Hair of the Dog is a sports bar on the Lower East Side. A sports bar on the Lower East Side? Yes, a sports bar on the Lower East Side.
Its location is probably the only reason we were easily able to get a table at noon on Sunday. Most of the neighborhood’s inhabitants were likely still in bed, or lingering through a bloody Mary-soaked brunch.
In general, in life, I don’t like to perpetuate stereotypes. Trust me, being nearly 6′ and unable to play basketball really makes one carefully consider spouting off things like, “No? You don’t play basketball? Really? Well how about volleyball then?”
But until yesterday, I was comfortable with saying the LES is not an area full of sports fans.
By 2pm, I wasn’t so sure. The bar had turned into your typical cramped venue with people shoved against each other and no easy way to get to the restroom (although once you make it there, you remember that bathrooms at a sports bar are the one place where women don’t have to wait as long as men–for that alone, I like sports bars).
I honestly don’t know where all of these people came from. I doubt most of the patrons had come from Brooklyn and Queens and Upper Manhattan as my group did. They probably live close by. It’s just–I had never seen them before. On every other trip to the LES, I’d only seen their artsy, lounge-y, fashion-y counterparts.
So I guess what I’m saying is even in a city with neighborhoods that seem to play their own cookie cutter roles, even if you’ve lived there for half a decade, you can’t make assumptions about whether or not a sports bar could survive on a particular block.
And I think that’s a really good thing.