Entries in Dicey Bars (1)


November 3, 2011

I mentioned yesterday that MAD commenter, ragin’ rr (who’s missing in action, by the way), suggested I start going back to bars that I tried to go to on last year’s 365 bar crawl, but never made it to for one reason or another. That got me thinking to one place that I really wanted to document, but kind of got thrown out of after asking to take a picture inside. The bar is called, The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge and the atmosphere and some of the patrons are “sketchy” to say the least.  When I visited here on the bar crawl, I asked a bouncer if I could take a picture and was told to leave in pretty hostile tones. I was always pissed I didn’t get at least a couple of pictures in there, so tonight I’m going to go back and try to discreetly snap a few without the flash. Here’s hoping I don’t write this post from the hospital!

Alright, it's straight up here on 8th Avenue. I've kind of obsessed over this all night and I think the mistake I made was asking to take a picture. In a place like this you should have an air of confidence about you and not show any weakness. You don't want to be cocky, but you should walk in with your camera like it's no sweat to be taking pictures, it is a place open to the public, after all and I have every right to snap a few photos in there. I hope I don't get my legs broken!

Okay, moment of truth time. I took a shot outside and then said hi to these two guys as I went in and even shook their hands. So far, so good.

The bar is crowded and maybe it's my attitude, but the vibe isn't quite as scary as the time before. The bar is a combination of Spanish and tiki themes. If Tony Montana and Don Ho had a love child, it would be the Distinguished Wakamba Lounge.

The bartenders here are dressed in skimpy outfits and don't speak much English. After attempting to order a Budweiser for several minutes, she held up a bottle of rum with a questionable look on her face. I gave her a thumbs up and got some sort of rum concoction to drink, when in Rome...

And here she is ringing up the drink.

My point of view of the brown Formica-topped bar. Spanish disco music blares from the jukebox and every once in a while a bartender will do a little dance in your area and I think it's customary to tip a couple of bucks for the action, so I did.

This bartender was chatting with a woman who just got off duty. They were speaking in Spanish of course. The place doesn't feel like New York, it's got kind of a San Francisco vibe to it and you kind of feel like Dirty Harry is going to bust in at any moment.

There's tables up front, opposite the bar.

And there's more tables in the back area.

Here's a shot of the bar from the back end.

These two are having trouble getting the drinks they are trying to order. They should just take a glass of rum and be happy. In a place like this you should just go with the flow.

Your change in here is always delivered in ones, I think to encourage the tipping for drinks and coochie-coochie dances. This is my stack after about an hour in here. Okay, I think I pushed my luck as far as I should and it's time to get out of here. The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge has been documented on MAD!

One obligatory bathroom mirror shot for the road and it's adios, amigos! See you tomorrow after dark.

The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge
543 Eighth Ave. (Near 37th St.)
No phone (What a surprise!)

Further reading: New York On Tap, Midtown Lunch and NFT.

He's so honest that the dishonest dread,
Meeting the kid with the replaceable head.

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


Bonus Linkage To More Ruby's Photos At The Gog Log!

Goggla posted more photos from the closing day at Ruby's. Check them out here: The Gog Log.