Midtown Happy Hour News: Bull Moose, Rudy’s and More

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so 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.

Bull Moose

A while back I reported on Bull Moose Saloon’s new look: An attempt at a hip revamping of an old-man dive bar into a burgundy velvet lounge. At the time I noticed that the work was done on the cheap and the feel was still very much the same despite the new couches and cocktail tables. It turns out there was much, much more going on behind the scenes then just a remodel. Word is the decision to cater to the surrounding nabes sizable LGBT community provoked some manner of internal conflict between the owner and the new partners. A statement on the  Bull Moose website created by the new partners reads:

“We’ve always had one intention from day one – to create a new hub for all walks of life to share memories with one another that would last a lifetime. Unfortunately, New York City is not as progressive as we had assumed. A difficult partner knew full well going into the venture that the transformation of the venue would be open to gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender and straight individuals alike. To our painful dismay, we were hit with a bottom line only two weeks into the project.”

I walked by Bull Moose Saloon recently and saw banners claiming, “Under New Management.” I assume this is owner Dave Sheeran attempt at distancing himself from the drama of the past months. I called the bar hoping to talk to Dave, but was able to get his son on the phone. I asked about the banners and received a paranoid reply of “Who’s this?” I guess the press and LGBT groups have been on them. He confirmed the Sheeran family still owned the bar he but wouldn’t give details on who the new management was, further confirming my initial assumption. I asked about the conversion into a lounge and he insisted, “This is not a lounge it’s only a bar.” So as the song goes, “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss.”

After the jump more updates and the sad closing of two old New York bars..

If you haven’t been to the historic Rum House at the Edison Hotel, then you lost your chance. Rum House has shut its doors forever after 40 years of serving up libations and piano music. RH bartender Thai Dang wrote via Facebook:

“To All our Friends in the US and Around the world. I regretfully need to announce That the Hotel has decided to Shut us down early…Thank You to Everyone who has visited our little bar over the Years…you will be Missed”

With it disappears not only a landmark drinking establishment, but also a treasured pianist Karen Brown, who played for RH for 15 years. Times Square just lost another safe haven.

Way back when I wrote about Rudy’s renovations to their back patio, I was hoping they would be done before fall, but from the looks of things we’ll all have to wait till next spring. From the pictures I still have no idea what sort of fortress they are building out there, but it looks substantial and I’ll stand by my statement that when the Zombie Apocalypse begins, this will be my chosen booze bunker –hot dogs are tastier than human right?

On Eastside news:
I got a tip from a friend that Hook and Ladder on 611 2nd Ave has closed. H&L was another patriotic FDNY bar that offered an old school unpretentious atmosphere with cheap beer and drinks. I had reviewed Bravest on 38th and Hook and Ladder was next on my list of places to go and crack jokes with weathered men. I seem to recall there was a Hook and Ladder on Johns Street and Water, anyone know if that location is defunct as well?

As always, if you have any tips or happy hour news to report let me know at Mamacita@midtownlunch.com


  • Rudy’s is building a pillbox to repel our veterans from storming the beaches at Normandy!


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    The Hook & Ladder II in the Financial District is now defunct, yes.

  • BAD organization!!!! The “jump tease” is about the “sad closing of two old New York bars” and you have Rudy’s in the title. Gave me a heart attack thinking Rudy’s was closing! Please don’t overdo the misleading teases.

  • So just so I’m clear, the Lounge closed because of some homophobe partner but the bar is coming back?

    • Well, it seems the Owners were the ones who decided to fire the partners that were changing it to a gay lounge. But yes, the bar is open and assuring everyone they are not a “lounge.” It’s a hot mess. I edited the post a little for clarity.

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