Jimmy Duff is a wanted man. Needed, actually. In our city's glut of tired dives that proffer crusted-over beer glasses and call it character, Jimmy Duff's bar is the genuine article. The former co-owner of Hell's Kitchen beloved watering hole Bellevue returns this month with his wholly owned Williamsburg establishment, a smaller version of his own apartment "with just a little bit more alcohol." What elevates Duff's beyond mere Williamsburg rocker hang is the New Jersey native's inimitable sense of humor and unmistakable style; all Duff-designed establishments serve as homage to his loves and years of flea-market scavenging. Vintage porn playing cards are cast into tables; Jesus kitsch rests on the jukebox; and posters of Alien illustrator H.R. Giger's finer works take center stage. There's also the omnipresent image of Dancing Dominick, a 79-year-old Bellevue regular who passed away three years ago and danced like "your grandfather on crack." Dancing Dom's even in the jukebox, a photo of his face superimposed on the CD covers of Stevie Wonder, White Stripes, and the Misfits.
But we expect no less from a man who drives around in his own custom-designed hearse. Though Duff's sold his "Reserved for Bin Laden" hearse, he's back in action with a pimped-out, disco-diva '78 Cadillac that he'd like you to know took first prize in the modified car category at 2003's Mermaid Parade. Sigh.