Barred: Ridgewood Round-up

Gottscheer Hall, Sunday, 8:01pm

The sweet sixteen party being held in the event space, visible (prom dresses) and audible (Alicia Keys) through the sliding accordion doors brought down the median age considerably. Bottles of wine that said Sweet White on the label were being rushed to the tables, presumably not for the kids, while the bar was mostly occupied by adult refugees. Eventually, a trio, which I assumed had to be Euro hipsters since the two young men were dressed in a confusing manner–bolo ties, flat, wide-brimmed hats, leather jackets–reminiscent of alternative guys I went to high school with, not the ‘90s revival that’s currently en vogue. They were American, however.

Age Appropriate? The only woman over 40 was the bartender. She told us to come back on a Friday when it’s livelier.

Polish German Club House, Sunday, 9:10pm

Polish has long replaced the German, but the name remains. Club house is also a bit of an intimidating way to describe what is essentially someone’s living room that happens to have a bar against the wall. All patrons appeared to either live upstairs or have a connection to someone living upstairs. Outsiders can still drink beer, play with the pet chihuahua and eat homemade bagel chips, though. Even the guy, non-family, who comes in from Long Island to hang out in the old neighborhood and wasn’t crazy about gays in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, was friendly albeit misguided.

Age Appropriate? Once again, the only woman over 40 was the bartender, but it was ok.

No name bar, Sunday, ? pm

Where clubs or club houses can be forbidding, forgoing signage and windows with any visibility sends a stronger signal. This uninviting establishment directly next to the Forest Avenue station’s staircase appears to be exclusively for old Romanian men. If you are not an old Romanian man you probably won’t get the evil eye, you will simply be ignored by them. The bartender, barely drinking age, straight from Hungary, appeared happy to see women. (She also already knew that Bushwick and Williamsburg are the more desirable neighborhoods to hang out in.) When she asked if we smoked, I assumed it was to bring an ashtray, but she also handed us cigarettes. The only man not sitting at the bar was alone at a table next to us. His chair began tipping to the left and then fell over completely with his body still firmly planted in the seat. There was no movement for a solid three minutes as he lay crumpled on the floor with his chair. Eventually, a few guys got up from the bar, propped him back up, and he continued to slump forward the rest of the evening with his new drink untouched in front of him.

Age Appropriate? Age is less of an issue than being female and a native English-speaker. There is a women’s bathroom, however, at the end of a very dark, shadowy hall past the pool table. The giant rat trap next to the toilet was less off-putting than the giant tub of pink Queen Helene hair gel above the sink.


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