The Happiest of All Hours: Tap A Keg Edition

6 Apr

Tap A Keg: A Hell of a Joint.

2731 Broadway

Like the Subway Inn, the first installment of The Happiest of All Hours Subway Inn, it had been several years since I visited the Tap A Keg. And I remember distinctly why I have stayed away for so long.

I, along with the softball team I played for, used to frequent the place after games uptown in Central Park. Beers were cheap;  a prerequisite, the juke box eclectic—they had an impressive selection of blues, and you could bring in pizza or anything else you wanted to eat without complaint by the establishment.

One year, however, we began to notice that in addition to the assortment of scruffy regulars at Tap A Keg, there were now a number of four-legged patrons. The place had become a refuge for dogs and their beer-drinking owners. They walked free throughout the bar, some big, some small, some curiously sniffing around our post-game sweat and scavenging the pizza scraps on the floor.

Time for a cigarette and a squirt..

I had no problem with the dogs; their presence contributed to the dive’s diversity. That is until one day, a not very well trained, four-legged regular could not control its bowels and did it’s “bizness” in the middle of the bar.

There is no escape from the dogs of Tap a Keg…even in the men’s room.

Now I have had dogs. There’s one padding around our apartment as I write this. Sometimes they f**k up; they make mistakes. I can forgive them for that. But what I couldn’t forgive at this hell of a joint,  was the negligence of its inebriated owner. The steaming mound sat there as I sipped my beer and munched on the house popcorn. And it sat there while I ordered another bottle. After the second beer, I knew the Tap A Keg romance was over. There were limits on what one could tolerate in a dive.

Tap A Keg’s “no leash” policy.

I returned to the Tap A Keg recently to see if anything had changed. The dogs still roamed free. The regulars were still scruffy. The bar prices had not been  affected by inflation. The popcorn was still complimentary. The happy hour extended. The juke box as good as I remembered.  And, thankfully, the floor was poop-free.

Tap A Keg’s table art.

After listening to Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Member’s Only” on the juke box while sipping an ice cold Corona, I decided it was time to let bygones be bygones. I could now accept the concept of “pet friendly” in a dive bar.

Blues for man’s best friend.

After all, there were much worse things than pet friendly. The place could become “kid friendly.” Then it would truly be a hell of a joint.

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