ML Happy Hour: Kick Off 2012 at Bill’s Gay Nineties

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so it seems only natural to have a happy hour column on the site. Every Friday afternoon 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.

You know, even when you’re drinking solo you’re never really drinking alone. No, I’m not talking about that crazy dude muttering to himself three stools down, I’m talking about your oldest drinking buddy. The one who’s been there with you from dia numero uno. The one that you’ve dragged through the muck and the gutters to the worst dingy, derelict back alley dives. That’s right! I’m talking about your liver. So I’m proposing that in 2012 you make it a New Year’s resolution to take it out to a watering hole with some class, distinction, and pedigree. Here’s to a historic NYC speakeasy and a realistic resolution you’ll be happy to keep. Ladies and gents I give you Bill’s Gay Nineties.

We live in a very ephemeral age. You’re reading this on the glorious, almighty Intertubes where today’s essential, hip meme is tomorrow’s old news. We chew things up, digest, and then discard them so quickly that it’s easy to feel a bit rootless. That’s when a place like BGN become even more important.

This joint is older than you son, and probably yo’ daddy too. They’ve been slinging booze here since slinging booze was illegal. BGN started as a speakeasy/nightclub during the 20’s. It’s also one of the few classic piano bars left in the city, but it’s song may soon be ending.

The pictures on the walls tell tales of sporting legends of days gone by. Old timey portraits of pugilists, faded theater memorabilia, and other Roaring Twenties ephemera festoon this dual level time capsule.

PBR and Jim Bean shots are all fine and dandy, but sometimes you need a place to savor some 20 Year with the old man, and speaking of old men –you’ll find them here. Both the regulars and the barman have been around the block a few times and have many a story to tell.

Our brave forefathers (and mothers) put themselves on the line for ya, risking the wrath of Johnny Law and bath tub gin.  So put down that Amstel Light, high tail it out of that bar blasting Lady BlahBlah, and raise a martini to the sound of twinkling ivories. You owe it to them.

Bill’s Gay Nineties, 57 E. 54th St. (btw. Madison & Park,) 212-355-0243


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