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When: Sunday, not sure what time, but it was the point of the Oscars when Jared Leto was on stage, and Friday, 8pm.
If anyone had told me in 1998 that in the future there would be a bar on Fresh Pond Road where Joy Division was on the jukebox, poetry readings occurred, the number of transplanted twentysomethings nearly balanced the amount of gruff men drinking alone and that a bartender, bearded and plaided, would be extolling the virtues of Fernet to patrons who’d never heard of it, I would’ve lumped the notion in with hovercrafts and Star Trek needle-free injections.
But in September Caskey’s was turned into Queens Tavern by the owners of The Grand. The pool table was removed and the shuffleboard is now hung on the wall as decor, but there are still old guys drinking bottles of Bud Light at the end of the bar and belligerent men walking in off the street with their own beers and screaming when the pay phone doesn’t work. Thankfully, the neon spelling out Tavern accompanied by a glowing coupe glass is still intact (though only “vern” was lit).
Despite the provenance of the bar’s new iteration, Williamsburg has yet to fully migrate. On my second visit, when a friend of the bartender arrived to keep her company, she exclaimed, “It’s at the end of the world!” ostensibly visiting Ridgewood for the first time. The bartender lives a mile and a half away on the Wilson L.
Age appropriate? There’s a gap between the Sixpoint-swilling millennials and middle-aged men who start drinking at noon that could easily be filled by some nice non-young ladies.
Was I carded? On the second visit, yes. But only because the doorman, not present the first time, said he was bored. The only other paying customer was a man of Eastern European descent who looked 50s but was probably 40s, slurring what I think was “drink.”