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DBB 100 Bars Addendum: Crabapples (Buffalo)

| July 8th, 2020

Last year I published a listing of my favorite 100 bars (open or closed) in the world. This year I planned to write an amended list, profiling a few from last year that did not get an extended write-up and bringing some new joints into the mix. But it’s been a weird few months, with most of the world’s great bars closed, and I have decided to go in a different direction. 

In lieu of just being on vacation (which I will be), this space will be dedicated to profiling some new spots that didn’t make last year’s list. Spots that will be in desperate need of your patronage should the world find any kind of normal again.



Crabapples – Buffalo, NY

There’s a roadside pizza joint called Macy’s Place in Buffalo. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere but Josh and I had heard enough praise for their pizza and wings to make the journey worth it. When we got there we found out the wait for food would be 45 minutes. So I asked the girl behind the counter if there was a bar nearby. She sent us to Crabapples.

It looks like it’s some guy’s house. The bartenders stink. There was a fat blowhard in the middle of bar pontificating about god knows what. But when we left after a few Blue Lights, we knew instantly we’d be coming back. It’s that kind of bar. It begs to be revisited if only to see if the bartenders are truly that bad and if the blowhard ever shuts his fucking mouth.

Oh, and Macy’s Place. Get the cup and char extra well done and lemon pepper wings. Walk over and eat it at Crabapples.

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DBB 100 Bars Addendum: CJ’s Tavern (New Jersey)

| July 7th, 2020

Last year I published a listing of my favorite 100 bars (open or closed) in the world. This year I planned to write an amended list, profiling a few from last year that did not get an extended write-up and bringing some new joints into the mix. But it’s been a weird few months, with most of the world’s great bars closed, and I have decided to go in a different direction. 

In lieu of just being on vacation (which I will be), this space will be dedicated to profiling some new spots that didn’t make last year’s list. Spots that will be in desperate need of your patronage should the world find any kind of normal again.



CJ’s Tavern – Spring Lake Heights, NJ

Stumbled into this strip mall bar in NJ to watch Bears vs. Lions last fall. Bears won.

Where can you find $1.50 pints anymore?

Who still does 10 cent wings?

How many bars still have packaged goods and smokes for sale? And lotto on the television screens?

Three of us stayed three and a half hours. Our bill was $27.

I bought a tee shirt.

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DBB 100 Bars Addendum: The Understudy at The National Theatre (London)

| July 6th, 2020

Last year I published a listing of my favorite 100 bars (open or closed) in the world. This year I planned to write an amended list, profiling a few from last year that did not get an extended write-up and bringing some new joints into the mix. But it’s been a weird few months, with most of the world’s great bars closed, and I have decided to go in a different direction. 

In lieu of just being on vacation (which I will be), this space will be dedicated to profiling some new spots that didn’t make last year’s list. Spots that will be in desperate need of your patronage should the world find any kind of normal again.



The Understudy – London, England

The Understudy would have made a significant dent in the DBB100.

The bar is in the structure of the National Theatre in London and thus it’s full of the types of people you might find at a production of As You Like It in the Owen. London’s old, classic pubs often encourage a sort of distancing because most don’t have bar stools. People sit at tables and that social structure almost prohibits interaction with folks you don’t know. Who the fuck is going to walk up to a random table and say hi?

The Understudy does the opposite. It’s a communal space, both inside and out. It encourages interaction. It’s a spot that felt young and alive. And it’s not surprising that it’s the work of the world’s finest cultural institution.

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DBB 100 Bars Addendum: The Gantry (Queens)

| July 3rd, 2020

Last year I published a listing of my favorite 100 bars (open or closed) in the world. This year I planned to write an amended list, profiling a few from last year that did not get an extended write-up and bringing some new joints into the mix. But it’s been a weird few months, with most of the world’s great bars closed, and I have decided to go in a different direction. 

In lieu of just being on vacation (which I will be), this space will be dedicated to profiling some new spots that didn’t make last year’s list. Spots that will be in desperate need of your patronage should the world find any kind of normal again.



The Gantry – Long Island City, New York

I go to bars. A lot of them.

I also go to the movie theater weekly. I also see a lot of plays and live music and go to art galleries and museums. I choose to live in an expensive city and pay too much money for too little space so I can have access to these things.

Then Covid-19 happened.

A few weeks ago I found out from a friend that The Gantry was allowing people to come in and have a drink. Many joints were letting people drink on their sidewalks but I don’t like drinking near bars, I like drinking in them. I walked a few miles to this place. And sure enough, they were. I’ve been back seven times in three weeks.

Discovering a great bar is often about a singular moment. There’s a guy sitting next to you who’s a VP at Subway corporate and knows everything about cheap ham. Somebody plays Oscar Brown Jr’s Somebody Buy Me a Drink just as the sun sets. The bartender used to be a regular on the soap Guiding Light. (All three of these things happened to me at one bar, the legendary Spring Lounge.)

The Gantry’s greatness revealed itself at a moment in time. It was there when I needed it.

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DBB 100 Bars Addendum: Pippin’s Tavern (Chicago)

| July 2nd, 2020

Last year I published a listing of my favorite 100 bars (open or closed) in the world. This year I planned to write an amended list, profiling a few from last year that did not get an extended write-up and bringing some new joints into the mix. But it’s been a weird few months, with most of the world’s great bars closed, and I have decided to go in a different direction. 

In lieu of just being on vacation (which I will be), this space will be dedicated to profiling some new spots that didn’t make last year’s list. Spots that will be in desperate need of your patronage should the world find any kind of normal again.

We start in Chicago.



Pippin’s Tavern – Chicago, Illinois

This is the first place I had a drink in Chicago.

This is the first place I had Malört in Chicago.

This is the place I bring people to give them Malört for the first time, and often watch the liquid dribble from their lips shortly after consumption.

One time I was leaving the Billy Goat and told Rick Pearson I was heading to Pippin’s on the way back to my hotel. He responded, “Why would anyone go to that shit hole?”

Exactly.

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