ML Happy Hour: Bull Moose Saloon Gets a Facelift
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.
There’s a man in Hell’s Kitchen name Dave. He’s a peculiar person with a flair for entrepreneurship, but you won’t see him on The Apprentice, no, you’ll see him walking 9th Avenue going from bar to bar, his white hair looking months too late for a cut his outfit taking a page from The Dude. You wouldn’t know it, but he’s one of the kings of NY dives. His moniker is in neon over at his first bar “Dave’s” and he seems to have an zest for taxidermy as Dave’s has a mounted wild boar head, his other bar Port 41 sports a one eyed hippopotamus head, and lastly Bull Moose Saloon (on 44th btw. 8+9th) has a majestic big horned moose to tie the trinity together.
Recently Dave decided the Moose needed a face-lift. This worried me. While Bull Moose Saloon might not have the character of his other ventures, I still enjoyed the joint. I mean, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, right? Needless to say when they closed for renovations I feared the worst. Now many weeks later they have opened their doors and taps to the locals again and I was there to get a first look at the new Moose.
The initial thing you notice as you turn the corner is that the candy-striped awning is gone and the front entrance has a brighter more refined look. Step inside and the cafeteria-style tables are replaced by onyx colored coffee tables and velvet cushioned couches.
Walls have being updated from the previous bright burgundy color to black. You can tell there is a strong push to try and make this more lounge like.
The pool table is still there, as is the dartboard upstairs. The bar now has a faux marble slab literally just on top of the old existing wood top.
It is clean and white but the extra inch of caulking sealant all around the edges made me chuckle –this was done on a short budget.
The moose head that was mounted off the opposite of the exposed red brick wall on the second floor is now on display above the stairs to greet you as you walk up.
I have always had only good things to say about the bartenders at the Bull. Though “Doc” Bill Cleary has moved back to his home at Holland Bar, there are still charming and funny bartenders working the shifts and eager to chat it up with both the regulars and the tourists that stumble in. Happy hour hasn’t changed. From 4-7pm domestic beers are $3, imported $5 and well drinks are $4. Cheap wings and fried food is still abundant.
One thing Dave has kept the same and will never change is the location of his beloved Indian. No one is allowed to move it yet all the lovely bartenders still use it as a coat or purse rack, probably to Dave’s chagrin.
The Moose’s upgrade may be cleaner and bit more modernized, but what makes it a great old bar is still the same and let’s give cheers for that!