Posts Tagged ‘Last Call with Richard Crouse’

LAST CALL: “You didn’t go there for the bathrooms. You went there for the music.”

Punk rock came roaring to life in a cramped, dingy bar on New York City’s Lower East Side called CBGB at 315 Bowery. More known for its filthy bathrooms than its drinks or food—legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen said with a laugh, “It was not a place you’d eat at.”—it is significant for its oversized influence on rock ‘n’ roll history. It’s the punk rock Cavern Club, a launching pad for new genres of music that still reverberate today. Punk scene likely would have happened without CBGB, but the grungy little club gave it a homebase.

In this podcast I’ll talk about the unruly story of an accidental cultural incubator born out of a unique moment in history where outsiders, like The Ramones, The Dead Boys, Talking Heads and Blonde, were brought together, celebrated and encouraged to be themselves.

Joining me to tell the story of CBGB are photographer Boib gruen, filmmaker, co-founder of “Punk” magazine and CBGBite Mary Harron, The ‘B’ Girls singer Lucasta Ross and The Punk Rock Museum co-founder Lisa Brownlee. Topping it off is an interview from the vault I did with CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal in 1992.

Listen to the podcast HERE!


“Last Call” is Richard’s podcast on the stories behind the places where everybody knows your name. It’s a chance to soak up the ambiance of the world’s greatest watering holes without leaving your home. Listen to the series on Apple, Spotify or find out more HERE!

LAST CALL PODCAST EPISODE 5: “The last great dive bar on Hollywood Boulevard.”

Situated next to the grand Pantages Theater, once the home of the Academy Awards and still one of the leading venues for live theater in Los Angeles, the Frolic Room’s store front is humble… but you can’t miss the extravagant neon sign.

Like all great bars it is an egalitarian place, a truly democratic space where, for the price of a drink, you are welcomed, whether you’re Charles Bukowski, Frank Sinatra or a just thirsty person off the street.

It’s a classic, welcoming place, the way it has always been. “If you changed the Frolic Room, I think it would ruin the business,” owner Robert Nunley says. “It works this way.”

Learn about Hollywood Boulevard’s last great dive bar HERE!


On this episode of “Last Call with Richard Crouse” we visit McSorley’s Old Ale House on Seventh Street in New York’s East Village. McSorley’s may not be New York’s oldest bar, the Bridge Café (dates to 1794), Ear Inn (circa 1817) and Chumley’s (established 1830s) all predate John McSorley’s business, but it is one of the most colourful. It’s sometimes hard to sort between the fact and fiction that swirls around the bar’s legend, but one thing is for sure, there is no arguing with their motto, “We were here before you were born.”

At the afterparty Rafe Bartholomew stops by to talk about the bar where Abraham Lincoln once had a beer and its history. Rafe’s father Bart worked there for 45 years, the family lived upstairs for a time and on the weekends he’d help his dad get the place up and running and later, in his twenties, he continued the family tradition and worked behind the bar. His book, “Two and Two: McSorley’s, My Dad, and Me,” is a great read about fathers, sons and one great bar.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


LAST CALL PODCAST EP. 1: Return me to Harry’s Bar, 5 Daunou.

On this episode of “Last Call with Richard Crouse” we visit Paris and James Bond’s favourite bar. The home of the Bloody Mary and “An American in Paris,” Harry’s New York Bar at 5, Rue Daunou, is one of the world’s most legendary cocktail bars. With the help of cocktail historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller of Mixellany, Richard traces the history of the bar where real life “International Bar Flies” like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Humphrey Bogart, Edward VIII and George Gershwin all bent elbows. Join us for a story of a disgraced sport superstar, cocktails, and a New Year’s Eve wild goose chase around Paris.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the star studded family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto” and Halle Berry’s directorial debut “Bruised.”

Then, we talk about the decision to scrap gendered awards, Ridley Scott and the flop of “The Last Duel” and Richard’s new podcast “Last Call.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


“Last Call with Richard Crouse” is a weekly podcast on the stories behind the places where everybody knows your name. This week, we visit Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, the home of the Bloody Mary!

“I’m Richard Crouse. I tended bar for seventeen years everywhere from hot spots to dive bars and I thought I had seen it all…

“In my life behind bars I witnessed everything from first dates and marriage proposals to knife fights and a woman who brought a pet monkey in for a drink.

“Nothing could surprise me… Or so I thought…

“Then I heard about how a lion who visited Harry’s New York Bar in Paris inspired Ernest Hemingway to write one of his greatest novels. And why there are century old chicken bones hanging above the beer-stained bar at McSorleys in New York City. And how Vincent Sardi refused to do business with the mob during Prohibition, so his famous Broadway Restaurant didn’t serve alcohol until the 21st amendment passed, six year after they first opened…

“With the help of the “Last Call” Prove That You Love Me And Buy The Next Round Players, music and interviews, I bring these stories, and many more, to life in my podcast Last Call. It’s fact folded in with a sprinkling of fiction, because, well, who doesn’t exaggerate after a few drinks?

“So, open that bottle of wine or crack that beer and join me for an intoxicating guided tour of some of the strange stories from some of the world’s best watering holes.

Listen to the trailer HERE!