Saturday, February 07, 2009

Last Call at Kent and North 3rd?


A twinge of sadness when we passed the former Duff's at Kent Avenue and North 3rd this afternoon: the patio was demolished, the sign was gone, and Jimmy Duff's hearse - the Deathmobile - was packed to the gills with what appeared to be remnants of the wonderful heavy-metal-themed hole in the wall bar.

The business was originally a check-cashing business that served (much like the recently-deceased diner next door) blue collar employees of the rail yards and warehouses that lined the Williamsburg waterfront for most of the 20th century. In 2005, Duff closed his infamous Hell's Kitchen dive Bellevue and opened Duff's in the tiny storefront, filling it with decades worth of rocker paraphanalia and effusing it with a friendly bikers' lair charm.

In December, Duff's moved to new digs on Marcy Avenue in South Williamsburg, but Duff retooled the Kent Avenue and North 3rd corner as The Bunker. A wholesale remodel isn't exactly in character with the kind of space it was (we were known to stumble in with our own road-sodas from time to time, and no one ever shot us the stink eye). And we wonder if the apparent closing has something to do with the recent fire and complete blight surrounding the former Miss Williamsburg next door. Our gut says the combined frontage along Kent Avenue is worth more as a development lot than as a great dive bar selling dollar PBR's...

But we'll hold out hope that we're wrong.

Recent Article on Jimmy Duff [NY Press]

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Front Row Seats in 'Burg For
Red Bull Snowboarding Event

front row seats

Grab your binoculars and your balaclavas and head on down to Grand Ferry Park at the foot of Grand Street! As of 3:30 pm there was wide-open unobstructed views of the Red Bull Snowscrapers event, just across the water in East River Park...for hardy (or heavily-medicated) snowboarding fans.

The East Side event features Shaun White, Pat Moore and Travis Rice plunging down a 9 story ramp built atop a Jenga-inspired tower of cargo containers. Long-time thrashers Anthrax will close out the show at 8:55 pm. But with the wind chill expected to be around six degrees this evening, there's not likely to be much competition for those riverfront benches.