It may be rather bold to state that Ves's Broadway Bar has not changed since it opened its doors decades ago, but I think it's a fairly accurate assessment. My own patronage of the Broadway has ranged between sporadic and loyal, disgusted and wholly enthusiastic. I will regularly belly up for a stiff one for a few months and then will refuse to step foot in the door for the better part of the year.
Having been mistreated by more than one cranky cocktail waitressone of whom had me kicked out for asking her to be more polite after she yelled at me for absentmindedly ripping my coaster into bits as I talked to friendsI'm usually fiercely loyal to tenders Rob and Rob. But on my most recent visit, we were a foursome and it was a packed Saturday night. Scoring four bar stools was not an option.
Tabled (more like corralled) at a table near the center, my chair legs tangled with the girl's behind me. As the night's DD, I watched. Our first round: one shot, one cocktail, one beer, a 10-minute wait, $6. Next round: two beers, two shots, two cocktails, a 10-minute wait, $11. And so it went. Second-hand smoke in my face, pennies for stiff drinks, but one long-ass wait for drinks from the solo cocktailer, who didn't do badly, given the packed house.
There's nothing fancy about the cafeteria tables and naugahyde seating, the bathroom stalls separated by homemade curtains or the rough-around-the-edges clientele. Ves's is a dive bar through and through, and it's a title proudly worn.
Ves's Broadway Bar, 1712 Broadway Ave., 342-9951.