Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Yankee Klavern

UP FRONT News April 22, 2006
Published by Tom Weiss Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
“The paper that can’t be bought and can’t be sold.”

(This article represents the views of the publisher and not necessarily those of others associated with UP FRONT News.)

The Yankee Klavern

The only (former) New York Yankee to have set foot insider the Yankee Tavern, located a few yards from the Stadium, is the over-rated David (“Boomer”) Wells, who, reportedly hoisted a few, bought a round for those present, and left – never to return. I would not be at all surprised if, at least informally, the place I call the Yankee Klavern is off limits to the ballplayers, who, after all, have images to protect. Klaverns, by the way, were (are?) the quite backwoods deep south social clubs run by the Klan.

Because of my friendship with bartender Willard Whittingham, I used to occasionally drop by for a Kahlua and cream or ginger ale. That ended one day when, arriving apparently before Mr. Whittingham arrived, I ordered a ginger ale from the white (this is very relevant here) bartender. He silently took my money, after which I went to the juke box, inserted $5.00, and made my selections. As soon as my first song (possibly “Jesus Is Just All Right With Me” by the Doobie Brothers) came on, the bartender reduced the volume to almost inaudible. I asked him to please restore the volume. He refused. He asked him again. He refused again. I gave him the finger and left. Several days later I learned that, as per the orders of the owner, one Joe Bastone, I had been “86’d”, i.e. banned.

Establishments which knowingly tolerate illegal drug activity on their premises and recurrently continue to serve customers, who are already stewed to the gills (some of whom presumably stagger from the Klavern to their automobiles) do not like having investigative reporters around. Making things much worse, the Klavern is a well camouflaged racist joint run by people who don’t like Jews. In fact, considering some of the off-the-record language used by at least some of their white bartenders, they don’t much care for African-Americans and Hispanics either. The camouflage is necessary because in the South Bronx if you openly discriminate against blacks and Puerto Ricans, you are going to find yourself with very few customers when the Yankees are not around, which is often. On game days and nights, the Klavern tends to fill up with many white, of- ten testosterone-baptized, suburbanites from out of state boozing up while getting prematurely aroused about the grossly over-paid A-Rod.

Mr. Bastone, who once literally bumped me with his belly (which is suggestive of a most gender-unusual pregnancy) as I was waiting for Mr. Whittingham outside, has refused to reply to several very polite correspondences from me dealing with the juke box incident and the subsequent “86ing” that have been hand-delivered to him.

The Yankee Klavern makes the mythical Bada Bing club look classy. I’m told that Bastone owns a few other joints in the Bronx and Westchester, which makes places them all under the jurisdiction of the New York State Liquor Authority. Some months ago, the News Room, a very interesting, but drug-riddled long-running nightclub across Gerard Avenue from the Klavern, suddenly closed. That occurred not too long after - aside from any other complaints from the public - I reported the activities, and criminal acts against me, of a News Room employee named Marlon, a violent drug trafficker.

In any event, I don’t think “Boomer” will be back.
* * * * * * *

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home