Three Great East Village Bars Named After Women

by BILLY GRAY · March 23, 2010

Yesterday the Times wrote about Linda's, a Bronx bar about to ditch its name now that the eponymous founder is out of the picture. Luckily a trio of, appropriately enough, Alphabet City bars keep names in the running.  -

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Lucy's. 135 Avenue A, East Village. One of several surviving relics of the days when the East Village (then still uniformly called the Lower East Side) swarmed with Eastern European immigrants (as opposed to Eastern European models today). Lucy's is notable for still being operated by its namesake. Lucy and her trademark bouffant have been stationed behind East Village bars since the neighborhood's late '70s bad old days. Now something of a Polish grandmother to the young Slavs who still crowd the modest, dimly lit hangout (complete with a pool table and a killer jukebox), charm your way into her heart and expect enough buybacks to make you believe you can converse with Lucy in her native tongue.

Mona's: 224 Avenue B, East Village. The Dropkick Murphys to Lucy's Polish folk singer (sorry, I'm short on Polish musical references), Mona's also claims a stellar jukebox, although this one's got more of a punk bent. In addition to The Pogues tunes blaring in the background, $3 Guinness pints all day and night every Thurdsay confirm the joint's Gaelic credentials.

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Sophie's: Bob Corton owns Mona's (named for his cat) and this place (named for old boss Sophie Polny). Jukebox: check. Pool table: check. Barflies who haven't left their stools since the Keating scandal: check. But what elevates Sophie's above the standard dive is a bartender who will school you in Jeopardy (one regular insists on playing it on the tube come 7pm) and on topics ranging from e.e. cummings to the history of the Norman Conquest in Swansea. If you're the type for celebrity endorsements, Jeff Bridges and Anthony Bourdain recently dropped by.

Photos Courtesy of Shanna Ravindra/GrubJeremiah's)