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April 11, 2012

The Great Outdoors: 10 Tips to Eating/Drinking Outside from Hoboken’s Drunken Polar Bear

It’s getting warmer and summer is right around the corner.  We’ve slowly inched up the thermometer to shorts and hoodie weather (the best time of year).  Living in Hoboken, warmer weather brings us beautiful tree-lined streets, waterfront walkways, plenty of parks and outdoor seating any many bars and restaurants.  After many years in Hoboken, I’ve amassed some best practices to dinning and drinking outside in Hoboken.  I’m sure I will miss a thing or two so please add to it in the comments below.

(Editorial note: unlike other local blogs, I promise not to launch into a low carb induced childish diatribe on why the city doesn’t let bars/restaurants open outdoor seating before April 1st.  Normally, it’s very cold between Dec  1st and April 1st so it’s not worth the pixels.  And it’s spring – be happy!)

  1. Pick the Place – the first, and most obvious step, is picking where you’re going to enjoy the outdoors.  I thought about making a list, but with bars/restaurants changing their outdoor layout year to year it’s always changing.  Regardless, I estimate there are over 75 places to sit outside.
  2. Time It Right – Bin 14 has 90 minute wait for outside seating at 8pm on a Saturday night?  Shocking!  Many other Hobokenites like you will be flocking to locales with outdoor seating for happy hour and weekend dinners.  Get there early and have a few cocktails first to guarantee a good seat.
  3. Have a Back Up Plan – especially on those nice days there are going to be some long waits on good outdoor seating.  If your plan is to enjoy the outdoors, pick a backup bar nearby in case the wait is too long.
  4. Rooftop Ruckus – there are only two rooftop bars/restaurants in Hoboken (City Bistro & Dubliner) and they are always crowded.  While City Bistro is just a deck with no tables, I have found a great time to sneak up to the Dubliner roof is early evening (5-7pm) where you can probably grab a table.
  5. On the Waterfront – just like the rooftops there are just a few options for waterfront seating on Sinatra drive.  Plan ahead and make a reservation.  And cross your fingers.
  6. Dress the Part – if you’re walking around town your blood is flowing and you’re going to get warm, but when you’re sitting outside eating and drinking it’s going to be cold and a little windy.  Bring an extra coat, sweater, sweatshirt, shawl, etc.  Sunglasses are also a must.
  7. Find a Good Special – tons of bars and restaurants have great happy hour and daytime specials.  Nothing beats enjoying the afternoon outside with a bucket of cold beers or sangria pitchers.
  8. Crammed Quarters – in an ideal world there would be big couches and plush chairs we can sit on outside, but most outdoor seating in a little tighter than normal.  Don’t bring too much with you (bags and stuff) and be flexible about moving around a little bit.
  9. Thar’ She Blows – shocking to nobody in Hoboken, it gets windy from time to time.  Napkins, food, glasses, silverware all gets whisked away from time to time.  Make sure to be ready for the winds.
  10. People Watching – one of my and many outdoor enthusiast’s favorite urban sports.  Besides enjoying the weather and fine food/drink, the best part of sitting outside is taking in all the foot traffic.  Have fun with it!

In no way is this a comprehensive list, but here a few good places to sit outside by area:

-          Uptown – City Bisto, Pilsener Haus, Bin 14, Liberty Bar, Madison

-          Midtown – Elysian, Turtle Club, Mikie Squared, Stacks, East LA, Far Side, O’ Sullivans

-          Downtown – Brass Rail, McSwiggans, 1 Republik, Texas Arizona, Marty O’Briens, Dubliner, 4L’s

-          Waterfront – 340 Grill, Quays, Trinity, Wicked Wolf

Where’s your favorite bar/restaurant to each outside? Any other tips?

The Drunken Polar Bear

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March 28, 2012

Let the Hunger/Bar Games Begin! Hoboken Bar Games Roundup by the DPB

“Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.”

Chances are some or most of you will know that is the motto of the Hunger Games, the novel turned movie blockbuster.  I admit I read all 3 books in the trilogy and they’re pretty good.  So this past Saturday morning I saw the Hunger Games in IMAX.  It got me thinking…what are the coolest bar games in Hoboken?  Well it took some serious research and web browsing, but here is my official list.  Important caveat – this list is certainly not 100% complete and I will miss a pool table here or dart board here.  Let’s face it – there are over 50 bars in Hoboken so if I missed something please add it in the comments.  The goal is to keep this list ongoing and current for everyone.

Below is a “best of” list for the major games and then the full list below…

Rack ‘Em Up! (pool tables)

  • DC’s – It’s a small bar and the pool table takes up most of the bar.  But this looks like a place you should be playing pool
  • Mulligans – Just one pool table, but it’s in the backroom with lots of space
  • Willow Billards – It’s a pool hall.  Need I say more? (Rumor is it is closing. Open one day and then bam! Like a pool stick to the head, no more pool?)

Bullseye! (Darts)

  • Shannon – Multiple dart boards in the back room and regular leagues.
  • Cork City – Two dart boards in the back of the bar with ample room and lighting.
  • 8th Street Tavern - They have a Tuesday darts league and steady stream of dart players on other nights.

Buzz! (Trivia)

  • Wicked Wolf – Wednesday night trivia.  Good questions, big teams, fun prizes
  • Mikie Squared – Smaller groups, but still fun team trivia.
  • Marty O’Briens – Themed trivia on television shows and movies.
  • Willie McBride’s - Trivia with Big Brother Star Adam Poch every Wednesday.

That’s a 3-Pointer! (Buck Hunter)

  • Cork City – Right as you walk in.  Where my obsession with the game started…
  • 8th Street Tavern- They have the game too. Get in touch with your inner redneck and down some PBRs while shooting.

Bazinga! (Specialty Category)

  • Bingo at Black Bear – Paired with their burger special it’s a fun way to spend your Wednesday
  • Shuffleboard at Coopers Union – Only table in town and well worth it
  • Everything at Willie McBride’s – They have arcade games, a poker night and mega touch
  • Beer Pong at Scotland Yard – 3-4 beer pong tables.  Come in buzzed, leave drunk…

How about it readers – where are you favorite game spots/what did I miss?

 

Me Hungry? No way! This Polar Bear is skipping the veggies today!

The Drunken Polar Bear

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March 9, 2012

Drunken Polar Bear’s Take on Elysian Cafe Hoboken

Hoboken’s Drunken Polar Bear give his take on a classic bar in Hoboken, the Elysian Cafe…

Elysian Cafe Hoboken

Address: 1001 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: (201) 798-5898
Website: http://www.elysiancafe.com/

Elysian [ɪˈlɪzɪən]adj

1. Elysian – relating to the Elysian Fields.
2. Elysian – being of such surpassing excellence as to suggest inspiration by the gods; “her pies were simply divine”; “the divine Shakespeare”; “an elysian meal”; “an inspired performance”.

Elysian The Word

If you’ve lived in Hoboken for a little bit it’s a word that appears in all manner of places.  There are a few apartment buildings named the Elysian.  Elysian Field was the site of the first organized baseball game (monument at 11th & Washington).  And then there is the Elysian Café.  But before we get to the review of the Elysian, this is one of the rare times I get to put my mostly useless Masters degree in history to use…Elysian/Elysium refers to the afterlife concept from Greek times.  Elysium was a mythically locale reserved for Gods and heroes where they would live an awesome post-death existence.  Think of it like the VIP room for the studs of Greek times.  But I digress…

Interior

I always struggle with this aspect of describing bars because let’s face it, my design skills are supremely limited.  I am lucky my living room furniture matches.  However, I can say the inside of the Elysian is cool and very old school.  The feel and decoration incorporates a lot of original Hoboken architecture, molding, tile floor, wall murals and stained glass.  The current owners have done a great job at restoring the bar to the original look and feel.  How original?  The Elysian is Hoboken’s oldest continually operated bar and restaurant, dating back to 1895!

The Booze

Elysian Café has a solid set of beers on tap and bottles.  What I really loved about the bar from my 3 visits (thus far) was their cocktail menu.  About 10 or so custom cocktails, they are all made from scratch and in a departure from many bars won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  I tried a few, but head and shoulders above them all was a drink called the Divine Guinness.  As simple as it is (2 shots of vanilla vodka and Guinness in a pint glass), this concoction surely embodies the bar’s name and tastes like the heavenly afterlife.  And for $8, you really can’t find a better value or taste.

The Service

I haven’t eaten at the Elysian Café yet, but have heard good things from others.  As for the bar service, it’s solid.  All 3 times I have visited, we have gotten the same bearded, slightly accented bartender [aka "Slow James"] who makes excellent drinks and cracks a good joke or two with you.  He even chuckled when Sprinkles the gf (girl friend), struggled to finish a super alcoholic drink one evening.  I laughed myself until I actually tried the drink…

Overall

Overall, I had walked pasted Elysian Café for years, in search of other bars much to my mistake.  Situated very much in the bar “dead zone” of Washington (7th – 11th on Washington) I always wrote it off as note for me.  Elysian has the atmosphere, design and service of a bar from the early 20th century and I mean that in a good way.  The crowd trends a bit older, but fits perfectly.  Elysian is definitely a unique locale in Hoboken and makes the Drunken Polar Bear Top 10 (published soon!).

Any suggestions for the next bar review?

- The Drunken Polar Bear


 

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February 24, 2012

Drunken Polar Bear’s The Hoboken Weekend Ahead – 2/24 – 2/26

Happy Friday Hobokenites!  It’s been a wild week in Hoboken, so what better way than to unwind for the weekend.  We at TheBoken.com will continue to do the research and find the cool things around town, but if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments below.

Weather Outlook

We had yet another warmer week, but that was ended today when a cold front brought back some chillier temperatures and rain.  Rain will end tonight and the rest of the weekend will have highs in the 40’s.  However, the big story here is the wind.  Starting this afternoon and lasting until Saturday evening we will have some strong winds (up to 50 mph gusts).  So batten down those proverbial hatches!

Local Sports Action

Pitchers and catchers have reported for both the Mets and Yanks which means baseball is just around the corner!

Hockey updates – The Rangers square off against the Islanders tonight (7pm) and host Buffalo Saturday night (7pm).  The Devils host Vancouver tonight (7pm) and Tampa Bay Sunday afternoon (1pm).   In addition to their Friday game against the Rangers, the Islanders travel to Ottawa Sunday (5pm) to take on the Senators.

What’s Going on Around Town?

-          Beat the cold with some Chili – join Hoboken Volunteers for some homemade chili and beer Saturday afternoon.

-          Family Fun at the Biergarten – visit the Pilsner House Sunday for some family themed performances.

-          Sunday Funday at the W – The W Hotel’s Chandelier Room is hosting a Mardi Gras themed Sunday party

-          Have Some Wine, Help An Animal – the Liberty Humane Society is hosting a wine and cheese fund raiser Sunday for a good cause.

-          Lights, Camera, Action – good movie lineup at Hoboken’s Movie theatre this weekend – Act of Valor, This Means War, Safe House, The Vow, The Artist.

DPB’s Weekend Recommendations

-          Stock up on any supplies for next weekend’s St. Patrick’s mahem (or make plans to get out of town!) united Decorating at 421 Washington Street is just such a place.

-          Catch a new band/musical act.

-          If you make it out on the town this weekend try a new cocktail or beer. Hoboken Bar and Grill and the Pilsener Haus have extensive beer lists just to name a few.  Variety is the spice of life!

What are you all doing this weekend?  Any suggestions?  Stay tuned for the Drunken Polar Bear’s guide to the St. Patrick Day’s celebrations…

The Drunken Polar Bear

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February 10, 2012

Drunken Polar Bear’s The Hoboken Weekend Ahead – Feb 10th – 12th

Happy Friday Hobokenites!  After a few weekends off and a Giant Superbowl victory, your weekend update is finally back!  We at TheBoken.com will continue to do the research and find the cool things around town, but if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments below.

Weather Outlook

Well this Polar Bear (and most other forecasters) were certainly wrong when we predicted a snowy winter.  To date, we are far below snowfall totals and January 2012 was one of the warmest on record for many states.  That’s going to change a little bit this weekend…

A storm front from the south, lake effect snow from the Midwest and Arctic front from Canada are all going to descend on the Northeast this weekend bringing cold, wind and snow.  Exact predictions still depend on the storm track, but Hoboken should get 2-3 inches of snow starting around 2am Saturday and snowing throughout most of the day.  There’s opportunity for more snow, but right now the bulk (3-6 inches) will be off to the east.

Local Sports Action

Now that football is over we enter that sports vacuum between the Superbowl and start of baseball season.  But there’s always hockey!

Hockey updates – The Rangers take on the evil thug Flyers Saturday (1pm).  The Devils also have Saturday afternoon game hosting the Florida Panthers (1pm).  The Islanders host LA Kings Saturday afternoon (1pm) and Florida Panthers Sunday afternoon (3pm).

What’s Going on Around Town?

-          Jersey Girls! – No, not the class Bruce song – it’s your favorite tanned ladies – Snooki and JWOWW.  You know by now that Hoboken said no to them living here and they’ve moved to Jersey city, but I’ve got more.  This Polar Bear has heard rumors they will be filming in the area soon.  Where do you think they’ll go? A hint is below….

It is also rumored but not yet confirmed that they might be staying at36 Mercer Street Jersey city for the shooting of their spinoff.

36 Mercer Street Jersey City

Lights, Camera, Action A great movie lineup at Hoboken’s movie theater Clearview Cinemas this weekend – Safe House, The Vow, Star Wars I in 3D, the Artist and the Grey. Click Here for movie showtimes.

-          Celebrate at the HoHa Snowball Saturday with live music and great local food.

Music to My Ears

DPB’s Weekend Recommendations – Speed Edition

  • Make sure you have snow supplies (shovel, salt, boots, etc.) to dig out this weekend. Shop local at City Paint and Ace Hardware at 130  Washington Street or Hoboken Paint and Hardware 316 Washington Street  instead of Home Depot for basic supplies. This help keep retail on Washington Street vibrant when you avoid big box retail.
  • Check out the newly complete walking, running path on the north side of town that now connects Hoboken and Weehawken
  • Try one of the many new restaurants in town that have opened in the last few months like Sol Caribe on Washington Street…

  • Discover a good new book. Click here for the Hoboken Reader’s Circle book list fro this winter and spring.
  • Get ready for Valentine’s Day! Here are some of the specials being offered in Hoboken: http://theboken.com/theboken-specials/

What are you all doing this weekend?  Any suggestions? Share yor thoughts in the comments below….

- The Drunken Polar Bear

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February 3, 2012

Johnny Pepperoni Gets A Visit from the Drunken Polar Bear – Two Paws Up!

Filed under: Columnist,Hoboken,Restaurants — Tags: , , , — Drunken Polar Bear @ 2:00 PM

Editor’s Intro: The Drunken Polar Bear recently paid a visit to Johnny Pepperoni in Hoboken. TheBoken.com has to be honest that when we first heard of the name Johnny Pepperoni we kidded that it sounded like a 70′s porn star. All kidding aside just about all the feedback about the food in the place is excellent. Even City Council President Ravi Bhalla remarked on the quality of food at the restaurant. Here goes with the review from the Drunken Polar Bear. The Drunken Polar bear recently injured one of his paws recently on Sunday morning seal hunt but is now back writing for TheBoken.

Johnny Pepperoni Italian American Kitchen Hoboken

Address: 219 11th Street (and Park Ave.)

Phone: (201) 850-1533

Website: http://johnnypepperoni.com/more.php

Wait…Johnny Pepperoni’s isn’t a bar.  Correct – this polar bear is going to broaden his horizons and toss in some bite size (pun intended!) restaurant reviews from time to time.  Because let’s face it, you need some food in your stomach before hitting the bars.  First on the list – Johnny Pepperoni’s.  Snowflake (the girlfriend) and I had a Friday night dinner there a few weeks back.

First Impression

After a few cocktails down the street at Turtle Club (yum) we walked over to Johnny Pepperoni’s for a late dinner around 9.  I always liked the location on 11th and Park when it was the bar TJ’s (I think) because the bar was very open and had windows on both sides.  I was glad to see JP’s kept the same basic architecture.  Even at 9 the place was full much to our surprise and we had to wait 20-30 minutes for our table which I didn’t think was going to be fun.  I was wrong.  The hostess guided us to the kitchen bar, opened our bottle of wine and even asked us if we wanted to pick on apps.  We waited, but it was super cool to be able to hang out right by the wide open kitchen and see how they make everything.

Interior and Stuff

Johnny P’s is a fun and cozy place.  The brickwork on the outside has been spruced up and the inside truly looks like an Italian place with checkered table cloths, pizza stands and of course the kitchen.  The kitchen is open and right there for everyone to see the cooks tossing pizza and everyone buzzing around.  In my opinion it’s always good to see how you’re food is made.  JP’s has a simple setup – about 12-15 tables and a bar that seats about 8-10.  Simple, but you’re not crammed in.

The Food

Johnny P’s is a BYO place, a rarity in Hoboken as I don’t think there is more than 3-4 total which is great.  Show up with a bottle of wine and you’re in for a good night.  We kept our order simple – an antipasti platter to start as an app and then we split a custom pizza of sweet sausage and garlic.  The antipasti was a generous helping of prosciutto, soppressata, fresh mozzarella, olives, fried peppers, and grilled garlic bread (the best) and was excellent.  The pizza which was 6 slices was the perfect size to split for 2 people and was tasty and made with fresh ingredients.  If I were to go back again, we saw them make a desert pizza which was heavily focused on Nutella.  Super yum.

The Service

Short and sweet here – the service was very good.  While we were waiting the man I guess was the head chef/manager (he was directing traffic) was really nice to us, opened our bottle of wine and even chatted with us a bit.  We ate at the bar and the bartender was polite and quick with refilling drinks or bringing out the food.  Couldn’t find a flaw at all.

Overvall

We were pleasantly surprised with Johnny P’s.  As a BYO place it was already a good choice, but the food, service, atmosphere and overall experience was great for a date night (or if you’re out with a group of friends).  In my new rating system, Johnny Pepperoni’s gets a very good four and a half pepperonis (out of 5).

Any restaurants you readers want us to review next?

The Drunken Polar Bear.

 

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January 20, 2012

DPB’s The Hoboken Weekend Ahead 1/20-1/22

Filed under: Bars,Hoboken,Restaurants — Tags: , , , , , , , — Drunken Polar Bear @ 5:00 PM

Happy Friday Hobokenites!  Winter is finally arriving (more on that below) as well as the NFC Championship game!  We at the Boken will continue to do the research and find the cool things around town, but if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments below.

Weather Outlook

It’s been an entirely snowless winter (outside of the freak storm back in later fall), but that is certainly going to change.  It’s not a huge storm and hitting us on the weekend, but this one will leave a little mark on Hoboken.  Expect 2-4 inches (closer to 4 is my guess) starting after midnight tonight tapering off into late morning Saturday.  There may be some minor icing towards the tail end of the storm, but the cold air mass will stay in place keeping this most as a snow event.  The storm will leave and the rest of the weekend will be clear and sunny, but cold and probably not going above the mid 30’s.

Local Sports Action

The Big Blue playoff train is a non-stop express to the Super Bowl.  Only San Francisco stands in the way between the Giants and a possible 2008 Super Bowl rematch. Kickoff is Sunday at 630 on Fox.

Hockey updates – The Rangers take on the powerhouse Bruins Saturday (1pm).  The Devils also have Saturday afternoon game hosting the evil thug Flyers (1pm) and the Islanders host Caolina Saturday night (7pm).

What’s Going on Around Town?

-          It’s a BIG BLUE WEEKEND, Part II – Once again, the biggest story this weekend after the snow will be the Giants game.  If you made it out to the bar for the game last Sunday you were at least treated to a packed bar and probably lines.  All the sports bars were at max capacity and most regular bars filled the house as well.  If you are looking to grab a bar stool for the Giants game, get there farrrrr in advance and get comfy.

-          Laugh for a Good Cause – Willie McBride hosts a Friday night (730pm) of comedy to benefit the Hoboken Shelter.

-          Singles Mingling Fast – Room 84 hosts a single professionals speed dating evening Friday (730pm)

-          Office Supplies & Cakes? – why not!  Join Cake Boss as he helps open the new Office Depot (former B&N site) at 10am Saturday.

-          Music to My Ears

  • West 5 Supper Club hosts Carlos Melange Friday night and DJ Gary W on Saturday night.
  • Springsteen cover band Tramps Like Us play Wicked Wolf Friday night (930pm)

DPB’s Weekend Recommendations – Speed Edition

-          Make sure you have snow supplies (shovel, salt, boots, etc.) to dig out this weekend

-          Rent a new movie or watch a movie marathon

-          Try one of the many new restaurants in town that have opened in the last few months

-          Walk the waterfront

-          Try cooking something new (maybe a fun dip for Sunday’s games)

-          Sleep In!

What are you all doing this weekend?  Any suggestions?

The Drunken Polar Bear

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January 13, 2012

Drunken Polar Bear’s The Hoboken Weekend Ahead – Jan 13-15

Filed under: Bars,Columnist,D's Soul Full Cafe,Hoboken,Live Music,NY Giants — Tags: , , — Drunken Polar Bear @ 4:35 PM

DPB’s The Weekend Ahead

Happy Friday Hobokenites!  We’re in the midst of winter (snowless so far), but that doesn’t mean you have to sit around all weekend.  We at the Boken will continue to do the research and find the cool things around town, but if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments below.

Mr. FreezeWeather Outlook

Brrrrr (again) – it’s been quite windy as we wrap up the week with gusts up to 30/35mph!  The winds will finally subside late Friday, but then we’re treated to a very cold weekend – highs of 37 on Saturday and 30 on Sunday.  If you’re going out make sure you bundle up.  At least we didn’t get blizzard conditions like the Midwest!

Local Sports Action

Big Blue keeps the playoff train chugging along as they motor into Green Bay Sunday at 4:30pm (FOX).  Despite being nearly 9 point underdogs, our Giants have a great shot at the upset having nearly beaten the Packers (35-38) back in early December.

Hockey updates – The NHL best Rangers host Toronto Saturday (7pm) and travel up to take on the Candiens Sunday night (7pm) in Montreal.  The Devils are at Winnipeg Saturday afternoon (3pm) and the Islanders are at Buffalo Saturday night (7pm).

What’s Going on Around Town?

-          It’s a BIG BLUE WEEKEND – Hands down the biggest thing around town this weekend is the Giants game Sunday afternoon.  For those heading out for the game, I recommend heading to your bar to get a seat far before the 430pm kick off.  It’s going to a busy weekend for the sports bars.  (For you Tebow-maniacs, they play the evil Pats Saturday night)

-          Tickle the Ivory on a Saturday Afternoon – The Hoboken Community Church will be hosting a free classical piano concert on Saturday at 2pm.

-          Some Old Time Rock & Roll Photographs – D’s Soul Full Café will be hosting both a rock & roll photography exhibit as well as live music.

-          Sunday Funday! – With many people off on Monday enjoy Sunday brunch, bar or football specials.  Sunday is a great, casual time to catch up with friends and explore the town.

DPB’s Weekend Recommendations

-          Start the New Year Off With a Change – Hoboken has tons of great bars and restaurants, but sometimes we all get into a comfortable pattern of the same bars and restaurants and forget about all the great options we have.  I am certainly a victim of this.  This weekend try one new bar or restaurant.  If you live downtown, venture uptown (and vice versa).  If you flock to pubs and sports bars try one of the lounges or swanky places.  It’s always good to shake things up.

DBP Suggestion #1: Try the Cuban at 333 Washington Street. It appears to be open but not yet announced its grand opening.

 

DBP Suggestion #2: Try Pomme Frittes new Belgian hotdogs for only $1.50. Pomme Frittes is located at 207 Washington Street Hoboken and they have been adding additional items on their menu as of late.

What are you all doing this weekend?  Any suggestions?

The Drunken Polar Bear

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January 6, 2012

Drunken Polar Bear’sThe Hoboken Weekend Ahead (Jan 6-8)

Happy Friday Hobokenites!  The holidays are over, some Christmas decorations are still up, but it’s back to the daily grind for most of us.  We at TheBoken.com will continue to do the research and find the cool things around town, but if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments below with hyperlinks if you can.

Weather Outlook

Brrrrr – it was a arctic start to the week and we have warmed up beyond January averages.  That warming trend will continue today (high 48) and tomorrow (high 51!) before Sunday starts a trend of low-mid 40’s and sun for the foreseeable future.  It may be good news to some, but I am a little disappointed we haven’t seen any snow!

Local Sports Action

The Giants stormed into the playoffs with a clutch win over the Cowboys last Sunday night.  They square off against the surging Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round Sunday at 1pm (FOX).  For those heading to local bars, get there early if you want a seat.  Other game include CIN vs. HOU (Sat 430 on NBC), DET vs. NO (Sat 8pm on NBC) & PIT vs. DEN (Sun 4pm on CBS). Theboken.com will be hosting a live blog as well. Go to http://theboken.com/nyg-vs-atl-live-blog-1-8-2012/ to join in the commentary at 12:45pm this Sunday.

NY Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons

Hockey updates – Coming off a HUGE win against those dirty Flyers in the Winter Classic and a win last night against the Panthers, our first place Rangers travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins tonight at 7.  Devils host the Panthers tonight (8pm) and then travel to Pittsburgh for a Saturday night match-up against the Penguins (7pm).   The Islanders are at Anaheim tonight (10pm) and Phoenix tomorrow (8pm)

What’s Going on Around Town?

-          Scotch, Scotch, Scotch – No, it’s not Ron Burgundy time, but Northern Soul (557 First St) is having a Scotch Tasting at 4pm on Saturday.  For a good price ($30) you get to sample 4 scotches, a specialty of your choice and learn about various scotch regions and how this wonderful spirit is made.

-          Free Rabies Vaccines for Your Dog/Cat – although Hoboken is an urban area your pets still have a chance of contracting rabies from rabid animals.  Prevent that with a quick and FREE rabies shot. You don’t want your pooch to turn into this….

-          I’m Working on My Fitness – Looking for an excuse to join a gym or just switch gym memberships?  Almost all gyms have New Years deals worth checking out and Saturday is a great time to check out a potential new gym.

-          Music to My Ears – quite a few bars will have live music tonight and this weekend

DPB’s Weekend Recommendations – 2 this week!

-          Enjoy what may be our last gasp at non-freezing temperatures for a few weeks and get outside on Saturday.  With a sunny high of 51, it’s a great time to take a long walk, run or get together with a group of friends for a pickup football game.  Take a long stroll down the waterfront to check out the piers.  My personal favorite is to get up early (while the partiers are still sleeping off the booze) and grab a cup of coffee sandwich and sit outside one of the coffee shops and people watch.

-          WAR HORSE – during the break I took my Dad to see this movie because it was his type of beautiful shot John Ford war epic.  I can easily say it was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.  Great story, great acting, great photography.  It’s playing at the Hoboken movie theater all weekend and worth checking out.

For Hoboken’s Clearview Cinemas schedule this weekend to see War Horse or any other movie playing there go to: http://www.movietickets.com/house_detail.asp?exid=CLE&house_id=20391

What are you all doing this weekend?  Any suggestions?

- The Drunken Polar Bear

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December 21, 2011

Cooper’s Union – Promising Newer Bar in Hoboken

Filed under: Bars,bars and nightlife,Columnist,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , — Drunken Polar Bear @ 11:00 AM

Cooper’s Union Bar

Address: 104 Hudson Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coopers-Union/240291829346671

I hadn’t been out to a new Hoboken bar in a while to review so last Friday I made my way over to Cooper’s Union (formerly McCarthy’s) located right on Hudson & First next to the police station.  Outside of knowing that a former bartender from McSwiggans (Patrick) street, I didn’t know anything eIse about the bar so I went with an open mind.

Getting There

We walked up to the Hudson Street entrance that used to let you into McCarthy’s only to find a sign directing you to the entrance on Court Street – kinda cool and prohibition-esque.  Maybe having the entrance through Court Street cuts back on PATH crowds and keeps the bar patrons mostly local?  Let’s hope so.  Bouncer waved us right in and was very friendly.

Interior

They did some minor redesign from the McCarthy’s layout, but overall I really liked the interior.  There is a lot of wood, exposed brick and pictures on the wall.  The design is very similar to the Turtle Club in that reclaimed wood and beer barrels are used to create a warm, rustic and cool feel to the bar.  Easily one of the nicer bar interiors in Hoboken.

Bonus points for the Christmas Decorations inside, but most importantly for the real shuffle board game table in the bar.  I played a few games, went 0-3, but bar shuffleboard is among the best games to play.  They also had a live band playing Gloria by Van Morrison – awesome to hear some blues rock now and then instead of the traditional pop music.

The Booze

I first ordered a round of Jameson’s on the rocks and was happy to see the bartender pour a real drink instead of those measured amounts you see in bigger bar chains.  The next few rounds were draft beer.  The beer taps aren’t labeled (except Guinness) which makes it difficult to choose the beer, but just ask the bartenders and they will give you the full run down.  Our bartender was happy to let me try a few beers before ordering the full pint.

The Service

The Copper Union bartender (blond, never got her name) I was served by was just awesome.  She was friendly, inviting and never made you wait for a drink.  During one round I ordered an IPA, thought it was a Blue Moon (it wasn’t) and she let me switch my beer order because I didn’t like it.  It’s a rarity to find this kind of service in a Hoboken bar anymore.  At the end of the night I ordered a beer and a shot for a friend who met us late.  Not only did she recommend Absynth (cool), I found out the shot was on the house when the bill came.

Overall

Overall, my first experience at Copper’s Union was great.  It’s a great looking bar inside that’s not too crowded with a good alcohol selection and excellent service.  Prices were average/a bit above average.    It’s one of the better bars in Hoboken to take a date on and hopefully one that will stay popular with locals.

Any suggestions for the next bar review?

The Drunken Polar Bear

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