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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,837 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:


Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, June 22, 2024

#5628 - Secret Tiki Temple, Jacksonville, FL - 3/15/2024

Secret Tiki Temple, Jacksonville, FL

On a road trip to attend baseball spring training games with some old friends, I made my first visit to northern Florida, including my first stop at Jacksonville's Secret Tiki Temple speakeasy. Little did I know that it, and the Pagoda Restaurant in which it hid, would close just a month later.

The Pagoda Restaurant had been in the area for almost 50 years, starting in Jacksonville Beach in 1975, and eventually moving to a new building in Jacksonville's Baymeadows neighborhood in 2002. The Cantonese and Szechuan Chinese cuisine restaurant was founded by James Tan, his grandfather Wei Chow Tam, along with some additional partners. The Tiki Temple was added by James' son Tommy, after he moved back from LA to assist with the restaurant.

Secret Tiki Temple, Jacksonville, FL
Tommy combined his appreciation of tiki and speakeasies in a secret room that took many years to evolve, and especially early on took the speakeasy style secrecy serious (e.g. as you can see in a news4jax video). By the time I arrived, it was a darkly beautiful tropical hideaway, with some very fine drinks. I arrived without a reservation, but thankfully managed to weasel my way into a bar seat. I much enjoyed the ambiance, my cocktails, and my chat with the bartender, and regret only that I can't come back with my wife and friends.

































































8617 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256 - (904) 731-0880
Est. 2016 - Building constructed: 1984 - Closed April 26, 2024 
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: secrettikitemple.com - facebook - instagram - twitter 
Articles ranked: jacksonville.com - jaxdailyrecord - mytiki.life - news4jax (video) - globaltravelerusa - yelp - tripadvisor - jacksonvillemag -  actionnewsjax - firstcoastnews - msn 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

#4901 - The Old Pink, Buffalo, NY - 11/15/2022

The Old Pink, Buffalo, NY 

On June 17, 2024, fire destroyed the bar in Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood known as "The Old Pink." The joint was a cherished local institution, famous for its steak sandwich, often cited in lists of the top dive bars in the country, and among seven dive bars in the country cited by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as worthy of preserving. The building was a total loss, with an emergency demolition ordered, even as saddened Buffalo residents rushed to claim bricks or other fragments.

The building hosting the bar was constructed in the 1860s, and appears to have first hosted a bar in 1942 when Jimmie Oates Grill opened. Over the following years it had several different bar incarnations, including the Allentown Cafe and Birdie's 19th hole in the 70s, the Buffalo Bar and Grill in 1980, the Lockeroom in '81, and then in 1983 under new owner Mark Supples, the Pink Flamingo.

The Old Pink, Buffalo, NY

The "Forgotten Buffalo" Facebook group published a 2018 quote from Supples explaining: “I wanted people to think it was a gay bar so the knuckleheads from Brick Bar wouldn’t come in." The group posts continues: 'Other early clientele included bikers, punk rockers, policemen, judges, neighborhood people, retirees, and drug dealers. On the first day the bar opened, it didn’t look much different than the bar does today, Supples says. “Except it was painted much cooler in the front, and the bathrooms were considerably cleaner.”' In 1991 Supples sold the business to the Brinkworth family, and opened up a newer, larger "New Pinks" on Main Street. It was then that locals got in the habit of referring to "the Old Pink."

When I visited the bar in November of 2022, it was, as it had been for many years, a happily dark and buzzing place. I didn't know about the steak sandwiches at the time, so unfortunately I never sample these. But it was a comfortable, divey, hangout, in a neighborhood that has several nice -- if a bit less venerated -- bars. The exterior had been retouched earlier in the year, removing much of the stars and flames from the front portion of the building to satisfy a city of Buffalo "graffiti" ordinance. The actual graffiti was inside the bar, amidst the paintings on the walls, and the years of stickers and genial weathering that marks the best dives.

It was a sad day for dive bar lovers, but I am happy I got to see it before it was gone.












Jimmie Oates Pub, Buffalo, NY
For this and other images of bars in 
the Old Pink space, see the
Forgotten Buffalo Facebook group.












































223 Allen St, Buffalo, NY 14201 - (716) 884-4338
Est. 1983 - Building constructed: 1860s
Previous bars in this location: Jimmie Oates' Pub, Birdie's 19th Hole, Allentown Cafe, The Lockeroom, Buffalo Bar and Grill, The Blackstone
Web site: facebookfacebook - instagram 
Reviews: scoundrelsfieldguide - reddit - yelp - tripadvisor

Friday, June 14, 2024

#5809 - Evergreen Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA - 6/14/2024

Phil Bacharach, owner Evergreen Cafe,
Pittsburgh, PA

Today I met Pittsburgh's reigning "Best Jagoff" -- a man who even beat out the Pirates owner, which takes some doing around here.

The Evergreen Cafe is said to have been located in its current location on Penn Avenue (AKA Highway 8) since 1933. The business was previously located in Wilkinsburg -- now some 3 1/2 blocks down Penn Ave -- but moved here to the Point Breeze neighborhood of eastern Pittsburgh after federal prohibition ended, but was maintained in the municipality of Wilkinsburg. The current owner's father, Fritz Bacharach, purchased the joint in 1956, soon buying out a partner and eventually turning it over to his son Phil.

Evergreen Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

Phil maintains the divey establishment to this day. He and his brothers worked the joint as teenagers, and Phil has recalled when the customers were steel workers, dropping in for a ham sandwich (white bread, ham, and cheese), a shot and a beer at lunch time (Local Pittsburgh). In addition to working the horseshoe shaped bar, Phil also ran the kitchen, until 2019 when he brought in the family running Taquitos Mexican Food Truck.  

Phil is a likable guy and the bar brings in a nice, diverse group of locals. It's the kind of place that I might move to my top favorites list if/when I spend some extra time there (and haven't already eaten lunch). It has the hallmarks of a finely aged dive -- plenty of old photos, including one of Fritz in military uniform, one with rapper Mac Miller who grew up in the Point Breeze neighborhood, another signed by Bill Mazeroski. There are gewgaws, paintings, and signs collected over the years, several featuring John Wayne, a favorite of Phil's mother.


But the elephant in the room is parked out front. It is Phil's car, parked in the right line of the 4-lane Penn Ave, and it is infamous in these parts. As The Great Pittsburgh Bar put it, "Have you ever been driving down Penn Avenue towards Wilkinsburg, approaching South Braddock? Have you almost died as a result of the random cars that are always parked in the right lane of a major two lane road? Then you have the Evergreen CafĂ© to thank for your near death experience. We have been cursing this bar for many many years."



This part of Penn Ave is a fairly busy street, where few drivers remain close to the 35mph speed limit. It is rare than anyone else parks here. But Phil has been parking here for half a century now. In April of 2023 he told Hannah Kinney-Kobre, of Pittsburgh City Paper that he'd been parking there "ever since I had a car when I was 16. I'm 65, so it’s been a while." Phil maintains that it is not dangerous -- even while he admits that his vehicle out there has been hit "upwards of ten times." This includes a time, he has added, when his vehicle was knocked all the way to the corner and the driver's vehicle caught fire. Phil added “Sometimes there’s somebody behind my car on her phone, looking at shit on there, for minutes. They’ve even started honking and without realizing that the car's parked.” (ibid) 

And until just this year (2024) it's actually been legal to park there -- at least until 2:30pm. That was made explicit by a city parking sign in front of the building. But then Jennifer Makovics started a Change.org petition to change that, and after 700 signatures, the city decided to change it to 30 minutes, loading only. Has this changed Phil's behavior much? You probably know enough already to guess. Phil also proudly displays "Pittsburgh's Best Jagoff" banners on the front of the bar, and his car sports "Best Jag" personalized plates. And Phil now has his own Change.org petition to get his parking rights back (759 signatures at the time of this writing).

In summary, I confess to having difficulty taking a strong position here. Logic tells me it would be better to make the roads safer and more convenient (on my visit I easily parked just around the corner). At the same time, I confess to liking the small wry smile on Phil's face when I ask about it, and to having a story to tell (one that has netted the joint a pretty fair amount of publicity). I wouldn't park there, and you probably wouldn't park there, but what I'd hate to get lost is that here is a pretty cool neighborhood bar with some good beers, pretty decent looking Mexican food, and a history of almost a century.
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7330 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 - (412) 241-5577
Est. 1933 
Previous bars in this location: None known 
Reviews: Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh City Paper - The Great Pittsburgh Bar Crawl - WTAE - citycast - yelp 




















Thursday, June 06, 2024

#5790 - Ulrich's 1868 Tavern, Buffalo, NY - 5/31/2024

Ulrich's 1868 Tavern, Buffalo, NY

Ulrich's is currently open only Wednesday through Friday afternoons, and I was unable to make it in previous trips to Buffalo, NY, but it was worth the wait. As the name implies, the bar is located in a space that has at least included a saloon since the fall of 1868, when young German immigrant Fredrick Schrerie opened a grocery-saloon in the same brick bar space that stands today. This includes the prohibition years, when Hasenpheffer Club speakeasy operated on the second floor, with Canada conveniently close, and with the aid of a mechanical lift that remains in the building to this day. (The speakeasy was raided at least once, on May 8, 1926.)

Ulrich's 1868 Tavern, Buffalo, NY


The buffalonet.org site provides some context for the days of the bar's founding:

'At the time, the neighborhood surrounding the saloon was fast becoming both a fashionable German enclave and the center of Buffalo's brewing industry.

Five major breweries were within a few blocks of Ulrichs; Buffalo Co-Op at High at Michigan, Empire at Main and Burton, German-America at Main and High, Christian Weyand at Main and Goddell, and the Ziegele Brewing at Main and Virginia. The first Lager Beer in Buffalo was brewed about 100 yards from Ulrichs by Albert Ziegele, at Main and Virginia streets in the early 1850's.

Buffalo was an exciting post Civil War boom town, fed by German immigrants that settled Buffalo's East Side. The book "A Pictorial History of Buffalo and Erie County; Second Look", describes the neighborhood and places like Ulrichs. "As bootmakers, tinsmiths, clockmakers, bakers, brewers and stonecutters, working class Germans lived a relatively prosperous and settled life. Not a few were grocers who also kept a back room grog shop. These emerged as the centers of neighborliness. This was the kind of patient business that, while not wildly profitable, yielded a lifetime of respectable income."

Imagine a tree lined, young bustling neighborhood, filled with a constant smell of the damp sweetness of malt and the bitter edge of hops, the endless horse drawn beer wagons and the constant chatter of German being spoken. You stand a better chance of someone understanding English in Munich, Germany today, than at the corner of Ellicott and Virginia streets in Buffalo in 1868. Ulrichs' brick bar room stood then, as it does today, along with 1/3 of the dining room.

It was a place where one could buy anything from soap to sausage, where local beer, be it Ziegele's Lager or Weyand's Munich dark, was served in house or taken home in a pail.'


In 1883, the grocery half of the business was dropped, and the apartments upstairs became hotel rooms. The name "Ulrich's" dates back to 1906, when beer wagon driver Michael Ulrich took over the place. In 1910 he purchased the saloon outright from the Ziegele Brewery and named it "Ulrich's Sample Room." During his ownership the saloon would become a common meeting place for "political bigwigs as well as the literati and celebrated persons of the time." Ulrich would go on to run the bar for 41 years, and while I am not certain of this, but it seems like it may (?) have consistently retained the "Ulrich's" name ever since. 

Since that time Ulrich's has had a series of owners, with more than one losing the business to bankruptcy and at least one having to overcome city plans for its demolition. Thankfully in early 2014 it was obtained by preservation-minded local criminal defense attorney Tom Eoannou, who leased the operation to local bar owner Salvatore Buscaglia. Sal and his team invested four months into renovating the bar, preserving vintage elements and adding historical photos. But the star of the show is the beautiful black cherry and stained glass bar that was acquired from the Iroquois Hotel in 1910.

The bar's web site and local historical sites have provided some really nice lists of owners and milestones, some of which I have replicated below for reference, with more available at the links below. The beer, liquor and food were upgraded as well, which makes this a nice stop for dinner, as well as a must visit for any bar and/or history buffs. 





Ulrich's Tavern Historical Milestones 

1868 - Fredrick Schrerier, a young German immigrant, opened a grocery-saloon
1883 - The grocery part of the operation would be dropped
Became a "tied house" owned by 2 different breweries until 1910 - Christian Weyand Brewery and the Ziegele Brewing Company
1880s-1919 - George Fromholtz ran a barber shop win what is now the beer storeroom
1896 - New York State Raines Law prohibited saloons from serving drinks on Sunday, but allowed hotels with 10+ rooms to do so. The upstairs portion of the building was converted into a hotel.
1906 - A 30-year-old man named Michael Ulrich took over the saloon
1910 - Michael Ulrich bought the saloon from the Ziegele Brewery, renaming it Michael Ulrich's Sample Room
1920-1933 - Prohibition. The downstairs became a delicatessen and restaurant. The barbershop and upstairs hotel were closed and the second floor became a private speakeasy
1946 - Michael Ulrich sells the bar to its first non-German owner, French born William Levea, who ran the bar for 3 years.
1949 - Nichlos Riesz purchased and ran the bar for 5 years.
1954 - Jim Daley and his wife Erika took over the business
1970 - The City took the building through eminent domain as part of an urban renewal program. The Daleys stayed open and paid the City rent while they fought it.
1982 - The Daleys won a 12 year court fight to keep the bar standing as an urban renewal program swept through, leveling much of the neighborhood
2000 - The Daley's son Jim Jr. took over the bar
August 2012 - The bar is briefly closed due to back taxes and Jim Daley Jr. files for bankruptcy
October 2013 - The bar is closed again after failing to keep up with payments under its bankruptcy plan
February 2014 - Tom Eoannou purchased the building and Salvatore G. Buscagli becomes sole proprietor of soon to be re-opened "Ulrich's 1868 Tavern"
June 2014 - Ulrich's re-opens

Source:  preservationready.org  


List of Ulrich's owners with historical source notes

ULRICH'S SALOON KEEPERS HONOR ROLE
1868-1870 FREDRICK SCHMUERER 1895-1896 JOHN THEUER
1871-1880 JACOB MILLER         1896-1905 GEORGE DOBMEIER
1881-1882 CHARLES MAYSER 1905-1946 MICHAEL ULRICH
1883-1889 GEORGE MARTZLUFFT 1946-1949 WILLIAM LEVEA
1890-1892 JOSEPH SCHUHMAN 1949-1954 NICHOLAS RIESZ
1892-1895 GEORGE FISHER 1954-PRESENT ERIKA & JIM DALEY

SPECIAL NOTE: ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN LISTED ABOVE RAN THE BUSINESS,
SOME ALSO OWNED THE BUILDING, OTHERS LEASED THE BUILDING.

A: ULRICHSS WAS FIRST LISTED AS A BUSINESS IN THE 1869 CITY 
DIRECTORY, UNDER THE HEADING OF GROCERY-SALOON. ON PAGE 528, COLUMN 2, 
LINE 9.
CITY DIRECTOIES OF THE TIME WERE PUBLISHED IN EARLY PART OF 
THE YEAR ISSUED, WITH THE INFORMATION BEING GATHERED IN THE LATER PART OF
PREVIOUS YEAR.

B: STREET NUMBERS ON ELLICOTT CHANGED IN 1900.
BEFORE 1900 ULRICH'S ADDRESS WAS 614 ELLICOTT ST.
IN 1900 AND AFTER ULRICH'S ADDRESS IS 674 ELLICOTT 5T3

C: ULRICH'S WAS LISTED AS A GROCERY-SALOON FROM 1868 TILL 1883.
"MANY GERMANS WERE GROCERS WHO AL50 KEPT A BACK ROOM GROG SHOP.
THESE EMERGED A THE CENTER OF NEIGHBORLINES. THIS WAS THE KIND OF 
PATIENT BUSINESS THAT WHILE NOT WILDLY PROFITABLE, YIELDED A LIFETIME 
OF RESPECTABLE INCOME" SECOND LOOK A PICTORAL HISTORY OF BUFFALO AND ERIE
COUNTY.

Source:  buffalonet.org 























674 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203
Est. 1906 (as Ulrich's), 1868 as bar/saloon - Building constructed: 1868
Previous bars in this location: Dobmeier Hotel
Web site: ulrichs1868tavern.com - facebook 
Articles Ranked: ulrich.buffalonet.org - preservationready.org - buffalorising- buffalorising - jesse cook (prohibition raid) - onlyinyourstateforgottenbuffalo -  buffalospree - stepoutbuffalo - chowhound (Anthony Boudain favorites) - buffalodrinkswyrk - unveganediblereflections -  afar - 3rdarm