . . .

Could a Chumley's reopening be on the horizon?

The following article is from the New York Times City Room blog, written by James Barron:

It was the storied bar whose name everybody knew, even though it had no sign: Chumley’s, in Greenwich Village. A speakeasy during Prohibition and a destination for tourists seeking a snapshot or New Yorkers seeking a nightcap, Chumley’s has been closed since a wall collapsed in April 2007.

Chumley’s owners said they had hoped to reopen in a few weeks, then a few months. By 2008, they had removed the booths and tables — and the photographs that had lined the walls — and stored them for safekeeping. The building’s landlord, Margaret Streicker Porres, said in August 2008 that she hoped the work would be completed in midfall of that year.

Three years later, the construction barricades are still up. So when, really, will Chumley’s reopen?

“That’s the one question I need to work on,” said Jim Miller, a firefighter who started as a part-time bartender and ended up in charge. “There’s nobody more unhappy than I am about how long this has been going on. You have no idea how complicated this was.”

He said that earlier in the year, he had hoped to finish the construction work at the bar, at 86 Bedford Street, by now and bring back the furnishings and the photographs for an October reopening. “That timeline did not work out,” he said.

He took another look at the calendar and recalculated. “I was hoping to get in for the holidays,” he said. “That’s what I was pushing hard for.”

But that now seems unlikely, he said, and he has set his sights on 2012.

He said one of the biggest delays had involved the adjacent building at 56 Barrow Street. “It butted against the rear of our building,” he said. “Nothing could go forward until that was rectified, and it took a year and a half to work out.”

Ms. Streicker Porres agreed that the rebuilding had been unusually complicated — and that the end finally seemed to be in sight. “We are working through the last of what we expect to be the construction issues,” she said.

She said her team had been waiting for mechanical engineers who work for Mr. Miller “to give us some guidance” about where to install hookups for city services, “since you want to rebuild this building only once every 100 years.”

The building at 56 Barrow Street, near Bedford Street in the West Village, dates to 1827 and was given landmark status by the city last year. Ms. Streicker Porres said that the building was being “rebuilt as a townhouse with an apartment underneath.”

A second adjacent building, at 84 Bedford Street has been renovated as condominiums. Ms. Streicker Porres said the apartments were being marketed through Brown Harris Stevens. One, a two-bedroom duplex, is listed at $2.124 million. Another, a one bedroom unit, is priced at $1.015 million.

My thoughts:

I am ecstatic about about Chumley’s re-opening.  Frankly, I had given up hope as the months we waited for a re-opening turned into years.  I figured that we had lost another piece of Old New York forever.  Once open, Chumley’s will anchor the Speakeasy NYC pub crawl.

A Westchester County day-trip suggestion from

I came across this article recently from the New York Magazine site:

Metro-North, $9 each way
Over the past five years, Westchester County’s Captain Lawrence has become one of the region’s breakout craft breweries. But beer is only one reason to visit the captain’s home in leafy Pleasantville. Following a 45-minute train ride from Grand Central, you’ll disembark at Memorial Plaza, where on Saturdays till 1 p.m. you can shop the farmers’ market. Afterward, a five-minute stroll from the town center brings you to Captain Lawrence (914-741-2337), where free Saturday-afternoon tours run at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. and finish with free samples of beers like the piney Freshchester Pale Ale (the tasting room is open till 6 p.m.). Grab dinner at the Iron Horse Grill (914-741-0717), specializing in New American cuisine such as soft-shell crab with polenta, then catch an early evening art-house flick at the Jacob Burns Film Center (914-747-5555; movies like Cave of Forgotten Dreams begin at 7 and 9 p.m.). Then catch a 9:49 or 10:49 p.m. train home.

My thoughts:

This sounds like a great day-getaway to visit a fantastic brewery.  No craft-beer focused NYC bar crawl is complete without a Captain Lawrence or three!  I hope to visit the brewery in the fall and will share my experience with you.

A snuggie NYC pub crawl??

Here’s something I came across recently on Youtube:


My thoughts:

Well, it’s probably not my first choice for a NYC pub crawl theme.  Nevertheless, this is a good example of yet another type of theme you can have when doing your own NYC bar crawl!

A new brewery opens in Brooklyn

The following article is from, written by John Del Signore.

World’s Smallest Commercial Brewery Opens TONIGHT On Coney Island

Step right up and see the “world’s smallest ribbon” get cut tonight [8/10/11] to celebrate the debut of the world’s smallest commercial brewery, the Coney Island Brewing Company! The freakishly small micro-brewery is being opened by the San Francisco-based company Schmaltz, which produces HE’BREW beers, as well as the sideshow-inspired Coney Island Craft Lagers. At the new li’l brewery, beer will be produced in batches of one gallon, and sold at the brewery in collectible Coney Island Brewing Company packaging.

The recipes are inspired by “the local artistic and gastronomical landscape,” according to a press release, and recent batches include a Pumpernickel Bagel Porter; a Red, White, and Blueberry Hefeweizen; and a Caramel Apple Ale. The storefront will be open starting tonight through Halloween on Thursdays through Sundays, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tonight’s fiesta, which starts at 5:30, will feature beer samples, sideshow freaks, live music, and, of course, Borough President Marty Markowitz, who said in a statement, “Not to get all ‘shmaltzy,’ but Brooklynites will be ‘crying in their beer’—in a good way!—over the Shmaltz Brewing Company opening the Coney Island Brewing Company.” (Don’t worry, the more you drink, the less you’ll care about the President’s egregious crimes against comedy.)

3008 West 12th Street, Brooklyn

My thoughts:

Yet another brewery for Brooklyn; this is great news!  I can’t wait to see it.  I shall have a full report and pictures to share in this space following my visit.'s visit to Cobble Hill's Local 61

Local 61 (located at 61 Bergen Street, just east of Smith Street) is a solid beer bar in the heart of Cobble Hill.  As its name suggests, the place focuses on local offerings.  Much of the beer menu features a selection from Brooklyn and nearby NY State, with a few from Eastern PA.  There are also some Long Island wines available.  The chalkboard menu is unique.  Shaped like a geographical cut-out of Brooklyn, it lists all of the drink offerings.  The food menu focuses on small plates.  The beer offerings rotate frequently and this spot is one of the few places I know of that serves beer from Barrier Brewing Co., a small brewery on Long Island.  Local 61 is spacious with communal and high-top tables to accommodate medium-sized groups.  Definitely worth a visit, Local 61 needs to be part of any beer-focused Cobble Hill NYC bar crawl.'s comments in honor of International IPA Day

In honor of IPA Day (August 4), I figured I would write a few words about my favorite style of beer.  I remember my first IPA.  It was Baltimore’s Clipper City IPA.  I remember crispness of the hops and the refreshing flavor on my tongue.  Up until that point, I hadn’t really declared a favorite style of beer.  But ever since that Clipper City, the IPA has been my favorite.

My top IPAs (in no particular order) that are available presently (alas, some breweries whose IPAs I loved are no longer around.  I’m thinking of you, Lobsterback IPA, from the now-defunct Northeast Brewing Company of Boston): Pike Place IPA (Seattle), Victory Hop Devil (Downingtown, PA), Berkshire Brewing Company Lost Sailor IPA (South Deerfield, MA), Kelso IPA (Brooklyn, NY), Six Point Bengali Tiger (Brooklyn, NY) and Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA.

No NYC pub crawl is complete without a quality IPA or three!

Bengali Tiger now available in cans!

A real Round-the-World pub crawl?

I came across this clip on youtube recently:


My comments:

Sounds like it would have been a lot of fun to participate in this real Round-the-World pub crawl.  I wonder what type of Round-the-World NYC pub crawl could be performed a) within Manhattan only and b) including all five boroughs in NYC.  I will think about this challenge and share with you my thoughts in a forthcoming post.

What are your thoughts on this video or the possibility of doing an NYC version of it?  Please share your comments here.