A Bit of The Old Southwest in Staten Island

by Thomas C. Kolakowski

Even before you set foot through the doors you know something is amiss on Staten Island. Approaching Adobe Blues you are overwhelmed by the feeling you that you have just been transported across country to some small bar in the Old Southwest. The front yard is entirely sand, with various western plants and props. There is even a large "steer skull" carved out of what appears to be granite. The interior of the bar is equally impressive, from the adobe walls to the beautiful corner fireplace.

Adobe Blues, 63 Lafayette Avenue, is the brain child of Jim Stayoch and Ken Tirado, two accomplished theatrical set designers.. The entire interior was designed and built by owners Jim and Ken after taking a twelve day research trip throughout the southwest. The renovations required to turn an old neighborhood dive into a Old Western bar was so extensive, even Bob Villa would be proud of it!

The dining room has three separate menus, one for lunch, dinner and late night snacks. The menu has many traditional Southwestern staples, such as Quesadillas and Nachos. But how many places serve Buffalo Burgers made from farm raised Buffalo? Many of the dishes are prepared using either beer or Tequila. Their Drunken Mexican Shrimp is prepared with shrimp marinaded in beer (quite a tasty treat!). The complimentary tortilla chips and salsa are probably the best you will ever find in the five boroughs. The food menu is extremely well priced, during both lunch and snack times a group of four can expect to spend around $50 including drinks. Lunch items and appetizers range between $6-$10. Beers generally go for $2.50 per tap pint or $3.25 for a bottle. Large bottles (such as Affligem or Corsendunk) and some of the more obscure beers will cost more.

Possibly the most impressive facet of Adobe Blues (for beer lovers like us) is their extensive beer list. The list currently stands at 230 beers from 35 different countries. (On a lighter note, Budweiser is listed separately under the heading "Alleged Beer"). Maintaining such an impressive beer list is not easy. Currently, Bill (their day manager), has to deal with six different distributors to get so many countries represented. Jim Stayoch, states that they try to have as many countries represented as possible, even if that country's beer is not especially good. Unfortunately, Jim adds, there are some countries with excellent beers which can not be carried because no area distributors carry them. A stated example were the beers of Norway. Unfortunately, not a single Norwegian beer is carried by importers/distributors in the New York Area at this time.

Making sure that the beer stays fresh with such a large selection is usually a tough one. There are many times one goes to a bar boasting a large selection only to find that the beer has turned skunky due to age. Such is not the case at Adobe Blues! Why? Probably due to their "99 Beer Club! Using the term "99 Beer Club" is actually a bit of a misnomer when dealing with Adobe Blues. It is actually a "multi-tiered" beer club, with each tier consisting of "99 beers". In order to help you get excited about the beer club prizes are award for each group of 33 beers a member completes. After 33 beers the member gets an etched beer mug with the "Adobe Blue Logo". With 66 Beers you receive a special Adobe Blues cap, available only to club members. Finally, tier 1 ends with with a Commemorative Polo shirt with the member's name and number embroidered in gold on it (todate 114 people have completed the first 99 beers, the names of the first hundred are on a plaque in the bar-room). An additional benefit of completing phase one is being invited to various seasonal beer tastings. Phase two ends with a black denim jacket embroidered with the Adobe Blues logo. Phase 3 consists of pins of any country in which five or more beers are offered. For each country in which you consume five beers you will receive that country's flag pin. Phase four is 99 beers selected by the club member, with a special collared sweatshirt. Finally, Phase 5 is the completion of the entire beer list, with the prize being a leather jacket. The beer club is not in effect on Fridays and Saturday nights.

Jim and Ken's newest venture is a German bar and restaurant. They recently made an extensive visit to Bavaria to ensure that this establishment is as accurate as possible. The Restaurant opened officially in January 1997 and is well worth the visit!

Adobe Blues, 63 Lafayette Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301 1-718-720-BLUE

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