Tag Archives: nyc bars

A Moose No Longer Loose, Goodbye To The Bull Moose Saloon

Nooooooooooooooooooooo! Okay, this just sucks. Last night while heading to a show with The Finnish Ambassador (our friend Samuel for those new readers and not the real deal ambassador of Finland) we were locked into the plan of meeting up at the Bull Moose Saloon. I’ve often mentioned how Smith’s was my go to hang for the pregaming before Metal shows over at B.B. King’s and Best Buy Theater but lately the amount of tourists had been edging me out of the place and while its great for their business it is NOT good for me when I only have a little while before jumping into the musical fray. With that being the case I had opted for the Bull Moose Saloon for several months and enjoyed that it was just off the beaten path of the tourists and kept a regular customer base of working NYC union folks and stage people along with folks such as I. The prices were great and the food always managed to hit the right spot. Today that would change for the worst.

As I hit the block where the bar was located I received a text from Samuel saying the place was not open at the moment and there was a gate at the door. With that being the note, I had to walk down just the same to assess the situation and see if I could determine what was actually going on. Samuel mused aloud that perhaps the place was being cleaned up but I countered at how Thursday was not a night one often finds pubs in NYC closed for business. Maybe a Monday or Tuesday but not on a day that pretty much leads you into the weekend. When we reached the pub there was a massive gate and there were no more neon signs in the window nor was the big awning that said the bars name there. It appeared to be a grim situation.

I told Samuel this did not appear to be a routine cleaning but the look of a place now gone and making way for something else. It was a shame because I really liked the place. Mind you my little group would still hit Smith’s now and again but if there were a larger bunch of us we would just convene there since there was never an issue with space for us. They also made a fantastic Reuben sandwich and Buffalo Chicken wings. I apologize for whining but this is the third place that I liked to go to that has closed and the second in one year’s time. I am starting to think there is a secret cabal out there following me to see what I approve of so they can close it up LOL. Of course I am kidding.

You were great sanctuary and a fun place to meet my friends and we enjoyed your fare and were glad to have enjoyed it for the couple of years that we did walk through your doors. I also want to send good luck wishes to those staffers we always got to talk to like Ellen, Mike, Kit and the rest on their next adventures. Goodbye Bull Moose Saloon. You shall be missed. Hell’s Kitchen will not be the same without this one.

Integrating The PiercingMetal Pregaming Guides Into PiercingKen Blog


So what am I talking about this time? Well, to bring anyone new up to speed, it was back in the middle of 2010 that I had the idea about discussing the places that my friends and I would all meet up for food and drink before heading into the concerts that we were attending. A beer or three into the night that the idea first dawned on me found me initially wanting to present this to the readers as a lengthy posting that focused on a number of different places all in one easy narrative. After starting it, I realized that this would be something that would need a constant appending and that could prove to be a nightmare. By serializing them into unique posts, each existing place would remain special and each new one could get its own attention and comments. It made more sense at the end of the day and honestly speaking, this serialization premise was working very well for my Social Net Scoop narratives already so why not follow suit with this idea.

Looking back on them, I think that I did about a half dozen of them before I slowly found my time being consumed by the growing amount of concerts that I was attending and trying to keep up with for your Metal attention and with that being the case the topic kind of ended. Now as a very social person, and I don’t just mean in the online world, I really enjoyed bringing the readers of my sites blog these pregaming guides and decided that with the PiercingKen.com blog in full gear and discussing numerous adventures in food that I would move the topic here and start up once more. I feel that doing this lets me just share a decent place with you all whether I be hitting a show or not. Of course, I will be filing these under my Dining Adventures category as opposed to referring to them as pregaming adventures but I don’t think that will matter once the ball gets rolling.

I realize that some of you might be saying that I would be easily served by continuing to use my Yelp! account to line out the finer points of the places I go but I think it will be more fun to share my photos and ideas here as well for good measure. I’m easily found on Yelp! for those who wish to see some of the reviews I had posted and of course I am using Foursquare and Foodspotting now as well to tie all this kind of stuff together. Come find me on any of those if you like, the more the merrier I always say.

Check out my past narratives on this subject by clicking HERE. It will find the stuff that applies from our “Dining Adventures” category.

Thanks for listening to this little PiercingKen PSA 🙂

PiercingMetal Pregaming Guide: Smith’s Bar

Logo - Smiths Bar

If I had to think back to when I first went to Smith’s Bar, I will say that it was after a job interview from Hell and I was meeting a then friend for a cold beverage and to catch up. I was not anywhere close to having PiercingMetal.com yet, and as I reflect upon that day, I was not really writing for the website that got me started either. Anyway, I digress. At the time of this meetup, Smith’s was really a different looking place. They had a bunch of tables on the side and one of those hot meat counters that we used to see a lot in places like Blarney Stone. I loved those since you could get some corned beef, turkey or roast beef for a reasonable sum and a few cold beers and then go off to whatever it was you were doing.

smiths bar,
Smith’s Bar NYC

I liked the bar and remembered it when I started doing my music scribe thing and began to use it as my own launching point for diner and beverage before going off to B.B. King Blues Club and the Nokia Theatre. Slowly but surely the word started to spread thanks to the growing Social Nets and many other Metal peeps began to use this space as well for their own pre-gaming. On the other side of Smith’s was a larger restaurant side and while you could get food on either of the sides, there were more tables and room over on the opposite side for larger groups. It was your typical NYC bar and had a certain sleazy charm to it. The crowd was a regular person crowd and when I was there with a Metal compliment of friends I never had an issue. The shot below shows off the new restaurant space look and I will explain that in the next paragraph.

smiths bar
Smith’s Bar NYC

Of course in time things do change and Smith’s eventually got a makeover that made the place look a lot nicer and I guess more appealing at the end of the day. They dumped the meat counter for standing tables and cleared a few of the other parts in the main bar that had become part of my memory and things I liked to see. Granted it was roomier now and while I didn’t snap any shots of that for this narrative I will say that they definitely classed it up a bit. Welcome tourists I reckon we should say. They often had music in the restaurant space and the players would be against the front window over there. Now there was a small stage that was a much better option in my opinion. They don’t seem to move the tables back at all when bands are playing and that can be a little annoying in my humble opinion. They changed the menu around and yeah prices went up a little bit too but it was still a good launching point for the Metal and Hard Rock gigs for sure. Now with tools like Twitter one is able to say where they are going before a show and reach numerous friends/fans. I have used it for this purpose a lot.

smiths bar
Smith’s Bar NYC

At the time of this writing I can safely say that this is probably the most visited bar in my personal record. One of these days I will snare one of their shirts because I like the look of them. You can see where Smith’s is exactly by clicking their website link below but please know its right on the corner of 8th Avenue and 44th Street. Mark it on your agenda items if you are going to B.B’s or Nokia.

Official Website: http://smithsbar.com/