Preteens might be listening to Hannah Montana these days but when I was a wee lad I was obsessed with Billy Joel’s Piano Man. I didn’t understand half the lyrics and I was over nine years away from being able to legally drink, but the song’s tale of gin-soaked hacks and the seen-it-all piano man who croons to them was an inspiration that possibly explains why I now run a site like Bar Zine. It also explains my enduring love affair with Minsky’s.
Located on top of the Hotel Cremorne, Minsky’s is a time capsule of a bar that’s been around for close to 26 years. Old movie posters line the walls, neon pulses like it’s 1979 and John Watson, the resident piano man, pounds the ivories while singing late 70s and early 80s songs such as Tiny Dancer and yes, Piano Man, as a crowd hovers around him.
The crowd here is mixed: on one hand you have older folk who still think this is hip (a friend of mine describes it as a cougar bar, although I’m far too innocent to be able to endorse that view) while on the other you always see a new generation of 18- and 19-year-old locals who are lucky enough to experience this for the first time. Actually, I’m not sure lucky is the right word but hey, it’s certainly an experience.
There are several other bars in the complex, from the street-level sports bar and bistro to the upstairs pool hall and SoBar nightclub but for Bar Zine’s money it’s the Minsky’s Piano Room that makes it worth going to. It’s open from 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays but only starts to buzz after midnight. Shoulder pads, big hair and Miami Vice-style leisure suits are optional.
Minsky’s, Hotel Cremorne, 287 Military Road, Cremorne. Phone 9909 8888 or see the Minksys / Hotel Cremorne website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Minsky’s?