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Friday, July 25, 2008


And so it came to pass that Bar BQ, a humble Brooklyn barbecue joint, is no more, and its quirky Twilight Zone on Greenwood spirit will flourish only in the hearts and memories of those who knew it during is three years-plus as a neighborhood fixture. The staff were a disparate band of ragtag dreamers, loonies and artsy types, each of whom infused the place with their individual flavors — no, Health Department, not like you think — and provided the patrons, regular or otherwise, with a singular dining and social experience unmatched in the South Park Slope area. The entertainment and conversation veered wildly between the erudite and the obscene and if you couldn't take it you could take refuge at the douchey, overpriced, wannabe-West-Side eatery next door. But if you stuck it out you were likely to become a regular and thereby a part of a wide-ranging, bizarre and semi-dysfunctional family.

The good times had at Bar BQ were many, so how could the place's final night, especially one that fell in the middle of the work week, hope to match the legendary shindigs of the past? The simple fact of the matter is that it couldn't, so the last hurrah ended up being a rather low key affair presided over by the too-cute-for-words Danielle — the second of the establishment's over-six-foot blonde barkeeps, hence her designation as "Tower 2" — , Marius (resident swashbuckler and fellow martial arts loon), and Shun of the Kitchen, with founder Frank and his family in for one last dose of the 'cue food. Regulars of note in attendance included Velma and Soren, and UK expatriate Phil, and I ended up seriously getting my Cuervo on and singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" while showering myself with soda water from the bar's drinks hose, so the place went out with a bang anyway, which makes my heart glad.

So farewell, Bar BQ. You helped me get my Buncheness back after my negative experiences during my last two years in the comics biz and two years of unemployment, so I thank you for that and the crazy friends I made while there. It's all good, and I close with a wish of good luck in future endeavors to all who worked there.

Oh, and here's a mini-gallery of memories from the final night and glorious evenings that passed in a haze of tequila and madness; I have tons more at home, but I have to scan them in since they're non-digital.

Danielle, aka "Tower 2."

Yer Bunche, appreciating the Nordic wonder of Tower 2.

Tracey the Waitress Goddess, with baby Aurora-Morrigan and the Lady Velma.

Shun gets down.

The last-shifters represent.

Our Founder.

Yer Bunche, Tracey the Waitress Goddess, and Joy ("the Frost-Giant's Daughter")

Big Smokey.

Yer Bunche and Pete, commiserating after being molested by "U.P.S.," a vile closet-case who fancied us fat lads.

Two of my favorite Irishmen: Garth Ennis and Steve Hughes.

Yer Bunche with Danny Lilker, bassist for the awesome Stormtroopers of Death, perhaps the seminal thrash band.

Two Negroes welcome the summer.

Scott, the Crooklyn Cowboy.

With regular Vince Martin, crooner of the fifties hit "Oh Cindy."

Bar BQ: the home of fashion.

Ultraman guards the kitchen.

The infamous "Bad Chicken Pussy."

Jeff finds something horrible under the bar.

My alter ego, Porkbelly DuPree. He only came out in the wee hours, coaxed into existence by copious amounts of beer and Jose Cuervo.

Reason #47 not to look behind the curtain: pulled pork looks like vomit.

Porkbelly meets Kate (now a renowned burlesque performer and producer).

Tracey explains to Brendan that she's leaving him to join the local forest elves.

Yer Bunche after we won the first of several awards for best pulled pork barbecue in NYC.

Joy vamps for Mardi Gras.

Roasted piglets for the Superbowl pigskin blowout: tastier than mortal man deserves.

After hours fun with firearms: a Beretta...

...and a Glock. (Don't worry, they're props from a movie Marius was working on. Hey, we're not that crazy!)

Lanei introduces Suzi to the barbecue joint.

The night when the Mystery Machine broke down and let out two Velmas. God DAMN, I dig the one with the long hair... (*DEEP SIGH*)

Medusa versus Beowulf.

Rex, diminutive terror from the Great White North, with worshippers.

What can I say? It was cold outside.

Halloween = titties!

LLBM (Ladies Love Big Mikey)

Marius: a rare and wonderful human being who kept me sane on a daily basis.

Portrait of four staunch regulars: Johnny Hot Sausage, Rex, Jesus Rob, and Rolls.

L-R: Joy, Marius, Rolls, Pedro, Chris, Pete, one of the Twins, Apples.

Rex rocks it Valkyrie-style.

The Lady Velma.

The Lady Velma, Soren, and the Bar BQ Cock.

Kate and Dan: one of the power couples of the joint.

Cheese sauce a-brewin'!

The regulars voice their opinion of the place closing.

Brennan's infamous recounting of seeing THE BOURNE IDENTITY in Morocco.

Maggie: badassed Bar BQ bartender babe.

Rolls, Bar BQ's answer to Fozzie Bear (making one forget what the question was).

The Greenwood United Melanin Front, muthafukka!

Ready for the arrival of Ted Kennedy.

A premature announcement of closure...

...and the fanfare-less actual final night.


Chez said...

I'm kinda heartbroken on two fronts -- both that Bar BQ closed and that Jayne is seemingly one deep breath away from giving birth at any moment so we missed its send-off.

The place, and its staff, will live on in all those great memories. RIP.

ace420jet said...

Thanks for the kinds words, Buncheman! You always know how to sum it up. One thing missing, where's a picture of me!!! Love Ya! Lizzie.

Anonymous said...

Reading this blog made me realize that I don't get out to Brooklyn as much as I'd like. I always liked BarBQ, I am sorry that it couldn't make it. - Xtina

Ken Pierce said...

I really wanted to try the place, but alas that shall never be now. Thanks Bunche for making it sound so much fun even though I didn't venture there. You insightful lament shows just how much the place meant to you. I am sure that it was always a good time. Horns up BarBQ.