Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Destination Bar & Grille

211 Avenue A (NW corner of 13th)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 388-9844

Bathroom situation
- one M's and one W's in the back to the right...both single-person and both cute as a button on a tiny blazer on a pomeranian puppy (as the above iPhone photo totally attests).
Takes credit cards? - yes, and with no discernable minimum (tho keep in mind this spot is newish yet, so that could all change once they realize how much their APR goes up when they start accepting a bunch of Rush Cards [ed. damn, inside baseball much?]).
Crowded on weekends? - yes, but for some reason this place seems to attract the tastefully, non-descript cool. The sort who take for a given that Wet Hot American Summer is the funniest movie of the past 10 years.
Seating - two tables by the windows in front, 10 stools at the bar, and a long row of booths on the left which could conceivably accommodate 8 people each.
Neighborhood - Right near the border between Stuyvesant Town and reality.
Pretentious/assholes - the reviews of this place on Yelp are so uniformly positive as to suggest evidence of malfeasance (which Yelp is no stranger to, btw), but try as we might, we here at Visceralist genuinely can't really find too much to shit on here. So this place is actually getting one of our better compliments: the absence of vicious insults [ed. big shouts out to Plan B].
Cost of Stella - yes, $6, but only by the bottle. When asked if they had anything on tap that was like Stella, the bartender answered "Um....I'll have to check..." then quickly ran away and forgot this interaction. To be fair tho, she was really hot and skinny, so that question was fairly sadistic. The bartender who took over her shift later, however, responded that no, they didn't have anything on tap even remotely close to Stella.
What time people start showing up - by 10:30ish it'll be crowded to the point where, if you're sitting at a table or in a booth, you'll likely have to remind your waitress about your orders.
Bartender efficiency - they're about as good at making eye-contact with patrons as you are when you cross paths in the street with that ex you still kinda like and think "damn, what kind of effort would it take to get him/her back? Eehhh, not worth it."
Official Website - here. And web 2.0'd up (174 Twitter followers ftw!). Clean and easy to navigate with all the info you'd need from a bar's website (contact, menu, hours). More of this, please, EV bars.
Food? How late - fuck yeah. This is where the drooling really comes in for this Visceralist. The menu's bacon'd up the fuck plus they have something called Buffalo Chicken Lollipops. What's a diabetes?
TVs? What's on - nah, playboy.
Guy:girl ratio - God, Moby's "Play" may be horribly front-loaded and dude may be a one-trick Seabiscuit, but fuck, it's still got that badonk.
Toys - the amenities in the bathrooms are gonna have to make do...that or anything/one you may bring with you into the bathroom [ed. subtle].
Age of clientele - young-looking 30's [ed. hysterical. Like that exists...]
Space for dancing? - this place attracts the kind of crowd that takes dancing lessons after they hit the age of, no.
Grimeyness - still got that new-bar smell. Shouts out to diesel Audis.
ID Check Procedure - they're still too brand new to be turning away folks, so...
Music medium, style & volume
- if they do play music here, it's negligible. The low-rent-swanky-ambiance is deafening however.
Specials or most popular drink - jello shots are on the menu, come in 4 different flavors and are only $3 each. Now...rap about that!

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Friday, September 25, 2009


169 Ave. A (btw 10th & 11th)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 420-8392

Bathroom situation
- 3 single-person rooms in the back that suffice extremely adequately. Kinda. The one on the far right is cozy-cramped up and has a red light (this is what's hot in the streets, Hi-Fi?), but is otherwise passable.
Takes credit cards? - Yelp says yes, so yes.
Crowded on weekends? - this spot is exceptional in that, compared to its pilsner-pushing neighbors, it's quite large. Because of this, it rarely gets uncomfortably packt like sardines in a crushed tin box [ed. that song sucks, btw]
Seating - 10ish stools at the bar and a gang of booths & tables on the left and in the back. They generally get occupied early tho, so if you're a short man you'll def want to wear those shoes with the heels (like RDJ here), cuz odds are you will be standing.
Neighborhood - right in the navel of the only section of the EV that actually has decent bars. That would be Avenue A and its tributaries.
Pretentious/assholes - most folks here are about as blase as this review is turning out. [ed. well pep it up then, dammit!]. A flash mob here would probably get ignored like a certain blog editor. [ed. ain't that a bitch]
Cost of Stella - half as much as your mom charges for some head in the Benz, bitch (so, $6 +tip). [ed. there it is! Now we're goin hard on these hoes!]
What time people start showing up - like with most aspects of this bar, a very average 10pm.
Bartender efficiency - fuck what the reviewers on Yelp are going through, Visceralist has never had any problems with having to wait too long for drinks here (and Visceralist is wild impatient in general). Which, btw, why is it that most Yelp reviewers are female?
Official Website - here. Wiggity wack like something from Geocities' hey-day back in the late 90's. BUT! They do have the whole list of albums available on their mp3 jukebox (more on that in a bit).
Food? How late - nope, nope, nope (shakes head no).
TVs? What's on - a couple over the bar, but nothing to fucking twitter @home about [ed. ooh, timely].
Guy:girl ratio - sorry to couch nearly everything in terms of Yelp reviews, but apparently a lot of people think that only hipsters hang out here. In reality, you're only getting your Kmart-Burger King-The Roots bumpin-health insurance-having hipsters here. The real hipsters who really go hard on these hoes only hang out in Carroll Gardens and Bushwick anymore, so fuck it.
Toys - pool table, pinball, buck hunter & a multi-game unit. Quarters and dollar bills is a must.
Age of clientele - let's just say late 20s and move on to the next one (Swizzy!).
Space for dancing? - probably but this is the kind of place where you really don't wanna be the first person to start dancing. The booths have eyes! And twitter accounts: #lamepeopledancinglamelylikereally?
Grimeyness - the lighting is too dim to really get a good sense, but it's not as shady as some of the Pentagon's deals with KBR [ed. ooooohhh dip, you didn't know Visceralist came political, did you?!]
ID Check Procedure - bouncer with the weight of the world written all over his face [ed. oooooh snap, poetical too, bitch!]
Music medium, style & volume
- now this is where Hi-Fi really brings the lasagna to the table. They allegedly were the first bar in NYC to have the type of digital jukebox that's now commonplace in most Broham bars in Murrary Hill. We'll give them that, but the problem is that if you pay to play a song at 9pm, you'll likely have to wait til you're leaving by yourself at 12am after getting kicked out for drunkenly putting your arm around the wrong chick's waist and playing the song on your iPhone as you walk home before you hear it. But its library is quite deep. Lots of Ryan Adams and David Bowie.
Specials or most popular drink - 2 for 1 drinks from 4pm - 8pm, but that's no good for most people, so fuck it.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Mug Lounge

448 E. 13th St (btw 1st & A)
New York, NY 10009
(646) 746-1357

Bathroom situation
- two bisexual closets in between the bar and the "lounge" area. Both are fairly clean, but they have Bounty paper towel rolls there, not like a dispenser. So now you're thinking about how brokeass that is, but they also have candles and framed paintings all up in there too, so now you're like "this must be what the good apartments in the Bronx are like."
Takes credit cards? - yes, but with a savvy $15 min. Savvy when most of the happy hour drinks are $6 each (you do the math).
Crowded on weekends? - hysterical. I was ready to devour this section like the end of the Col. Landa / von Hammersmark scene in Inglorious seems kinda un-gentlemanly. This place is so frequently empty as to inspire remiscences of the good ol' days of money-laundering fronts back in late 80's NYC. [ed. that's a bingo!]
Seating - like Mike Vick right after a 2 year bid and at an afterparty at a club in the ATL that notoriously caters to insecure'll have your fuckin pick.
Neighborhood - across the street from 13th street's only sick apartment building. You'll be much better off if you somehow find a friend who lives there and go chill on their sectional.
Type of crowd - n/a
Pretentious/assholes - no comment....cuz there's never anyone here, it's sorta like dividing any number by zero. You'll just wind up annoyed and kinda sad.
Cost of Stella - this place's one saving grace is that they have it at the market rate of $6/pint.
What time people start showing up - if people ever show up at this place it'll be because Channel 5 News is covering someone who got noodle-knocked across the street and the camera man and sound guy need a taste in between takes lest they kill themselves.
Bartender efficiency - not sure if Visceralist had a bad experience here once or if it's endemic, but the bitch bartender said they don't make mojitos then put a menu on the bar that listed mojitos. That's just poor.
Official Website - here. They confidently advertise that they have an "event space" where any other respectable bar would call the large section of their continuously-empty square-footage a "tax write-off." That's simple economics, bitches.
Food? How late - they have orange and lemon slices to put in the drinks, but given how crowded this place never gets, they're prolly expired.
TVs? What's on - stop trying to make them feel bad.
Guy:girl ratio - unclear...the bartenders here aren't that cute, so presumably no dude would come here alone. Will have to get back to you.
Toys - most of the couches in the "lounge" area have cushions. That's about all you're getting.
Age of clientele - folks too old to realize that just hanging out near Alphabet City dosn't make you subversive in the least. Plus, all the kids who would bother making fun of you are in the bar a few doors down: Key Bar.
Space for dancing? - Visceralist hates discouraging weaklings from dancing, but seriously if you even try here you are a prime candidate for YouTube or AFV or I don't know what...
Grimeyness - if Bloomberg's maid has a housekeeper...prolly like her house.
ID Check Procedure - "Get your ass in here."
Music medium, style & volume
- house music. And yeah, all the bad (puke) connotations.
Specials or most popular drink - on Friday 2 for 1 drinks, but tons of exceptions, so just go to Key Bar.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Plan B

339 East 10th Street (Btw Ave. A & B) New York, NY 10079
(212) 353-2303

In a kinder world, the Yelp reviews of this shithole would be enough of a drubbing. They're seriously ridic to the point where some dude actually complained in his review about being roofied. But, like the guy who's towards the end of the line in a train-runnin and says to himself, "eh, might as well...I mean, this is what I came here for, right?" Visceralist just had to go in...

Bathroom situation
- two in the back, but don't worry about their condition cuz you won't be able to to reach either of them thanks to the impenetrability of the vacuum-compression that takes place in the "dance-floor" which separates you from the bathrooms at all times. Colostomies & catheters is a must.
Takes credit cards? - yes, but don't expect the poor bartenders here to be able to hear you indicate which card is yours over the din of folks screaming along to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" (which Visceralist likes, incidentally).
Crowded on weekends? - (Desmond voice) You must be joking brotha. (/Desmond voice) If we may be so bold as to be genuine for a moment, this is really where Plan B just totally loses the plot. From the second you step inside to the second you leave (hopefully within the same minute), you'll involuntarily be nuts to butts (or, for the ladies, cunts to butts) with the sweaty scum of New York City. They have a bouncer, so they could conceivably manage this a bit better, but it was even like this well before The Great Recession, so the management is definitely to blame.
Seating - you will not.
Neighborhood - you know that scene in "KIDS" where the protagonists beat the shit out of that kid in Tompkins Sq. park? Well that took place right across the street from this place back in the 90s and in some ways Visceralist wishes the "crusties" who live there now would somehow recreate that inside of Plan B instead of toasting to GG Allin with box-wine all night long [ed. crusties? You're watching KIDS too much, grandad.].
Type of crowd - New Yorkers who are usually too young (and in some cases, too smart & savvy) to actually be up in here like it's all good.
Pretentious/assholes - you know that young German soldier in Inglorious Basterds who comes off all "aww-shucks" and charming in the beginning, but gets all date-rapey towards the end? Oh spoiler alert, btw.
Cost of Stella - Visceralist will be damned if we ever sully Stella's beautiful reputation by associating them with this glorified frat hazing.
What time people start showing up - oh, people leave this place?
Bartender efficiency - in some ways Visceralist can't blame the bartenders here for their slowness...a lot of people here just have to get really drunk before they'll deign fuck someone who lists their favorite kind of music as "all different kinds." But on the other hand, most of the bartenders here are really good looking, so we're just instinctively jealous. :p
Official Website - here. They have a flyer up advertising a party from 8/6/09 and most of the candid photos are from 2004/2005. Visceralist can't blame bars for being so lazy when most of the other websites for bars in the neighborhood exhibit the same kind of complacence. But still...really?
Food? How late - no, but if they did have it, it would take so long for it to get to you that you'd already be in bed, awake the next morning and asking yourself exactly which Duane Reade to go to to avoid bumping into people you might know while you wait in line for the real Plan B. [ed. FYI, it costs $50]
TVs? What's on - don't think so.
Guy:girl ratio - possibly the only reason this place is still popular...the ratio is fairly even because of the same principle that let GWB get elected twice. Other people have said they're into it, so it must be decent, right?
Toys - for some guys here, grabbing the oblivious ass or tit that passes by in the hustle & bustle to get to the bathroom.
Age of clientele - old enough to know better, really now.
Space for dancing? - Not at all, but that stops no one. This is the secondary flaw with this place. The dance floor on most nights consumes the entirety of the square-footage to the point where it's just blech, blech, ugh, god, ugh, puke puke. Unless, of course, you're into that kind of shit [ed. you degenerate].
Grimeyness - Eh, not that bad.
ID Check Procedure - it's not so much an ID check at the door as much as it's a "who you wit?" check. It seems like 90% of this place's clientele is here for Emma or Erik's bday party anyway, so if you're actually coming here just to chill, then you're not coming in here.
Music medium, style & volume
- the quintessential Top 40 playlist...not a bad thing as long as Timbaland's done something interesting lately.
Specials or most popular drink - despite what Yelp says, they apparently are 50% everything from 5-10pm.

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