…as the song goes, sometimes you want that feeling of familiar comfort. On my impromptu visit to NYC with The Queen this week, I was surprised to find that same welcome.
[Disclaimer: E- the bar’s owner- plied us with food and booze. In my defense of this shameless pandering, I would point out that the beer was perfectly cold and the food delicious. I was defenseless.]
We visited our friend E (of E’s Bar)- last night being just a few months after she opened her new place on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. On our first night in the city we took our hosts to the bar. An evening out with friends, supporting another friend in her new business endeavor, sounds like a good night to me. And all the justification I need to classify the night as a success.
Little did I know how much I was going to love this bar!
I am a huge fan of the neighborhood bar. I am the son of a barkeep. (Many of Papa’s best stories begin with, “I used to be in the bar business…”) I think the neighborhood bar is our uniquely American take on a venerable British tradition. I like the confident simplicity of a place that simply is. A place to relax, a place to have a beverage of your choosing, a place to visit with friends- old or new… the neighborhood bar is all of these things.
So how surprised was I to discover- in a place a couple of hundred miles away from my neighborhood- a simple bar where I immediately felt at home. Truth- if I still lived in NYC, I would spend a lot of time here. I’ve shared my love of sitting in a bar writing. E’s Bar would do just fine for me. Or maybe I wouldn’t be writing. Maybe, as last night, I’d be visiting with friends. Talking too loudly, laughing too easily. Whatever. It’s all good.
So thank you, E and staff at the delightfully comfortable E’s Bar. Thank you for making me feel welcome- and at home- in a city that never really felt like home.
[True to the promise of this post, I’ve written this one sitting at a bar. In a Korean gastropub in Manhattan. Whatever- this is America. And I love the American neighborhood bar.]