Monday, January 5, 2009

Downtown Beirut, around 1990, about 3 a.m.



I can't remember when it closed, 1994? On First Avenue.

Speaking of Downtown Beirut, I came across an article on menright.com about Carolyn, a downtown fixture and bartender at Downtown Beirut and member of Killer Instinct, X.K.I. and Bad Tuna Experiment.



According to the article:

Carolyn was new in town, working for an answering service and as an occassional punk extra in clueless Hollywood versions of the Lower East Side. She spent the nights she wasn't working on the benches in Tompkins Square, or on the stoops around Stromboli's Pizza on St. Mark's Place. She didn't have enough cash to get into the clubs very often. Drink of choice: a forty-ounce Bud.


The article talks about her bands and early years in the neighborhood. And whatever happened to her?

Carolyn resumed her long-interrupted college career and graduated summa cum laude from Hunter College. She got married. She studied for a PhD in English (specializing in Medieval Germanic Languages), wrote grammar exercises for college textbooks, and appeared on Jeopardy. (She won the trip — not the money.)

Carolyn is now the mother of a daughter by the name of Harriet, has a house in the woods, and is a Senior Editor for a major textbook publisher in New York City. Unlike many of her contemporaries on the Lower East Side, she survived. This is her hidden past.


And here's BTE with "Beer Picnic."

14 comments:

Karate Boogaloo said...

I spent many an inebriated evening in that dump circa 84-85. Great jukebox.

Alex in NYC said...

The vid makes it seem much bigger than I remember it. But yes -- awesome jukebox.

Other bars I miss: Lismar Lounge, The Dragon Bar, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut and I'll give a chocolate coin to anyone who can name the crappy metal bar on -- was it MacDougal? - that you had to step down into. Scrap Bar maybe?

Karate Boogaloo said...

scrap bar is correct!

hntrnyc said...

Spring Break 1985. As my fellow classmates were collecting T-shirts from Big Daddy's in Lauderdale or whatever other god-foresaken beach in Florida they were throwing up on, I was hanging out in Downtown Beirut.
There was no such thing as open container laws back then so when the fun money started running short, we would just buy beers from the bodega and hang out outside. Hard to imagine.......

EV Grieve said...

Ha! I always preferred J.R's Gator's Dockside in Daytona myself...

And I agree with Alex's comment earlier...The video does make this place look so much bigger. I only seemed to be in there when it was mobbed.

Anonymous said...

there used to be 2 of them(DTB I and DTB II), one on 1st ave and the other on Houston... Too many kids from NJ. Thank god Milano's is still there. Do remember a good jukebox and 'i don't wanna hear your life story'.

Anonymous said...

Great film ! There is a group on facebook about this bar...
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=13945422172

ps. Beirut 2 opened years after...and wasn't the same as 1.

Anonymous said...

Moved to East Village from Denver in 90. It seemed like the edge of civilization back then. Loved Downtown Beirut- remember that it had no AC and was hot as hell in the summer. Ah the wafting smells of the old East Village...

AbbyDigital said...

Urge Overkill playing "Wichita Lineman!" That was actually my favorite song on that jukebox.

I was there regularly back then, probably earlier that night. I think I can see that the gate was pulled down and the bar was closed so they could shoot without distraction.

Anonymous said...

I remember the Downtown Beruit .I also remember the Aztec on 9th st

Anonymous said...

A great jukebox they had indeed...
and some wonderfull characters hanging around there, especially at happy hour.

doom60 said...

Spent nearly every night there. Beirut to Sophie's to Mona's. Beirut tried to expand. First to the Bowery off 1st Ave, where my pretentious little band, The Current, played alot. Then to St Mark's off A. Carolyn was a real sweetheart. Nice person. Wonder whatever happened to Christine, the polish bartender who was there for awhile?

Anonymous said...

Wow I hung there from like 1986-1994, The nice older ladies would ask me to put up the x-mas decorations in the windows. A great place and no tourists!!

Anonymous said...

Loved that place, and sophies .welcome miss hanging with alex the russian bartender(brother of another mother ).awesome jukebox! !!the village idiot next dooor was good too.