Midtown Happy Hour: Spending Your Birthday at Port 41
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. This past week it was Mamacita’s birthday… so she decided to get down and dirty at Port 41.
I heard stories told about Port 41 but had avoided reviewing it, that is, until this week when I needed somewhere special to go for my birthday. This is not exactly the place ordinary people would consider celebrating their birthday, but I’m not an ordinary gal. So I gave myself a tetanus shot and ventured forth to celebrate.
Back when I wrote about Dave’s Tavern I stated that, “Dave’s inhabits the armpit that lies between the Lincoln Tunnel and Port Authority.” Commenter Wayne noted at that time that if “Dave’s is in the armpit then Port 41 is in the asscrack.” Truer words were never spoken. Anyone who has walked by or dared trod inside the seedy den that is Port 41 knows that it rife with filth and depravity. There are bikinied bartenders in their skivvies dealing out cheap beer to fat bikers, day laborers and tattooed hoodlums. In the mix are worn pool tables, a boxing game, and for some reason a taxidermy hippo’s head that beckons you to give in to the drunkenness.
Knowing there’s safety in numbers, I brought along plenty girlfriends and guys. Happy hour turned out to be a real deal. $3 PBR tall boys, $4 well drinks and beers. I ordered a vodka soda. It came in large glass and with a very heavy pour. This was good as I hoped whatever germs were in that glass were killed off by the booze. Drinks in hand we sat down at one of the tables under the mounted hippos head.
The whole bar is actually pretty big with plenty of tables and booths in the back where the pool tables are. The clientele was all men, most of them local workers and all of them there to get drunk and stare at the half naked bartenders. It was quite a scene. Interestingly, what I’ve found from my many dive excursions is that when women come into these types of bars the lady bartenders are always thrilled to serve them. It’s a change of pace for them, plus we are well behaved (usually!) and tend to engage in better conversation. So it was no surprise that I hit it off with the two bartenders who were happy to pose for some pics.
Midtown Lunchers love cheap eats and Port 41 has options aplenty, any of which can be picked up en route. For you high rollers out there, Shorty’s is around the corner (on 9th Avenue) for a cheesesteak or pork and rabe sandwich. If that’s too rich for your recessionary wallet, Port 41 is a mere stone’s throw away from Papaya Dog and 99 Cent Pizza. What’s that you say? I’m not wasting a penny of my drinking money on food? No problemo my friend, Port 41 has you covered there too with free popcorn and hot dogs that are as dubious as the patrons. Only one person at our table was courageous enough to order the hot dog. It looked safe enough but he said it tasted horrible and only took one bite before tossing it away. I’m pretty sure it had been swimming in it’s own dog juice for days, so beware.
The + (what some one who likes this bar would say)
- Whoo hoo! Hot lingeried ladies serving me drinks!
- Pool tables, darts, and a boxing machine for the angry drunk in you
- Really cheap happy hour and drinks come strong and tall
- If you suffer from some debilitating illness that strips you of your taste buds there’s free hot dogs and popcorn
The – (what someone who doesn’t like this bar would say)
- I need to bring Purell and not go to the bathroom
- Their hot dogs are as old as my grandma
- Angry drunks at the boxing machine
- I don’t like lubricious ladies and leering day laborers
Port 41, 355 W 41st St. (near 9th Ave), (212) 947-5255â€Ž
Photos and post by Mamacita