Tap That Rose Den

 Tap That Rose Den

By Lou Pastina

Recently I have written about Manhattan and everything going on there. After the cold weather moves into Rockaway and the concessions shut down, the scene quiets down quite a bit here at the beach. We begin to focus on the big holidays and family and the scene moves indoors. But recently I slipped out to catch a few goings on and thought I’d share them with you.

If you didn’t know it, Tap That on the Boulevard has a cute indoor space with some pretty good food, and a cool self-pour tap parlor with over 30 selections of beer, wine and cider. John Agnello, the proprietor, also has been consistently booking music at his venue. He’s got some big screens too, and when I was there, the yule log was burning brightly behind the band. During the summer, it’s tough to compete with the boardwalk and bay bars, but that changes when the weather does. Tap That is an excellent venue to see some music because you are close to the musicians in a well-lit place, and they have food and beer. I saw the ubiquitous Kerry Kearney and friends, which included the talented Tim Farrell on bass. If you didn’t know it, Kerry is in the Long Island Blues Hall of Fame and was Marty Balin’s lead guitarist for years. And if you didn’t know it, Marty was the founding member of both the Jefferson Airplane and Starship. Last week, Kerry played the Iridium, the place that Les Paul had a residency. You had to buy a ticket to see him. But at Tap That, you could sit literally feet away from Kerry and watch his guitar magic as his fingers fly furiously across the fretboard. And it’s all for the cost of a beer. Tap That books all sorts of musicians, and I would recommend putting the place on your list for this winter.

While out, I decided to take a jaunt a few blocks west from Tap That to Beach 116th Street. Yes, you need to be careful walking the boulevard, I agree, but if you go with friends, you could do this too. I made a left at 116th and headed to the Rose Den. The Rose Den is a quirky, mysterious little place that has been open for more than a year now and books all sorts of interesting things like jazz, magic, and all sorts of off the wall stuff. The night I went, John Simonelli and Patsy Carroll were playing. These two musicians have been thrilling Rockaway for a while with their musical talents, and recently have been collaborating on some trippy duets. The Rose Den was once a retail shop run by the roller-skating lady, so it has some good vibes left over. The proprietor of The Rose Den has imbued the place with subdued lighting and given it a mysterious feel, like you are in a private club on the lower east side. I like it, it feels cools. It’s a relaxed laid-back atmosphere, and the music being created by John and Patsy added to that ambience. So, if you are eating at Rocco’s around the corner and there is someone playing at The Rose Den, it’s not a bad place to check out for a nightcap before heading home. Again, during these winter months, I would put it on your list.

Now I started to run out of time, but if you have the stamina and wherewithal, you can top off the night walking across the street to Rogers for a more traditional pub setting. There the proprietor likes to book bands on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.!! Much to the chagrin of the musicians I might add. But there is a method to his madness, because often other venues finish early and Rogers is still cooking, and if you are heading uptown, then why not stop in to say hello to the ever-friendly Brendan for a perfect pour of Guinness?

So, there you have it, three recommendations to get you through the holidays and the winter months. I will continue to research other places, because someone must do it, and I will dutifully report right here!! In the meantime, Tap That Rose Den baby!

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