Cornelia Street Tavern


I came here for the poetry reading on a Tuesday night. Fellow yelper Tina Chan was headlining and I came by to show support. My intention was to spectate, I didnt know there was an open mic. Tina signed me up as an open mic reader. I figured ok, I’m game. Long story short I didn’t get to read because the poets before me ate up all the time. Some are Mic hogs, same as you encounter in karaoke. Lol. This was fine with me as I didn’t come mentally prepared to read.

Overall this place didn’t impress me too much. Why? Well what left a really bad taste in my mouth is that towards the end we were literally being kicked out by the person in charge down there. (Not the host, the bar person) He was on the mic saying you guys need to go. Now I can understand that they have a schedule to keep, but they really shouldn’t kick patrons out of an establishment.

Perhaps we wanted to stay to eat, drink and maybe watch the upcoming band! More money for your business. We were mingling and then we were told by the house people to leave. I didn’t think that was too cool. I wonder if they’ll ban me after reading this review? I try to be fair and just in all my reviews, but these guys left a really bad impression. So as I write this, the clearest thing in my mind is the feeling of rushing out, being kicked out, and the bad feeling that gave me.

I can’t tell you about their food, the overall service etc. Why? BECAUSE THEY KICKED US OUT! In any case I’ll try to be fair here.

So I arrived a tad late, there was an chair by Tina. I greeted her and said hello to her friends and sat down. Eventually I got a ginger ale, I don’t remember much about the Ginger ale, but I guess that means it wasn’t terrible.

The space is small and oldish looking, like most taverns or bars. It wasn’t any different than keybar, Neir’s or any other Tavern I’ve gone to. In that sense it’s cool.. Although it didn’t feel warm and welcoming, I felt uncomfortable for most of the time I was in there. But in all fairness, that’s probably due to the fact I was nervous and the crowd more than the space itself.

I think in some cases more experienced poets feel superior to those new to the scene, but it’s funny because though I’m new to “the scene” I’ve been writing poetry my whole life, and in some cases I felt my writing was superior to some of these experienced poets. Nobody likes a snob. Even when I’ve been on top of my game in other “scenes” I always welcome newbies, teach them the ropes and I am supportive. Even here on yelp I try to explain to them the ropes in so far as talk threads, the “sarcasm” you experience, etc.

The host of the event Bob Quatrone was pretty cool, I look forward to getting to know him. He wrote a note to Tina apologizing about my being bumped off. That was nice of him, he didn’t have to do that at all, let alone for a “newbie”, and I appreciated that. He seems like and upstanding fellow.

I’ll give the venue another shot another day and see if they do better by me. Worst case scenario I just won’t return and I’ll read my work elsewhere. I didn’t have much trouble finding other places. In fact I already lost my poetry reading virginity at Tongue Threat in Queens at the famous Neir’s tavern. A few days later. I even got to read 3 times! So when I become famous, now they’ll say “He got his start at Neir’s”. Lol. Could of been you guys, could of been you.

Seriously though, don’t kick people out, it’s not becoming. You probably charge a cover for the band, as you did for the poetry, yes? No? If yes, a better way is to announce that you will be collecting the cover for those that wish to remain to eat and watch the band. If no, then invite them to remain seated or whatever while the band sets up, but don’t kick people out. What would Gordon Ramsey say? Or restaurant impossible guy? Don’t take offense to this, I offer constructive and hopefully useful criticism.

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