The crowd was New York young, and New York dressed. The guys were in casual cool and the girls were in catch your eye appeal. They were drinking and they were loud. Some were swaying to the music. Some were swaying to the alcohol. Some were just swaying.
They call it a country saloon. They carry live country music on some nights. It sits at 10th Avenue and W 51st Street in the Hell’s Kitchen area. It’s only a couple of blocks from the apartment. It’s The Waylon. We went to check it out.
When we arrived, the place was jammed wall to wall. Like most other places in NY, especially on 10th Avenue, it is small, narrow and cramped. The band that was playing, Angry Kickin’ Feet, was crammed shoulder to shoulder into a corner between an old fashioned juke box and the window at the front to the joint. There were 3 under- amped guitars, an over-amped harmonica, with a so-so PA system.
We were able to find a table with a couple of chairs. It was New York sized, chairs adequate for a 30” butt, the table hardly able to hold a checkerboard. I looked around the saloon. The place had character. Longhorns mounted above the front door. A lengthy saloon type bar lining one side of the room. Red, white and blue World Series bunting hanging in the front windows. It could have been a roadside honky-tonk in Anywhere, Texas.
I picked up the menu laying on the table and looked over the offerings. It read like it was straight out of the Texas State Fair midway: Chili, Frito pie, pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, chips and queso, fried pickles, fried cheese curds…….wait! What?
Fried cheese curds? I turned to look again at the bar. It hadn’t registered when I looked over the room earlier, but there was a large green and yellow Packer flag hanging behind the bar. This place wasn’t making any sense. Roadhouse? Country music? State Fair menu?… Cheese Curds and Packers? I thought Green Bay would be playing Polka music or something!
Well, that’s alright, Green Bay is allowed to roadhouse, too. I relaxed.
The cheeseburger was okay, Jerry’s tacos were not good. Prices were reasonable. The band was a standard 1-4-5 blues jam band. The crowd was strong and loving the evening.
As we were leaving, the owner followed us out to the sidewalk. He said he had seen us walking past earlier and was hoping that we would come into his bar. I was wearing my Gene Autry shirt from Cavenders and my ostrich boots, Jerry was wearing a serape wrap looking like she was Clint Eastwood’s girlfriend. He thought because of the way we were dressed we would fit in his bar really well. I guess we looked as out of place to him as his bar did to us.