Entertaining by Acronym in The EV – Part III: DBA


The Board of Booze at DBA

D.B.A.. An acronym for “Doing Business As”?

Historically, I say, “No.”

DBA, the East Village bar on 1st Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets in 10003, has been around for about 15 years and never left me wanting for a return visit. But, I always do meander back. It’s just too close.

For me, DBA stands for “Don’t Bother Asking.” Consistently employing bartenders who could care less if I received my drink in this millenium or the next, I can tell stories that in the words of the immortal Walt Clyde Frazier would “astound and amaze.” It’s a miracle, to be served – hence, my abbreviation explication. I am not alone in this regard.

I have to believe the bartenders, including a few who have been there for what seems all 15 years, are making a killing – why else would they stay? The sweet smell of soapcakes?

At some point, though, pouring booze in the same bar with the same crowd wears thin and before you know it, you’re pouring for the dark overlord. And not the fun dark overlord, either.

Tonight, I re-visited my least favorite neighborhood bar in hopes of coming to terms with “my” DBA and continue my quest of entertainment through acronym in the E.V.

I entered at the scandalously later hour of 9:45 and was admirably met by an older fellow, likely my age (omg), who had had a few – but that didn’t mean he couldn’t check my I.D. He let me through and called me “boy.” Great.

Ambling to the bar with my expectations at sub-basement level, I pondered my future. “-A new record wait tonight? -Don’t take it personally. It’s their issue. -What am I doing here? -Is anyone here NOT from the UES?” The blonde, poney-tailed wonder tending bar began her bar-length patrol, served someone, and then moved on. One minute thirty had elapsed.


“What do you want?”

Who me? I fumbled for ideas. Where am I? “I’ll take a Sierra.”

“Bottle or Porter on draft,” she said. That was downright nice of her to ask.

“Draft!,” I said buoyantly. And then she poured me a $6 Sierra Porter, smiled like a plastic Santa, and made change for my twenty. I gladly tipped her with a GW.

Very unexpected. I scurried to an open stool to catch my breath.

In addition to its bartenders, DBA is known for its long-ish list of beer and its backyard. In that it was nearing 10, and closing time for the backyard, patrons were beginning to filter to the front of the bar to continue the party. In the past, I can recall sitting in the backyard – which is covered by a plastic roof – and listening to pebbles (or was it cat litter?) raining down as neighbors in the building above raged at the DBA cacaphony.

Lots of stories like the pebble story here. Not going to start. Keeping an open mind.

The regulars at DBA are much different than the cashmere crew from the UES. Scarred, weathered, they’re lifers. They were leaning against the bar 5 years ago, and they’ll be there in 5 more years unless GR comes calling for a liver donation.

A few steps from my stool, was one of the East Village’s few, two-person, Galaga and Ms. PacMan games. The “Vagina Dentata” of video games, I spent my first year of college chasing little pac people. Never did make the all-time list. Sad.

I finished my pint of Sierra Porter – quite satisfying – as a blonde two-some with Gucci bags in tow sat down next to me. The evening was over.

I placed my empty pint glass at the bar and made for the exit. As the drunk bouncer opened the door, he said something to me – not sure what. I left. Never to return again until the next time.

Galaga and Ms PacMan

Galaga lives.

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February 8th, 2008

Entry Filed under: Drink

1 Comment

  • 1. Laura  |  February 10th, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    John, you know you aren’t allowed to go there. Seriously.


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