We received the following from Cheese Hasselberger of House of Twelve and it made us raise our fist and cry “WHYYYYYY!!!!????” yet again.

You are receiving this because you have been to at least one Ho12 Comic Jam at McCarthy’s Bar and Grill on Second Ave. over the last four years. Sadly, those days have come to an end. McCarthy’s is closing at the end of the month (March) to make way for a new super skyscraper full of rich dickheads.

Fear not, the jams are not over. We shall find another home, we moved from Max Fish to McCarthy’s in 2003, we can move again.

We are currently looking into new homes, the frontrunner being The Lotus Lounge at Clinton and Stanton. Lotus has a great deal of space, decent music, great beers, and a nice set up. Light might be an issue, Miss looked into it yesterday and said it was doable, but a little dark. I’ll go over soon and take a look myself. Maybe I can talk them into letting us bring our own lamps, then buy some $12 swing arms from Target.

An expedition will go out next week in search of other possible locations, it will feature us walking from bar to bar going in, having a drink and checking the place out. If you hate your liver as much as I do, reply to this email and join in the hunt.

Also, please, please, please send this email to anyone you know who has come to a jam in the past and isn’t on the email list above. I know I am missing a bunch of folks, but I just don’t have their addresses, so please, if you do, forward it.

Thanks and stay tuned to for updates.

First off, if you have any ideas for a new venue, please post in the comments. We’ve been to Lotus many a time, but we don’t know if “well lit” is the word for night times there.

Second, HOW COULD THEY? McCarthy’s was the last empty Old Man Bar in a world of Meatpacking wannabees and American Apparels. For me and my local pals it was where we went when we JUST. WANTED. A. DRINK. No muss, no fuss, no guidos, no hookers in training. Just some whiskey and a TV turned to channel 5. Of course, the empty, peaceful nature of the bar was perhaps a sign that it wasn’t going to last long in a world of spiraling rents and boutique fern bars. The last discount housewares store on 1st Avenue closed long ago, and it’s getting so you can’t even buy 7-year-old Doc Martins on 8th Street any more. Every building of less than three stories seems to be in danger of becoming another gross, low-ceilinged, windowless high-rise. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Goddam kids! Bring back the “El”!


  1. I’ve never been there, but it’s a shame when a good crusty old bar goes down for the count. I live in Arlington, where trendy bars keep getting put up, and once in a while we lose a good haunt. Where else can you find “real” people?

  2. It’s a shame McCarthy’s is closing but the Lotus Club is great place. Especially since I live across the street from it. Well Lit? Hardly. Spacious? For sure. Crowded? Very often. Good Brew and cocktails? Most definitely. It’s a great little joint.

  3. In retrospect, it should have been obvious that the place was closing, as for the last six months they seemed to not be restocking their better Scotch (ever had to drink Johnnie Walker Red straight? It ain’t fun.)

    We actually held a jam at the Lotus once last year when McCarthy’s was mysteriously closed (the signs were everywhere!), as we’d recently spent a run of Saturday nights there drunkenly doodling on the free postcards and coasters.

    It never seems to be crowded at night, though. 10pm on a Saturday, and you can still get a table. Could there be more than one Lotus?

  4. I’d recommend Hickey’s, which is a filthy, filthy old man dive next to MSG on (i think) 33rd between B’wy and 7th. It’s right next door to Stout. It’s quiet, cheap, well lit, and almost always empty after 7. Seamus is a great old school Irish bartender and will usually flip you a buy back after a 2 drinks or less. The only downside is that the table area literally smells of piss because they haven’t cleaned the bathrooms since the Ford administration, but after a fashion that becomes part of its charm.

  5. Hey Guys, go and give Peter McManus’ on 7th Ave and 19th. It’s a real NY “Old Man’s” bar with great food. It was even in the film Highlander. It’s been there for at least 50 years and retains all that is good of NY.

  6. Kevin, I used to go to Lotus almost every Saturday when my pals Rontronik and Gunseller were spinning there and it was ALWAYS packed. PACKED PACKED. Lotus has the worst layout of any dance club I’ve ever seen with a huge bar blocking all access. But maybe it is less crowded now that my pals have left!

  7. Thanks for all the suggestions, I’m adding a few of them to our scouting list.

    There are two Lotus bars, Lotus Lounge is on Clinton and Stanton, Lotus Club is on 14th in the meatpacking district. The Lotus Lounge manager seemed agreeable to turning up some of the lights, but I have yet to see how it’d look at night.

    Hicky’s is an option, Colden and I had a beer in there a month or two ago, but yes, it does smell like piss and that area gets sketchier late at night. I also don’t remember a huge amount of table space there, but I could be mistaken.

    The Holiday is still open, and is one of my favorite places, but lacks the light needed and keeps odd hours, especially during the week; sometimes it’s open until one, other times it closes at eight. It’s worth looking into though.

  8. I’ve been to a few of the jams and liked McCarthy’s fine. Nicely understated. But hardly the last of the “old man bars”; the city’s lousy with ’em still. Mebbe Mustang Sally’s on, what is it, 7th Ave and 20-something street? Or resurrect the drunk comickers’ scene at Ace Bar; the back room is well-lit for the pool players and has many a booth, plus the drinks are still halfway cheap last I checked (admittedly, over a year ago). Surely there’s some lightly-trafficked, well-lit, inexpensive boozehall in a city held hostage to real estate developers, no?

    Two words: outer boroughs. Perhaps Rocketship might even want to set up a sequential art speakeasy (no relation to the defunct publishers). Manhattan is SO over.

  9. Yeah, it’s gotta be Manhattan, we have people coming from all over (Queens, Brooklyn, Jersey, etc.) and six of our regulars live on the island. No offense to Brooklyn, I went to a comic thing there on Sunday at Freddy’s and had a blast (they also have a great back room). All I need is that, but a mile or two west.

  10. Manhattan WAS the birthplace of culture, Heidi. Now it’s where corporations come to feed on the creative remora eels who mistake their relationships for symbiotic. The outer boroughs are where anything that still remotely flirts with danger lives now. Be glad I didn’t suggest Jersey City.

    Besides, I think the phrase you want is, “F&¢% you and the L train you rode in on.”

  11. Man, I really feel your guys’ pain. Every time I’ve tried to get a bunch of New Yorkers together to do anything, we almost always end up meeting in Manhattan because it’s “central” to everything. Except, the funniest part about the last meeting on the Lower East Side at Ace Bar is that almost everyone was from Queens.

    I’d tell you guys to go to this great “old man’s bar” that some friends and I went to recently, but first it’s in Queens and second of all, I don’t remember exactly where it is right now.

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