Jukebox Skipping

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Nick's, Pottersville, New York -- REVIEW

Main Street
Pottersville, New York

Much like a moldy old fruitcake, or that sweater vest from your long lost relative, it's time for the annual retelling of my long strange trip to Pottersville, New York a few years ago on Christmas Eve.  

Merry Christmas 2015! 

Scuba Steve

Let's get hammered!
My travels take me to some pretty out-of-the-way places, so it's not unusual that I find myself spending a night in a small town like Pottersville. I couldn't find the place on Google maps, so I had no idea what to expect when I got there.

But, what to my wandering eyes did appear (once I got there), nothing short of one kick-ass party town! Pottersville is nothing but night clubs, bars, liquor stores and pool halls…did I just die and go to heaven? It was a snowy night, so I ducked into the first crowded bar I saw, a place called Nick's.

PROS: Cheap. Hot Dames.  Hard-Drinking Regulars.

CONS: Goon Bouncers.  A Few Odd Balls Showed Up.

First Impressions: Holy crap…considering it's Christmas Eve…this place is ROCKING and loud. It was hard to find a place to belly up at the bar, but I found a seat at the end and was amazed at how many people were throwing back shots of bourbon, drinking gin and generally getting hammered.

My kind of place for sure! And, oddly enough, most of the people are wearing hats (not baseball caps) but honest-to-goodness hats. As usual, I am under dressed.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em
The Bar: Small and bare bones. The bar, I'm guessing, seats about 12 people…but not all that comfortably. There are a handful of tables, and they too are all filled. The walls have pictures of boxers and race horses, and a look behind the bar didn't seem to reveal a ton of choices. No beer on tap, but they did have enough bourbon and gin to drown W.C. Fields, as well as several bottles of Italian wine (aka Dago Red) which seemed a bit out of place. Maybe a holdover from the previous owner?

The Crowd: A hard-drinking mix of men and women all dressed up in suits and skirts…it is Christmas Eve I guess…definitely NOT a Harley T-shirt place. Most people seemed nice enough and all seemed like they knew one another…the typical regulars kind of crowd.

A few odd balls showed up at one point and quickly had their asses thrown out the door…And STAY out! HA!! Who goes to a dive bar and orders a flaming rum punch? What the hell is that anyway? Some old panhandler also showed up and got his ass kicked out too. I overheard someone say that he spent time in jail for killing a kid. Why the hell isn't he still in jail!

A few hot dames
Service: Nick is my kind of bartender, not the most friendly guy in the world, but is ready to pour you another shot the second you thrown one back. I had no problems with the guy the entire time I was in there, but I would not want to get on his bad side, at all. As "don't f### with me" as he seemed, I could not help but to think that if his life had taken a different path, that he might actually be a nice and upstanding citizen. On the other hand, who cares, I'm here to drink. Nick, another bourbon!

Prices: There were no signs for specials on the walls, and I did not want to piss off Nick by asking for about happy hour prices. Nick's will let you drink on a tab, but they do not take credit cards. I'm guessing they charge you roughly .60 cents for a pint and .80 cents for a shot. Again, I was not about to ask, and much like everyone else in the place I was there to get drunk…so I didn't care.

He takes no shit
Food: No menus anywhere that I could see. I am under the impression that this is NOT the place to go if you are hungry. But, having been in a place like this once or twice, I am sure you can find some pickled eggs behind the bar if you look hard enough. Not that I would actually eat one, but it's nice to know there is some type of protein in case the rotgut booze starts to have a really bad effect on me and make me think I was talking to an angel.

Way better than an Internet jukebox
Entertainment: Not a place to come to watch a football game. Why? They don't have any TVs…not even a radio. But, they did have a dude at the piano playing some down-and dirty jazz. That's a new one to me in a dive (other than New Orleans or Memphis) but who cares…this dude can play!

I didn't see a jukebox either, so I'm not sure what you do for fun at Nick's when the "piano man" takes a break. My guess is you just order another shot and hope his goon bouncers throw-out some other poor slob for the amusement of others. I have to say, when it's not me being the one thrown out, it's pretty entertaining to watch. 

Restrooms: I can only assume the worst, but I was not about to abandon my barstool just to have someone steal it. My best advice in a place like this is to drink until you're hammered (and can't hold it anymore), pay your tab, walk quickly out the door, and pee in the alley behind the building. If nothing else, I'm sure it is a way more sanitary approach.

Cash Only
Bartender Chat: This is NOT a place to make small talk with the staff. Let me put it this way, I overheard Nick telling one of the two "pixies" not too long before he had them thrown out the door, "Hey, look mister, we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast. And we don't need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere. Is that clear? Or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?"

Hell yes! My motto too…drink up or hit the road! Nick rules!!

How Far Did My $20 Go: At roughly .80 cents a shot, 20 bucks can get you HAMMERED. I'm sure I didn't drink nearly my twenty bucks worth, but threw it on the bar anyway on my way out the door. God knows I didn't want one of the goons at Nick's bar to "show me the door" for being a cheap tipper.

Final Impressions: I dig this place. They don't take shit from the customers, are intent on getting their customers wasted, and apparently "hand out wings" by ringing the cash register over and over again when they feel like it. I'd come back here in a heartbeat.

There is a feeling in the place that it could be much more friendly under different circumstances, but as cheap as the drinks are, how can you not love coming here on Christmas Eve to tie one on with a bunch of people dressed up for church. This is a one of a kind dive!

Dive-O-Meter
8


HIT THIS DIVE!

4 comments:

  1. Hey, isn't that the girl from NCIS behind the goon in the tux? Is it just my bourbon goggles, or are all the dames n this dive Bettie Page, Janet Leigh, and Veronica Lake look-a-likes? Nick, a round for the bar, and get yourself one too. At eighty cents a shot I can finally afford to say, "Drinks are on me, everyone!"

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  2. Must be look-a-likes, because if was the REAL Bettie Page...I would have bought her enough bourdon until I looked good to her!! And still had plenty of money in my pocket for the cheap motel down the street!

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    1. If that was really Betty Page and you sealed the deal in a cheap motel down the road... I would worship you a a god amongst men!!!

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    2. I will never kiss and tell...but DAMN she was almost too much to handle!

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