Entries in Midtown Bars (1)

Wednesday
Feb292012

My Last Supper At Bill's Gay Nineties

I haven’t been to Bill’s Gay Nineties on TWM yet and decided I should go soon. Rumors started swirling last year that Bill’s is going to be bought out by restauranteur John DeLucie, whom I and many others fear would wreck the joint if he takes it over. On February 10th, Lost City reported that they’ve heard it’s a done deal. I’ve heard the same thing from various people and decided I better get in there before this happens. I’ve never eaten in Bill’s and I’m meeting my friends, The Duncester and Shawn Chittle there tonight for what could very well be a last supper at Bill’s Gay Nineties. The Duncester was inspired by my Mad Men tour and said he’s wearing a suit tonight. Not to be outdone, Shawn and I decided to dress up as well. Hey, if this is a last supper, may as well go out in style and with a smile!

Here we are, Bill's Gay Nineties, it's always like a trip back in time walking in here.

And it's through the swinging saloon doors we go, into Bill's.

And as usual the bar is packed, but I see a small opening so I'm going to grab it.

And here's Tom the bartender. Tom confirmed the sad news that the nights for Bill's in this location are numbered. The last day it's open is March 24th. It seems that the landlord isn't going to renew the lease and someone else is going to take over. The landlord hasn't revealed who this someone else is, but all bets are on John DeLucie, even though it's been denied in the press. My question is why would the landlord deny Bill's lease when they pack them in nightly...

I mean check it out and this is a Tuesday night! The good news is that Tom told me that they're moving the whole operation somewhere nearby. Stay tuned for details! In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my last night at Bill's.

And here's a blast from my 365 past, it's Marc who was bartending the night I came in for the 365 bar crawl! Great to see him again!

I love the vintage boxing photos on the wall's in here.

And the framed original Broadway playbills are classic as well.

Okay, Shawn and the Duncester should be here any minute, so time to move to our table in the back.

And here we are, The Three Amigos! From the left: The Duncester, Yours Fooly and Shawn Chittle. Shawn broke out a tuxedo for the evening, he doesn't fuck around!

Chittle...Shawn Chittle, shaken, not stirred!

And here's Bill's piano man, Elliot Paul with the Duncester.

Here's our charming and lovely waitress Maureen, who's worked at Bill's for years.

And the food arrives! The Duncester got the cheeseburger and fries.

Shawn got the filet...

And I got the crab cakes. The food was delicious, our compliments to the chef!

And Elliot starts the first song of the evening. He has an impressive song list that ranges from The Rolling Stones, to Billy Joel to Frank Sinatra and everyone in between. A great and talented piano man!

And at the end of the evening, we were lucky to be joined at our table by Bill's proprietress Barbara Bart. Barbara's run this place since her father passed away in 1979. She told us that there will be a new Bill's in the future, not far from this location. Look for updates here and on Bill's website. The good news is that Barbara owns all the memorabilia and antiques in Bill's and they and the staff will be transported to the new location. I can't wait for opening night!

And as the empty's stack up, time to call it a night at Bill's. Thanks To Barbara, Tom, Marc, Elliot, Rich, Shawn and The Duncester for a great last night at Bill's. I look forward to many more at the new location!

Bill's Gay Nineties

Further Reading: Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, Village Voice and Eater NY.

Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine,
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line.

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

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Bonus Photos by Shawn Chittle!

Shawn sent in some photos he took last night and here they are. Great shots, Shawn! Thanks for sending them and for hanging out last night!

Bonus Linkage!

My friend Gidget is tweaking her blog and yesterday posted a story about how she met and became friends with legendary radio personality, Rodney Bingenheimer. I’ve bugged her for a long time to write this and she did a great job, check it out here:
Gidget Bates Crap She Spews.

And don’t forget to tune in to “The Secret Weapon” on Woody Radio. DJ Gidget hosts the show and “Boris” picks the tunes, it’s a great show and you’ll hear music that you’ve probably never heard and will want to hear over and over!