So I'm siting home on Saturday night planning a big night of doing nothing, when I get a call from Ben Munch. He and a buddy were moving South on the Hutch on there way to a bar in Chelsea (on W 17th St), and asked for direction to my place so they could pick me up. I hemmed and hawed a bit and said, sure, why not.
Ben's buddy Howie (not Schimmel) is a local from New Paltz, and says that he built this bar. Did the wood work, including a gazebo that is the DJ booth. So we find this little hole in the wall called "Retreat" with not much on the outside except three bouncers and a velvet rope. Howie asks, is Cliff here? They say, "Who wants to know." They start to grill him a bit.. "What's Cliff's last name?" (and Howie didn't know) He finally says, "Just tell him CHAINSAW is here."
One guy disappears inside for a few minutes and comes back and says, "OK, they're good." So in we go to what is physically laid out just like a million other bars. A fairly narrow strip, some bench seating hugging one wall, then the bar on the same side, and a bit more opened up area past the bar w/ a few booths around the sides. The club music was blasting, DJ in the gazebo mixing and mashing tunes together with the steady thump-thump-thump all night. The place was crowded with a great ratio of guys to girls, girls all dressed in the height of fashion... population skewed a bit towards Asian, black, and Spanish. Definitely a downtown New York scene... not bridge and tunnel.
While the place is dimly lit (in night club fashion, w/ colored lights pointing upward and low lights around the bottom of the bar and furniture), our host tried his best to show us his great woodwork. "Look at the grain... see how I made these joints fit... " It was almost like walking into a trendy night club with Bob Fucking Villa. I gotta say, the woodwork was pretty nice, but seemed a bit too... uh... woody for this place. Rough sawn wood, probably better suited for a ski lodge. Though honestly, I probably wouldn't have even noticed if this guy wasn't pointing it out in great detail.
He heads to the bar and comes back with some drinks... still not sure if he was paying or was getting comped. He told me my money was no good.
We had a good time, downing a few rounds, talking to some very attractive ladies... using "He built the bar" as the ice breaker. (I'm definitely gonna use that some time in the future.) For a while Howie had drifted away while me and Ben finished our drinks. I said "I'll get this round" and bellied up to the bar. "One Jack on the rocks, one margarita, no salt." "Sure... Here you go... that will be $23." OK, so I know how they keep the riff raff out of THAT place.
So apparently people who hang there have a lot of disposable income. It was a pretty young crowd, not many 40+, but the guys did look pretty professional. I doubt they would have gotten in the door in sneakers and jeans. And while the chicks were all decked out nice, I will say they were above average looking... but only slightly. Some super hot, some not so much... still everybody was friendly and seemed to be having a good time. We stayed until just after two and then split...
Then I missed a good deal on an XBox.