Midtown Happy Hour: Ladies Night at the Judge Roy Bean

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.

JRB Sign

The first time I went to the Judge Roy Bean it was a holiday weekend and the place was mostly empty, save for a few guys eating at the bar and a family of tourists seeking rest at a table. I ordered a well drink. My friends got a beer. In general, I was not really impressed. There wasn’t a happy hour, prices were in the $6-$8 range, my drink came in your usual medium sized glass and was just right, but not potent. The place was ok, but somewhat lacking. I couldn’t get past the fact that I was drinking in Midtown. Now let’s fast forward to this past Wednesday.

I needed a bar to review and I figured I’d give the Judge a retrial. I called upon a couple of single girlfriends and some pals and we met up after work. I was the second to show up. By then my blonde friend had an Orange Stoli and soda half finished and was telling Derek, the Irish bartender, how cute he was. I got a black and tan and soon realized that, “Wow, there’s a bunch of hot guys here!” You see babes, I’m not calling this review ladies night at the JRB because it was the bar’s theme night. Oh no, as the night drew longer it was obvious by the healthy dose of young man-meat that filled the bar that this was the place to be if you were a single lady.

Hellllllooooo Derek!

Once everyone arrived I switched over to a Jack and soda. Then I had my second realization, “My God these drinks are in pint glasses! And they are strong!” Derek the bartender gave me a fiver to put in the jukebox and the night was off to a stellar beginning. We all figured given the sizable drinks that we should have some food.


The menu at JRB covers the usual bar items: burgers, mac n’ cheese, chicken fingers, sandwiches, and soup of the day. We chose the appetizer combo platter that came with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and stuffed potato skins. Let’s just say, if I weren’t drunk and rocking out to Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” I wouldn’t have ingested this stuff. The mozzarella sticks were good, but the potato skins had sour cream spread under the mix of cheese, bacon and mushrooms and tasted like they had been fried earlier and only microwaved.


The chicken fingers on the other hand were just weird. They had taken a chicken breast and actually cut ‘fingers’ into it and then battered and fried it. It looked like some sort of squid-like hand. Nevertheless, the bartender took care of us and gave us a round of buy backs and soon we were surprised to notice that we had been drinking in midtown till midnight: a huge change from my last experience.

Just like a girly drink with a cherry on top, so did this night end. We paid up and Derek treated us all to a round of shots on the house. What a gentleman.


  • Liquor drinks in a pint glass!!!
  • Friendly (and HOT! bartender)
  • Generous pours and possibility of buy backs
  • The place is bumping on a weeknight! Who would have thought Midtowners partied till the AM??
  • There’s a farmer’s market of men here ladies!


  • Food is bland and not worth the price unless you’re drunk
  • How many times can I say this: You are drinking in Midtown people!!
  • Big possibility taking home your coworker (or someone else’s). How awkward would that be on a Monday!

Judge Roy Bean, 38 W. 56th St. (btw. 5+6th Ave.)


  • Derek is Hot?

    It must be the accent.

    And Mama, once again your stuffed spuds never let me down.

  • Nice write-up M … but …

    you + posse + studs + alcohol leads to only one thing…

    what have you done with the snogging & shagging bits of the story?

  • Liquor drinks in a pint glass and Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” on the jukebox, that’s all I needed to hear to check out this place.

    I hope I still have a bandanna to tie around leg of my ripped up old jeans.

  • And the free shots were good too, I got a knob creek.

  • Mama, isss that you in the top pic?

  • Knob Creek? sounds like a gay porn movie.

  • Mama, how could you leave out the best part: Derek’s romantical status?!

  • That piece of chicken in front looks like the huge deformed mutant hand on the black dude in ‘Total Recall’

    Probably just as tasty

  • quaid! open your mind!!!

  • Romantical?

    is that a word?

  • Single or not, we were hugging him by the end of the night.
    Rudy, nope that’s my friend out front. I told her if she buys me a drink I’ll make her famous……. in midtown…… on a obscure blog…. only read by laid off lehman execs…

  • I love you, Mamacita.

  • WTF did they get that chicken from, Chernobyl?

  • It was a matter of time before my secret spot is out.

    I’m not sure what you mean about the food being bland. I’ll take one of their burgers over a “burger joint’ burger ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

    Also, as for chicken fingers, those actually look like, well, chicken fingers Somewhere along the line “chicken fingers” transformed into tiny chicken cutlets. (well okay, maybe they should be called, chicken “hands”, but still). I love JRB’s chicken fingers (which are breaded, not battered) but I usually skip the honey mustard and get hotsauce and bleu cheese instead. I’ve even asked for them “buffalo style” and they’re willing to accommodate.

    Derek is pretty new to this place, but he’s doing a great job. Sonia is there during the daytime and on Monday Nights. Prior to Derek was Rudy who was there for like 10 years until last summer. They’re all great, and it’s easy to become a regular there. They remember just about everyone who obliges them.

    JRB is great but tiny, Going there with a group of 2 is a crowd. This place is usually pretty packed with a very regular crowd. I’ve been going there 3 years and the same people are at the end of the bar every time I go.

    I’ve actually been very tempted to ping Mamacita and ask if she wanted to check this place out with me. I guess she beat me to the punch.

  • Mama, I do believe the conversation went something like this:

    M: Can I use your pic on MidtownLunch.com?
    A: No.
    A: No.
    M: I’ll buy you stuff. Like drinks and stuff.
    A: Okay.

  • Rudy – many times I’ve been talking to Derek and some hot chick leaving the bar has slipped him her digits. I don’t think the picture does him justice. He seems like a handsome dude in real life, and the fact that girls routinely fawn over him leads me to believe that he has what girls like (other than liquor).

  • Arp, yes i agree, im sure he’s a lovely bloke…but lets face it…Docchuck could get laid in Manhattan if he did an Irish accent.

  • A good bartender will somehow pull girls to him like moths to a flame even if he’s not the hottest guy in the room. Now if the same guy *wasn’t* a bartender, it would probably be a different story.

    That said, I’m sure Derek is lovely. And I wouldn’t touch those chicken fingers. They’d give me nightmares!

  • It was more than his accent. He is truly charming. When I got there by myself he made an effort to make out with me until my friend go there… stuff like that.

  • I could get laid in a bar full of lesbians. Okay, OKAY! . . . I have a hankering time and again for She Crab soup, I admit it. How you may ask? I can lick my own earlobes. I also speak many tongues. I like tongue. Served pre-heated to 98.6 degrees thank you kindly.

    Speaking of lesbians, whom I have no problem with so do not email me, I studied this photo of Alice Waters a wee bit better — and I must opine that she has one of the biggest mouths that I have ever seen.
    Now there’s nothing wrong with a big mouth on the likes of Alice Waters. Such a tool can be put to very good use sometimes.
    But in Alice’s case, her biggest asset is obviously being wasted.
    And, what’s with the attempt to display her “cleavage”? Nah, I better not go there.

    My wife REFUSES to any longer sort my email.

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