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Friday
Feb102012

Casual Free Food Friday At Rudy's Bar & Grill

Okay, time for the weekly, “Casual Free Food Friday” episode (I now am doing this on Thursday and posting it on Friday), where I make a weekly journey to a bar and sample some free grub. One of the best known places for free food is Rudy’s Bar in Hell’s Kitchen. They have free hotdogs there and not just at happy hour but all through the day and night (they’re open from 8 AM to 4 AM.) It’s a classic New York place, the only problem is that some night’s it’s just to crowded to even get a drink in there, much less a free hot dog, but since I have more free time for on my hands for awhile, I thought I’d go in the afternoon and see if it’s a little less crazy then. And I’m going to meet a TWM commenter that I’ve never met before! Who is it? Well follow along and you’ll find out!

Down into the subway we go as we make our way to Hell's Kitchen near Times Square.

A train has just pulled up as I get to the platform! I love it when that happens.

Obsessive texter alert! I swear she hasn't looked up for five minutes.

Wow, right off the train and already a celebrity sighting! Hello, Joan Rivers!

Memories!

And here we are at Rudy's Bar & Grill, deep in the heart of Hell's Kitchen.

I love the giganzo pig and the customized "Rudy" door, let's go inside and check it out.

Wow, even at four in the afternoon it's crowded in here, but I see a spot at the end of the bar, so I'm going to snag it.

Here's the view from my perch at the bar.

Angel and Judy were working behind the bar, great and friendly people!

And here's Rudy's legendary free hot dogs, cooking behind the bar.

A free hot dog and a bottle of Budweiser in Rudy's bar as the jukebox is playing, "Desolation Row ." It doesn't get much better than this!

The beer list behind the bar. Note that bottles of Budweiser are just three bucks, cheapest beer in town!

Vintage lights hang over and illuminate the bar.

Here's the beers on tap, the house beers, Rudy's Red and Blonde are designated by the mini piglets.

A shot from the back of the bar.

The banquettes that line the wall opposite the bar are done up in what appears to be red duct tape.

Theodorah was seated at one of the banquettes enjoying a beer. She's got a beautiful smile!

Richard and Sherwood were hanging out at the bar. Richard is visiting from California and Sherwood lives in New Jersey.

And here's the TMW special guest star, commenter Jason! Jason works in the city and lives with his wife in New Jersey. It was great to meet Jason and have several beers with him. Jason's a very talented artist and sculptor, check out his work here: Jason Andersen Website.

Obligatory bathroom mirror shot!

And it's time to head out the door.

And nighttime has fallen on the city! I love it when that happens. Thanks for tripping out with me and we'll see you tomorrow.

Rudy’s Bar
627 Ninth Ave. @44th St.
212-974-9169

Further Reading: Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, Mitch Broder’s Vintage New York and 365 Bars.

I saw you in Rudy’s,
You were very high.


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

----------------------------------

Bonus Photos by Danny the Freelancer!

After reading yesterday's record store post, TWM reader and commenter, Danny the Freelancer, sent in a couple of his prized records from his collection. The first is a limited Keith Richards release from his solo album, "Talk Is Cheap." Here's what Danny told me about it via email: "This is the Keith in a can CD. "Talk is Cheap."  A couple of years after I bought the CD, Keith was doing in  store signing at Tower Records on 4th St. My friends were in the front of the giant line and let me cut in. They all had black guitars that they wanted Keith to sign and I had a silver marker. Keith lived right on top of Tower Records at the time. I know because my friend pained his bathroom, eggplant purple with goldleaf trim on the moulding. So I did my bathroom the same way."

Danny also sent in a picture sleeve 45 of the Ramones, "Bitzkrieg Bop," signed by every original Ramone. As Danny notes, the photos on the 45 are from a Ramones show at C.B.G.B. Very cool, thanks for sending these in, Danny!


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Reader Comments (46)

It doesn't get any better than free hot dogs! Rudy's looks like a great place and I love that front door! Couldn't help but notice the Two Boots Pizza sign next door...which of course reminded me of your holiday meal at Mars Bar. Any word on whether they'll relocate somewheres? I imagine there must be one million walls itching for some permanent ink.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Love those red duct tape booths ! Last time we were at Rudy's, I got a hot dog - and Smoopy got a hot dog bun with ketchup - ick !

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Marty, for the same price, you could have had 4 more ounces of Bud by getting a pint! More bang for the bucks! I'm glad the pitcher prices are still ridiculously cheap. I haven't been to Rudy's in like 12 years. I work close enough, so I'll have to remember to stop in. Love the bonus signed albums. "Talk is Cheap" is great. I always loved his unique vocals. I'm reading Keef's bio "Life" right now -- it's great! If even one third of what he says actually happened, It's still an amazing story.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

Nothing like a dog and a brew! Well more like nothing like a dog and 10-15 brews ;) Good times.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReggie Thistleton

@Biff: Rudy's is a great place to hang out in the day. Nighttime gets a little too crowded for my tastes. I had a slice at Two Boots on my way home! I don't think the Mars Bar is going to relocate, but if I hear of anything I'll let you know!

@GENE: The booths are classic! A hot dog bun and ketchup? Is this something Smoopy regularly eats or did the 3,989 drinks of the day get to her?

@Spike: I hear you on the pint, but I prefer bottles. Draft beer gives me a hangover. And I need to get Keef's Life book, thanks for the reminder!

@Reggie Thistleton: Good times indeed and there's NOTHING like a free hotdog and 10-15 beers!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Rudy's is without question a top five NY bar. A real bar, the type that seems to be vanishing everywhere. It's a good thing that this place is usually packed. Those Tiffany type hanging lamps are great. I see a sign at the back "Jack's Backyard" for the smokers I guess. Keith in a can is hilarious, speaking of which, anyone ever notice Keith's fingers? the ends of his fingers are huge/deformed, the guy is cool, though not human,, if he was he would of been dead a long time ago,,,lol.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@TWM ... Smoops gets some strange drinking munchies ! She also befuddled a cart guy by getting a pita with just lettuce - and the pita sauce. UFB !

@Al ... Rudy's does have a nice outdoor area in the back. When I was up there last month - they had a huge projection screen showing the Giants vs. Green Bay playoff game. It was a good time !

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Al: Yeah, I guess it's a good thing it's crowded, I'd hate to see Rudy's close! And you're right about Keef's fingers, they're really scary looking! Someone once said that at the end of the world, the only thing left will be cockroaches and Keith Richards!

@GENE: Smoopies munchies = UFB to the max!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Ah Rudy’s! I’ve gotten drunk at Rudy’s more times than I can remember.

I had a Commercial Art studio on 45th between 8th and 9th from 1970 until this past June. In the early 70’s you could “sparked one up” if you were sitting in a booth and nobody even said a word.

One time I was sitting at the bar and this guy next to me asked me for a light, so I lit his cigarette, and we started talking he introduced himself as Bob. He told me he had done some dancing on Broadway. Over the next few months we’d have beers a few times a week, he’d stop by the studio and whatnot. One night I told him I wanted to take my wife to a Broadway show for her birthday, he asked me which show we wanted to see (can’t remember what show it was), so he tells me he’s got a friend, who’s got a friend who can tickets to anything. The next night I see Bob at the bar, and he pulls an envelope out of his pocket with two tickets in it, I asked him how much I owed him and he told me not to worry about it. The next week my wife and I get to the theatre and to our surprise: we’re in the 3rd row center. Over the next few years we drank thousands of beers. Bob would from time to time throw me tickets to Broadway shows and concerts including really great seats for The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. One night we’re sitting in Rudy’s and he say he’s needs to run up the block to a theatre, and asks if I want to tag along. So we walk up the block and Bob knocks on a stage door, the door opens and the guy who opens the door says “Good evening Mr. Fosse”, I thought to myself Bob? Fosse? Holy Shit its Bob Fosse! I looked at Bob and said “You’re Bob Fucking Fosse?” Bob laughed and said I thought you knew.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

I hung out at Rudy's in the 90's. Where else can you drink with Hookers, Pimps, Actors, Criminals & Tourists. Hehe
Thanks for posting the record photo's Marty , they look great.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the Freelancer

I guess my earlier letter didn't go through, I wrote how beautiful a bar could be that has Desolation Row on the jukebox, you won't find many of that anymore.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

@Martin: Holy shitballs! That's a great story, thanks for sharing it, it made my day! I guess you never know in New York City!

@Danny the Freelancer: A diverse crowd in there for sure! Thanks for sending in the photos, really cool stuff!

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: Once in a blue moon a comment doesn't go through, if that ever happens it's best to clear the cache on your computer or restart it and try again. Sorry about that! And yeah, it was quite a nice surprise to hear Desolation Row in a bar. They have a jukebox with tons of songs on them, including about every Bob Dylan tune. It was a great day!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I always get the blonde ale for $2.50. Paired with the free hot dogs, it's the cheapest dinner I can find. Last time I was there, a giant hornet got past the bouncer and everyone (a packed house) screamed and tried to swat at it. That just made it furious. Never had so much fun with a hornet before. I guess it helped to be a bit tipsy...always a great time in Rudy's. :)

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

Well. I know where I'm getting loose this weekend. I'm going to a concert on 56th over on that side of the world and was a little worried about where I was going to get drunk. Now, not only do I know where I'm going to get drunk, but I also know where I'm getting dinner. Maybe a few appetizer martinis at Sardi's then a stroll over to Rudy's to take the edge off the spirits with a few beers and hot dogs and then on to the show.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

@Martin -- that is awesome! Thanks for sharing that story!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

@TWM (MAD): Don't take this the wrong way, but that girl on the subway was thinking: "I've put on my headphones of "Don't talk to me" and I've been staring at my "texting device of disinterest", my cone of silence and blanket of invisibility should be at maximum and yet this guy in black has been staring right at me for over 5 minutes now. What's a girl to do?""
On the upside, all that negativity was countered by Theodorah.

@Danny: Since it's a reminiscing kind of day: I've been in that apartment on top of Tower Records. The original occupant was Diane Keaton. The bathroom was as the kids say swag. The first level was bigger then my apartment, which led to a giant staircase to the floor through second level loft, which led to the penthouse third level. Two kitchens, two bedrooms, an enormous terrace and an outdoor shower. I only remember it clearly because at the time, I thought to myself it would be the perfect place to buy if I won a giant lottery jackpot. This was a while ago when Tower Records was still downstairs. (And there were still a lot of small records stores scattered throughout the city*) Jealousy is a sin I'm occasionally guilty of. Oh yeah, nice records too.
*see TWM's yesterday's post.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@Goggla: Too funny about the hornet! Maybe it was a regular reincarnated! And yes, that's the cheapest dinner in NYC!

@randall: Sounds like you're in for a great night! I love Sardi's, but miss the communal cheese and cracker bowls at the bar.

@csp: Theodorah trumps all with that smile of hers! And how did you get access to that apartment that Danny mentioned? Were you a personal assistant to Keef at one time?

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty, it was great to meet you and share a few beers and laughs. Let's do it again sometime.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Anthony Bourdain mentioned this place alot for a great dive bar in NYC...must go..great tour!!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Loved Rudys until I got 86'ed at 2AM after they broke up my ladyfriend and me, kind of fellatio interreptus at one of those red banquettes. Hope they scrubbed them well.. I wonder if they will ever let me back in the next time I'm in the hood,

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Hunt

@Jason: Great to meet you as well! We'll definitely be hanging out and tripping again!

@Melanie: This is one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite places. It's a must stop for anyone visiting New York that wants to get a taste of old school Hell's Kitchen. Glad you liked the tour!

@Mike Hunt: "fellatio interreptus at one of those red banquettes" Ha ha ha! I'm glad I sit at the bar in there!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@Mike Hunt: I hope you had your case of "fellatio interreptus" taken care of in a timely manner. If left ignored, "fellatio interreptus" can lead to a severe case of "blue ballitis".

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSturgeon General

I hate when "fellatio interreptus" happens

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill Clinton

@Bill HA HA!

@Bill Clinton: I think that stain proved it didn't happen in your case, but thanks for chiming in!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@Bill Clinton: Close but no cigar!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Tripp

You Imperialists and your cigar jokes disgust me. Next time I visit the UN I'll be sure to check out Rudy's afterward Marty. ¡Viva la Revolución!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFidel Castro

Did someone say free hot dog?

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuth "Babe" Ginsburg

@Fidel - Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar, but not in your case.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSigmund Freud

OK this has been an awesome commenting day! i am laughing so hard!
@Martin.. That is so awesome.. Bob Fucking Fosse!
i am a huge Fosse fan and that story made my day!
My fave actress Shirley Maclaine has such awesome stories about him. I wish i could have met him...
I am doing Jazz hands while I type this.
Wow sooo cool..
sorry Marty not that you havent met cool people today is Martins day! He drank with Bob Fosse!!!!!!!
ok sorta over it now.. no not really..
bob fosse
wow

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gidget: I agree! It's a great story and I'm going to post it again in tomorrow's "Rewind" post! Classic NYC story!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@Gidget – Bob knew damn well I had no idea who he was, and I think he liked it that way, because he could just be “one of the guys”.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

@Martin and Marty...It's why Fosse is a legend.. he was a real dude... and he was a true new york hero..
BUT..
He was from Chicago..
and there is a street named after him there..
Steam heat anyone????

maybe I will watch star 80 and pajama game this weekend LOL

oh and oh yeah very very cool to see what Jason looks like..I love when the players play with marty in real life!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gidget: I agree! And it was great to meet Jason, everyone should check out his art at his website, very cool work there!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Smoopy doesn't like hot dogs....don't knock the bun with ketchup till you try it!

& the street vendor- its a pita w/ only lettuce tomato & the sauce...omg YUMMMMMMMM!!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersmoopy

Very nice Tiffany style lamps over the bar, nice touch. Exceptional for a dive bar.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

@DaveW: It makes sense when you consider that Tiffany is a prototypical stripper name.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@csp LOL Very good. Reminds me of the time I was at a gentleman's establishment when I was a young man and got up the nerve to talk to one of the dancers. I asked what her name was and she said Velvet. At that point I think I very nearly laughed in her face.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

@Smoopy: Ha ha ha! You are truly one of a kind!

@DaveW: I liked the lamps too and am laughing at both comments be you and csp!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

great post...greater comments...martin's story and smoopy's eating choices did stand out but all should get a star to put on the frigidaire...

And I think that after nearly 85 years upon this planet that I have a right after working so hard at showing the desolation and the poverty, to show something beautiful for somebody as well.
Gordon Parks

rr

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@rr: Agreed! I appreciate all of you who comment here, it creates another aspect of the blog and I thank you! And I thank rr for his nightly quote, always something I look forward to!

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hey Marty! I feel so famous that you actually posted our picture here. I agree with the comments, Rudy's is a great place to hang out, and only $9 for a bud pitcher (holyshit!). It was nice to meet you! You remind me of Bourdain! (my favorite guy in the whole wide world)

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalifornia Richard

Great post today Daddio and a great story by Martin.
Thanks for sharing that one.

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@California Richard: It was great to meet you and Sherwood, that's what I love most about doing this blog, meeting new and interesting people! Have fun on your trip and thanks for the Bourdain comparison, I think he's great too! Thanks for letting me take your picture!

@"Boris:" Thanks, Daddio! And I agree, that story by Martin was definitely the cherry on the sundae!

February 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Damn. Free hot dogs with beer?! It's like manna from heaven!

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

@Britta: Just once more place to add to your list for your next visit!

February 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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