Sunday, July 17, 2005

Cassidy's Blow-Up

A few months ago I wanted to blog an image seared into my brain when Steve and I popped into Cassidy's (Broadway & 35th) to watch the end of the Yankees game. Sadly, the batteries in my camera were dead.

Cassidy's is seriously a shitbox. Have you ever been there? It's a weird attempt for the owners to re-live (or relieve?) their fraternity days. Several months after opening as Bottoms Up, this storefront re-launched as Cassidy's.

Cassidy's is very dark, has a small stage in the window, booths, a pinball machine, and those chili pepper lights sported by Jimmy Buffett fans. It has a collection of shot glasses behind the bar potentially collected during Spring Breaks next to a collection of crappily-flavored liquers. It's always dark as hell, but the booths (of which there are only two) have an excellent view of the largest TV ever invented, plus four more TVs. There is never anyone in Cassidy's. On the Yankee's opening day, the bar was more crowded than I'd ever seen it - maybe 10 people. They ran out of beer.

Cassidy's has a "Ladies Night" every Thursday advertised by flyers apparently made with the 1990 release of "Print Shop" which include a pixilated image of what appears to be a naked, passed out, woman.

They also feature terrible bands. Seriously, awful music that must be avoided. In addition they have a "tiki lounge" - a claustrophobic outdoor space with plastic tables, chairs, and a cement floor.

The bartenders range from friendly to obnoxious. One fine Sunday, the bartender was nearly screaming on the phone for 3 innings about her friend's wedding. But we were fortunate enough to be distracted by not only the game, but also the naked, female blow-up doll hanging upsidown next to the widescreen, written on in lipstick - said image.

During this past Yankees v. Red Sox series, after a many-month hiatus, we decided to give Cassidy's another try. The evening ended with the owner literally dragging a very young woman out of the bar by her clothes and, of course, a visit by the police. Needless to say, we missed the end of the game.

I don't think a name change can save this bar.

18 comments:

a said...

I agree. We gave the bar a try once. The "patio" smelled so strongly of citronella that we had to go back inside. The cover band that was scheduled was two hours late, so we asked for a refund of the cover. We finally did get our cover back, but only after arguing about it for thirty minutes. We were leaving before the show started and didn't see why we should pay for a band that we weren't going to see. Not good business.

Joey said...

yep. I just wish I could find a good place in the neighb to watch a ball game, ya know?

Anonymous said...

Hilarious writeup. I live on 34th St and 31st avenue and my girlfriend and I wandered in there one day. The clientele was frightening. So funny.

Joey said...

thanks. funny + scary, huh?

So, do you have the scoop on the new storefront on 36th & Broadway? Right around the corner from you.

Anonymous said...

Best bar to see a game at has to be the Irish Rover.

Joey said...

will check it out. Thanks for the tip!

Richard said...

Hi Joey, My name is Richard and I was born and raised in Astoria. I was raised in one of the old mansions down in the oldest part of Astoria near Astoria Park. I went to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. John's Prep and St John's University. I am 39 year's old and have seen so many changes Astoria has had. I wanted to let you know that I do the karaoke shows (www.starlitekaraoke.com) at The Broadway Station (Broadway & 31 St.) on Thursday night's and Doyles Corner (Broadway & 42 St.) on Saturday night's...I also do a karaoke show at The Brooklyn Brewery on Friday Night's (www.brooklynbrewery.com). I have been reading your blog for a few month's now and I find it to be one of the best blogs out there. You are always witty, informative and brutally honest, which I like the most about you. Well, after reading about your Cassidy's review I just wanted to add my own experience with them... I was asked if I can do a karaoke show for them one night a day before the gig. I was approached by their manager, who I won't name,who told me money was no object and how it would be a great gig for me as well because the bar was so popular. I agreed and after I told her my price which by the way was very reasonable she pleaded with me until I agreed to a lesser price (this should of sent up a red flag) because of a mutual friend we had. Well, the next day came and about a hour before the show and of course after I had just loaded my car with all my equipment I was called and canceled for what she said was a decision made by the owner because he didn't want it. I said no worries and I understood and I left it alone. My wife on the other hand had decided to drive by there just to see what was going on to find out there was a different karaoke guy there. I also found out through our mutual friend that they took the other guy because he was $25.00 cheaper. Now I must sound so incredibly petty but it actually taught me something very valuable even about the karaoke business and that is to always get a written contract. This is something I never had to do because I always knew who I was dealing with when taking on a gig. So I just wanted to personally thank Cassidy's for teaching me a valuable lesson about business... I also want to invite you to The Broadway Station this Sunday July 24 between 1 PM to 6 PM for our Street Fair. It's not going to be as big as Memorial Day and they are only closing off from Crescent St. To 31 St. off, but I will be turning 40 this day. So it will be a party of sorts as there will be wine and beer and some of the great talent in Astoria participating. I am also going to let anyone take the stage as well as we will be offering karaoke as well as a showcase of some of our best performers. One of the biggest changes in Astoria in the last 20 years is the fact that there is so much raw talent living here in Astoria. So I hope you can make it there and look forward to meeting you someday. Sorry if I wrote so much I will try and keep it shorter next time. Have a great day!!!
Richard

Joey said...

sounds about right.

Matt said...

I always thought Bottoms Up sounded like the name of a gay bar... not that there's anything wrong with that.

Richard said...

I have been hanging out in Astoria for all of my life and I will give you one of it's little treasures, especially to watch a game. It's Cronin & Phelans Pub on Steinway and Broadway. http://www.croninandphelans.homestead.com
Anywhere you sit there is always a TV for great viewing, and they have access to every game. The bar is the oldest bar in Astoria and for good reason. Their food is of great quality and reasonably priced and their staff is always there to make sure that you feel at home and are some of the nicest people you will every meet. But the true gem to this place lies in their Bartender Dave Cremin. Dave is one of the best up close card magicians I have ever had the pleasure to see. His is simply amazing and his jokes are great too. Dave has a way of making you feel like family even if it's just meeting him for the first time. So please take my advice go have something to eat while taking in your favorite game then afterwards get a after drink at the bar and ask Dave to show you a trick. You will be glad you did... Dave is there from Tuesday thru Saturday after 6 PM
Starlite Karaoke also does the occasional karaoke show there which is always a lot of fun... It's the only bar we can still dance on and get away with it.
PS. This is a SMOKE FREE environment, strictly enforced!!!

maura said...

cassidy's is HORRIBLE -- bad beer selection, bad lighting, bad everything. even the dollar drinks on ladies night (i don't know if they still offer that though) didn't make going there worth it. at least when it was 'the rock palace of queens' the bad-cover-version factor made things a bit interesting.

i like cronin and phelan's, but gibney's is probably my favorite bar on broadway. have you been to viva mar yet?

Richard Starlite Karaoke said...

I love Gibney's too... It's a great place where you have Mike Cremin (Dave's younger brother behind the bar) along with Rory who are two of Astoria's favorite bartender. It's always fun there but not such a great place to watch a game...

Joey said...

Gibney's is a decent place to hang, but not ideal for watching a game.

I haven't been to Viva Mar yet. It doesn't look that...well...nice. But I'll get there eventually. Please let me know if you go, I'd love to hear back.

Cronin & Phelan's didn't really excite me, but maybe I'll give it another shot.

It's nice to see that there's agreement that Cassidy's is a hole. I can't think of any other time where I've actively wished that a small business would go under.

I think I'll have to do an article about where the best game watching is. We'll have to start up a wiffle ball game soon.

Richard Starlite Karaoke said...

I am so in for wiffle ball...Maybe we can even play a good old game of "Skully" afterwards.

maura said...

sunswick has a bunch of tvs and probably the best food/beer selection out of places to watch a game in astoria (food is a necessary component to watching games, it's true).

(i actually watch most games at home because i shelled out for the extra innings package. either that, or i watch them at work, which has the directv version of the package -- that comes with wgn and other channels that don't show up on the cable version. do any bars in astoria advertise that they have extra innings? that tends to imply a greater commitment to game-watching by patrons.)

Cory said...

I Don't know what days this happened on? Every Friday night the place is KICKIN'.. Mega hotties, great karaoke and DJ entertainment. And everybody I know digs the giant TV..You and that other guy from starlite seem to put the place down, but every Thursday and Friday for the last 2 years the place was packed out the door..Jamie and Tony were the Hottest bartenders on Broadway ever! sorry, I know and heard nothing but good bout Cassidy's

Joey said...

Sure. If by "kickin" you're referring to the owner beating up a woman, then you're right on target.

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