Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fontana's

105 Eldridge St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 334-6740


Visceralist has been receiving a lot of guff lately over its perceived stance of strictly shitting on NYC bars. Not that we give a good god-damn about what people think, but in the interest of balance, we hereby present a review of a bar that actually has it's motherfucking act together.

Bathroom situation
- Fontana's is a large place with a hefty amount of cubic mileage, so it makes sense that they don't really skimp on the coke closets. There's one unisex for the front bar, two unisexes for the rear bar and two multi-person brs in the basement. Now, granted you sometimes have to pay to go downstairs (cuz that's where the bands play) which only leaves 3 unisex bathrooms for a hangar-sized space, but oftentimes...ah, fuck it, it's inadequate.
Takes credit cards? - Yes, but they can be a liability. This place is odd in that it's like a dive bar, but fucking huge. Lots of shit gets lost in the "shuffle." And dirty south girls give me dirty south head [ed. move last sentence to Bathroom Situation section].
Crowded on weekends? - Yeah, really not worth the trouble Fri-Sat.
Seating - plentiful...multitudes...but you can never get one unless you get there before 10:30pm on the weekends. A non-issue at all other times. Like Rush (the band and the cunt).
Neighborhood - snuggling right up under the LES/Chinatown border. Pretty isolated late nights cuz nothing else around here is open. Cab it home unless you live nearby. Of if you're brokeass.
Type of crowd - as diverse as this stanky dive bar is large. J/k, it's mostly 2nd or 3rd tier hipsterati. They have bands in the basement every now and then, but never anyone you'd actually need to know about. Just have a good time.
Pretentious/assholes - most of the people here get the joke that is being pretentious in NYC.
Cost of Stella - $6, fyi they don't have it downstairs.
What time people start showing up - after checking to make sure that the cool kids are def showing up tonite.
Bartender efficiency - on a dead night (Sun-Thurs) no problems. On the weekend can be tricky to determine if it's more better to wait at the front bar (usually more bartenders) or the rear one (usually less crowded). Generally the rear one is gonna be the better bet because the crowd will be much more dense in the front and the rear bartenders seem to hustle harder.
Official Website - here. Poorly organized and in need of an update but comprehensive. But Visceralist has learned that the rear room is called the "Chandelier Room."
Food? How late - Tic-Tacs, Altoids & Gum...but it's BYOTTA&G.
TVs? What's on - a projector/screen in the Chandelier Room that generally shows stag films from the 50s and suchlike.
Guy:girl ratio - leaning hetero.
Toys - touch-screen multi-game console. Pool table in the Chandelier room. Booze.
Age of clientele - People who know the song "No Scrubs" pretty well - those who only kinda remember hearing about it.
Space for dancing - unfortunately no because the only time they play dance-able music in the Chandelier Room, it's too crowded for your parachute-pants.
D├ęcor - upscale-ish dive-bar-y.
Grimeyness - the bathrooms are a tad fucked up the fuck, but otherwise the place would pass even a Norwegian health inspection.
ID check procedure - Stringent. Always a dude outstairs on the steps. Meh.
Hood specificity - the ChiLES.
Music medium, style & volume - they played Rick Ross' "Hustlin" here recently and no one knew what the fuck was going on.
Specials or most popular drink - Happy Hour every day till 8pm. Patently weaksauce.
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