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BUDDIES (formerly Stella's in NYC)

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I went to Buddie's (Stella's) last Saturday night as they were hosting dancers. I arrived about 11:30pm or so to see both new and old faces and a large (i.e. FAT) latin drag queen who spent the hour she was there bad mouthing everyone and everything. She is nasty bad drag queen I will never tip again...big cow! Besides...she never knows her words anyway AND it's been about four years since any of her costumes fit.


Anyway...Cathy was at the door when I arrived, scowling as usual but she disappeared early. Her hot husband was working the door, greeting people like they were actually welcome. Joey, the old bartender with the white hair was workingone side of the bar and Robert, the cute, hot bartender/manager was working the other side of the bar. He, Robert, always has a smile and a nice word for everyone and is genuinely happy to see patrons AND he remembers you when you return AND remembers your drink too! The bar looks the same but some nice changes: comfortable lounge areas in the corners with low tables, cocktail tables with high aluminum chairs, two very large plasma screen tvs which were playing MTV's Real World (yuk...about as real as that fat drag queen sitting at the bar...but I digress). The bathrooms are very nice with the toilet lids still with clamps on them...it seemed that some of the drugged out hustlers would steal them and sell them! WHO KNEW TOILET LIDS WERE SO COVETED? Anyway...around midnight they announced four dancers would be appearing. No stage and very minimal lights but the four dancers did a great job dancing on a hard tile floor. I understand that now that they have their cabaret license they will begin having dancers downstairs on weekends. They are building a small stage for the upstairs and a larger stage for the downstairs along with lights, etc. The minute the show was over, however, many of the patrons left (myself included), leaving the dancers to work the remaining crowd.


Last Saturday there was no cover charge and the drinks were a bit cheaper than normal ($5.50 rather than $6.00). I don't know if this will remain but it was a nice suprise. I'm sure this will change, but check it out while it still lasts.


I have been told that Cathy will not allow any hustlers into the bar, which--to me--sound ridiculous. I can understand, sort of, her thought process on this one, but does she think she's hired nuns to dance? Does she really think these dancers are surviving on the few dollars given out by patrons? I had asked a friend of mine (yes, a hustler) if he wanted to go with me and he said she wasn't allowing hustlers into the bar. Sound business advice I'd say...NOT!


I don't know about Fridays but was told the bar would have dancers on Saturday evening, again around midnight. I plan on going again this weekend, supporting the dancers then leaving for La Fleur's. Maybe I'll see you there!



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Thanks, Regina, for the terrific and well-detailed report on Buddies. Sounds as if there is hope for the place. I always loved the atmosphere in Stella's, especially the working boys. I am an occasional visitor to NYC so could you please tell me about La Fleur's? I have heard about it but don't even know where it is located.



buzz :)

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OK...I went back last night (10/2) and found what was pretty close to the old Stella's! There were about eleven dancers who danced solo then there was a dance contest. The drawback for this was that the dance contest didn't start until almost 2am and wasn't over until 3am. I was falling asleep and couldn't make it to the end of the contest and had to leave. I asked why they didn't start the contest while the majority of the customers were there and was told Cathy wanted them to draw it out as long as possible. Yes, Cathy was there, scowling as usual, muttering to herself. CHRIST!


Anyway, I heard today that Ryder won the dance contest, and I did see him dance and he's amazing. Sadly he left today for Las Vegas as he's been hired to entertain the city that never sleeps. He will be missed!


There were a lot of people when I arrived (around midnight), no cover charge (which is a nice thing) BUT the drink prices went up (and here I was all excited about getting more bang for my buck...hmmmm) Anyway...I had a good time and I plan to return next weekend. I am not, however, forgetting my friends at LaFleur's. They took in this orphan when Stella's closed (which they deserved at the time for their shitty attitude and lack of customer service) and I'll always be grateful for their kindness and I will continue my patronage of that little heart of gold nestled in the depts of Port Authority.




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