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December 7, 2011

Last week I wrote about being concerned about Bill’s Gay Nineties bar in midtown. It seems they’re having a bit of a scuffle with their landlord and I thought I’d go and ask the bartender a question or two and of course have a few drinks in one of the few decent bars in that part of town. Well, I forgot it was the night that they were lighting the tree in Rockefeller Center and there was a ton of people in Bill’s. It was so crowded I couldn’t even get to the bar to get a drink, so I thought I’d try it tonight on swizzle stick night. Bars usually are a little less crazy on Tuesday nights, so let’s go see how we make out this week. Oh and there’s a few special guest stars that are going to be there as well, so let’s get going!

It's a drizzly, rainy night out tonight.

On nights like this I always hope that Eddie Rabbit's in town because he loves the rainy night.

Personally, I like looking at the tall buildings when there's rain and it's a little foggy out. Manhattan kind of looks like London on these nights.

And here we are, back at Bill's. Let's see if we can belly up to the bar tonight.

And look who it is, our friend Elliot Paul at the piano!

Elliot's a fun guy and a true piano man. He really adds a dimension of fun to the bar.

And tonight I'm able to get a drink, there's no swizzle, but I was able to talk to the bartender about the rumors of Bill's closing due to problems with the landlord. He told me that everyone there remains hopeful and they don't have plans of going anywhere. Time will tell, but for now, my advice is to stop in to Bill's, get a few drinks and help keep this classic midtown bar alive. Nobody wants a Monkey Bar II on this block.

And look, here's two of the aforementioned guest stars, Lindsay and Shawn!

And here's the Duncester, the party's complete!

The bar is well stocked and lit up for the holidays.

A festive wreath and lights intermingle with the vintage photos on the dark, wooden walls of Bill's.

The tables in the back are filled, nice to see on a Tuesday night.

These women were having a fun ladies night out at Bill's.

A couple dances to the musical styling of Elliot Paul.

And it's time to put the camera down and rejoin the party back at the bar. A great night out, thanks to Lindsay, Shawn, the Duncester and everyone at Bill's for a great night out. Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.

Bill's Gay Nineties
57 E. 54th St. (Near Madison Ave.)

Further Reading: Lost City, Mitch Broder’s Vintage New York and Jeremiah's Vanishing New York.

Bill I love you so,
I always will.

(Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!)

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  • Response
    Marty After Dark - Almost Live...From New York - December 7, 2011

Reader Comments (11)

Marty - you're going to hate this but..... I loved, loved, LOVED the Monkey Bar back when it was an actual piano bar. They took the piano way when they "remodeled" FUCKERS!!! well, thanks to you I have a new piano bar to visit. Bill.... here I come (see you Saturday!)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreen Monkey

Great shots here,,,the women at the table having drinks and the couple dancing. It's ok you didn't get the swizzle stick,,,at least you went back. A throwback to old New York,,,,the real deal. And Laura Nyro, the best.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

What an amazing place! Elliot is a perfect addition to the bar, what a wonderful man! Loved listening to him play, can't get enough of it and can't wait to go back. Great seeing you guys! Perfect place to duck into on a rainy night. Wishing the best for Bill's!!!! Would be such a shame to lose a place like this.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

You know, it's weird Marty....thanks to Kurt Vonnegut, it's impossible for me to even think about a piano bar without having this little mind movie in my head concerning the conclusion of Vonnegut's 'Breakfast of Champions', where Dwayne Hoover, the demented Pontiac salesman speed reads Kilgore Trout's novel 'Now it can be Told' and goes on his final mistress punching, finger biting rampage....

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Shannon: The old Monkey Bar was great, the assholes that took it over wrecked it, as they will do to Bill's if they get their dirty mitts on the bar. Let's hope they don't!

@Al: Bill's and Laura Nyro: Two New York originals for sure!

@Lindsay: Great to see you, Shawn and The Duncester last night, thanks for coming out! We'll have to do this again for sure!

@Jaws: Ha ha ha! I need to re-read that book, it's been years!

December 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

I feel like the "Special Guest Star" in the opening credits of "The Love Boat" an honor only Marty can bestow. Loved Bill's. Oh man can't wait to go back! What a blast!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Chittle

Good luck to Bill's. Looks like sweet little hideaway from the cold.
With the threat of another cool NYC bar closing, I'm
Still a little more concerned with Gene Simmons' face appearing on the
$20 bill. I'm sure he'd be cool with it, however.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClack bomb

Nice..hi guys..!! Party hardy.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

@Shawn: "I feel like the "Special Guest Star" in the opening credits of "The Love Boat"... Ha ha ha! Love that! It was a great night last night, wonderful seeing you, Lindsay and the Duncester and of course Elliot, Rich and all the nice people at Bill's. We need to go back!

@Clacky: Gene Simmons' is probably just pissed because he didn't think of it first and market and sell it! Get back here before all the good bars are gone!

@Melanie: Hi, we will party on, indeed!

December 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

I have to go there somehow .... I"m guessing weekend nights might be too busy though :(

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@GENE: I think the dining room upstairs opens up on weekends, so it might not be too bad, I don't know for sure, though.

December 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

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