If I was asked what my top ten NYC bars were this one would probably not make it, and yet I have so many memories related to it.
I first visited the Riviera Cafe in the mid-80′s. I wasn’t of drinking age but that didn’t stop me or any of the bartenders from serving me. In their defense, I always looked older than my age.
Despite not having a dance floor that didn’t stop me from shaking my ass and waving my hands in the air (wave ‘em like I just didn’t care) with a girl I had just met. It was closing time but the bartenders served us nonetheless and let us wiggle our happy asses. That was in the early 90′s. I didn’t get home until 9 AM the next morning. I had some explaining to do.
One night I took my ex- and kids there. I never took my family to a place that lay witness to some of my debauchery. It was 1998. The Yankees won that night. The game was playing on their TV screens.
My partner-in-crime seem to always end our drinking nights here back then. Their shot glasses were huge and they filled them right up to the brim. One night back in 2009, I needed my partner but he wasn’t around. I stumbled into the Riviera and downed a handful of shots while tweeting. I had just joined the social media scene and was still learning how to maneuver through it. After a few hours, I stumbled over to my regular pub a few miles down the road to charge my phone and finish my night.
The last time I visited was about three years ago. My partner-in-crime (who was my partner since the mid-80′s) commented how quiet it was on that Friday night. I didn’t care. I drank my beer and watched the ballgame. We were hellbent to bar hop and this was just one stop in what would be many. Gone were the dancing days, it seemed.
I have vacation time scheduled towards the end of this month. I think I might visit the old lady for one last time.