You Ask, We Answer: Best Bars in the Big Apple and Drinkin on the Job

Posted: May 12, 2011 by divebardiva in Best Dive Bars: Trust Me ... I'm a Professional, Q&A: Ask Your Bartender

Okay people, I have lunch with my lovely Maja today so we are gonna do a little ask and answer and call it a day. We have four questions today from some lovely peeps on the other side of the U.S.

(But first, a BIG welcome to our newest subscribers! We’re so happy you stumbled in …. and we look forward to your comments and contributions!)

Please feel free to send in any questions you have people. This is an interactive process and if you aren’t doing your part I may have to hunt you down and smack your ass. Who are we kidding? I might do that just for fun!

So here we go.

Q: I’m heading to NYC for a girls’ weekend. Are there any dive bars that we should visit?

A: Okay, there are a few bars out there that I really like. So, we are going to take a little trip around Manhattan. First of all is my new favorite Hells Kitchen addition, owned by none other than my good friend Michelle Gascoigne.

The bar is called Blue Ruin is at 9th Ave and W. 40th Street and it is fucking amazing. Do a facebook search and ‘like’ her joint…you won’t regret it.

I was there a year ago this weekend for a little surprise visit. Michelle welcomed me with:

  1. A scream calling me the sickest bitch EVER
  2. A Bud
  3. Margarita shots

I stayed all day, met all of the regulars including a sweet transvestite (not from Transylvania) and some of the local union boys, Iz and Dainty Mitts Rodriquez. They have a photo booth where you can document your shenanigans and a place across the street that delivers the best cheesesteaks and fries right to your bar stool.

Michelle (and staff) is a fast talkin smartass who is a helluva bartender and has been known to make me laugh so hard I almost pee myself. No, seriously people, I have considered wearing Depends while hanging out with her, just to avoid embarrassing accidents.

It is the absolute best, and you will NEVER regret your visit…except with a bit of a hangover.

Secondly is my old work place, The Hog Pit, and it is wonderful. It’s former locale is the meat packing district but it has now moved to a new location and has also changed up the menu a little. I ate there on my last visit and we had an amazing time.

My good friend Damon was a lovely host and our dinner was fantastic. We had more than a few cocktails and once again no regrets but one helluva hangover.

And PS they have unbelievably hot bartenders and those of you who know me, this has to be a good thing!

A few other top choices…

  • Lakeside Lounge: Great music if you can catch Tom Shaner – I highly recommend it! (Lower East Side)
  • The Snug: Upper Hells Kitchen
  • McSorleys: (Lower East Side)
  • O’Connors: In Brooklyn, which used to boast a cassette player on a table as their “jukebox” and at which I have spent many the good night.
  • McCoys: Hells Kitchen and if you go during the day…ask for Jeff.
  • Mars Bar: I love this review from yelp — “It’s small, dirty and crowded. No beer on tap and they will probably punch you in the face if you order a cocktail with more than 2 ingredients. So yeah it’s perfect.”

Q: What are the qualities a bartender in a dive absolutely must possess?

A: Great question! An unbelievable amount of patience, the ability to answer the same question day after day and not shoot someone, an odd sense of humor, sarcasm up the who-ha, the ability to smile while you are telling someone to fuck off so they return another day, self deprecation and the ability to handle anything and everything…while drinking, dancing and counting massive amounts of cash.

Q: The weather is finally getting warmer. What’s the best summertime cocktail?

A: The Barefoot Contessa ( makes an unbelievable grapefruit margarita. It looked so good I wanted to kiss her on the mouth avec tongue. That is what I am planning to try and soon as it actually warms up in this god forsaken state.

By the way, a big fuck you to whoever submitted this question. Thanks for reminding me that I live in the great white north, and spring has still not yet sprung.

4. Do you realize how lucky you are to be able to drink at work?

A: First off, yes I do. Secondly, it’s probably best for everyone because dealing with 50 to 100 screaming, fighting drunks on any given Saturday night would be catastrophic without alcohol to calm the savage beast. And by savage beast, I clearly mean me.

However, some Sundays I do feel — about the time that one of my kidneys or liver croppie flops for no apparent reason — that it may be taking a toll on my old ass. But, since I’m still lookin pretty good and my parts are still pointin toward jesus I’ll go with the thought that my dear old dad told me…

“Kid, alcohol is preserving you like formaldehyde.”

Not sure if it’s good or bad but I’m goin with it.

Be a Bar Trash Hero! Bookmark this page and forward the link to a friend.

  1. Sad Pitt says:

    Is there anywhere to find out where to get a hold of Michelle??

    • divebardiva says:

      Michele the bartender correct? If so shoot me your info and if she wants to be found I will make it happen 🙂

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