Is it named after the band or Ron Loewinsohn’s 1983 novel with that squirrelly parenthetical S? It’s the former, we hear, dampening the possible dark-psyche stuff implied by the latter (in a word: subversion). Fear of more than a handful of hipsters was high. Turns out MF’s not like that, but we had good reason to think so, having heard accounts of Wild West crossed with UFO decor. Well, they sort of change the theme each year. The covered-wagon-pioneer motif behind the bar’s been replaced by (heart-stoppingly chilling) b&w sci-fi film stills—inspiring scenes of damsels gripped by big green (a guess) monsters with lolling tongues. The slick crème-cool vinyl booths still sport cowgirl-comics-shaded lamps, but would we really want to lose them for consistency’s sake? There’s a lot of red: Red-globed fixtures hang above the bar itself. There’s a red glow somewhere around the liquor architraves. There’s a red curtain (“That gum you like is going to come back in style”) on a raised platform with a pool table, a mirror ball, and on Saturdays, bands, as well as a live karaoke rock outfit that plays backup on the first Thursday of every month. No more jukebox. Despite its pumped selection, it wanted play, then broke, and wasn’t fixed, according to a bartender. Instead we do hear non-painful indie rock and debate trying the underused photo booth that replaced said jukebox. Happy hour boasts $3 pints and well drinks till 8 p.m. daily (all night Tuesday). Plus there’re 14 beers on tap, including Smithwick’s, Magic Hat #9, Boddington’s ($4.50 to $5), and get this: Robot Beer ($3), a pale lager “made by robots”!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 21, 2004