Our Two Cents
I ran into the Iron Monkey as part of my Sunday Review Rampage in early December… I didn’t make it out to any other venues that evening.
About ten years ago , I recall the Iron Monkey having a bit more of the oomtsst-oomtsst club thing going on. Then again, in 1999 I was a young 22 year-old punk, using and abusing the Monkey for their very cool, drink friendly rooftop deck. Fast forward to 2009 and my entry into the Iron Monkey didn’t involve me zooming past the first floor just to get up to the roof. In fact, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t as the roof is off limits during colder months. This visit though, I was enticed into the first floor bar area which, possibly only due to the suggestion of the Christmas décor, has a very cozy (God, I hate that word) and inviting quality to it. During my visit, I encountered two or three regulars who calmly sat and glared at the football games on TV. Bartender Marshall is a burly son-of-a-gun who lends a cheerful greeting and smile as he deftly takes and serves your order. Evidently, owner Steve likes to stop in frequently and he’s quite the conversationalist. A few words with him filled me on what he’s looking to do with the joint as we enter the 20teens.
Having occupied the corner of York and Greene for the last 15 years, Steve admitted that the place has endured some cyclical changes over the years. Going forward though, Steve is adamant about making the Iron Monkey the destination for the discriminating beer drinker in Jersey City. Already serving over 100 different bottles from around the nation and around the world, from the Iron Monkey’s taps flows even more sweet nectar. I enjoyed few pints of Rogue Mocha Porter and Weyerbacher Winter Ale during my stay and not only was the beer served in proper, squeaky-clean glassware, but the brews themselves were fresh, pure and full of flavor. Those two beers in particular I love being able to find rather than buying in 22oz bombers. I also gave a Founder’s Breakfast Stout from the bottled arsenal a whirl at manager Ben’s suggestion. Good stuff and just the tip of the iceberg from their expansive inventory.
After the powers that be got back to work, I had a moment to speak with musician Mike Torres who exercises a sort of quasi-residency at the Monkey on Sunday nights for their singer/songwriter open mic night. Mike also mentioned that the Iron Monkey in general has some cool local talent coming through on the regular. I didn’t get a chance to stick around for that particular Sunday’s festivities, but I’ll be back to investigate in the future as the Monkey’s weekend vibe is easy like a Sunday morning… and afternoon… and evening… and bedtime… and…