Journal Entry: March 3rd, 2018
I’m sitting in the White Horse Tavern right now waiting for our guests to arrive before Danielle and I lead yet another crawl around Greenwich Village. I’ve been coming here for about 14 years doing the tour and I always sit to the right of the door facing the bar. To the right of the bar as you walk in sit a group of regulars. I’ve actually been coming here so long I’ve seen a nearly total swap out of regulars! Although Bob the bartender has only missed a few days in the last decade and a half. He’s nearly as constant as the building itself. The beer here is never too fancy nor too basic. Definitely solid choices and the IPA has my name on it every time. That and a cheese burger and curly fries are how I fuel the next three hours walking around one of the most densely historic places in America.
The second bar we go to is the Kettle of Fish. A great bar. A Wisconsin bar that is too packed to enter when the Badgers or Green Bay is playing football. Terry the bartender has been the Saturday guy since I’ve been guiding tours and has spent his whole life in the village. Here is where I’ll have a Lil’ Wisco to bring into the back by the couches or next to the dart boards. A toast or two and we begin threading stories of three historic bars that have inhabited the spot hopefully in the time it takes everyone to finish their beer. There’s a cocoon-like quality inside that has a separation from the rest of the world and when we finally leave Kettle, it’s always too bright when you hit the sidewalk again.
Last bar we go to is Marie’s Crisis Cafe. Another bar below street level. I usually switch to gin and tonics here as the beer selection is a bit limited but then again, you don’t come here for the beer. Mike is the Saturday bartender and I love that I don’t have to say what I’m drinking anymore. It’s a nod and a thank you and I’m back to the group with two more toasts. My favorite story here is of Thomas Paine and...well...you just need to come on the tour because if I get started talking about him here, this blog will keep you up past your bedtime. It’s fun to stick around Marie’s after the tour ends for two reasons: One is the piano accompanied singing. Mostly show tunes sung by the regulars with the occasional famous film or stage star sighting. And two for a chat with Johnny. It’s always gonna be an interesting night when Johnny is in attendance.
Oh hey! I gotta go. People are starting to arrive for our tour and we gotta get situated in the back. Hope to see you here.