Just about in the middle of Main Street in Beacon there’s a bar. But this is not just any sort of run of the mill watering hole. You’ll find no large screen televisions broadcasting the game, or expensive jukeboxes full of pedantic top forty hits. No, this is Quinn’s. Narrowly tucked in between a couple nondescript brick and mortar businesses, it announces its presence by the large vintage sign that lends the place its name.DSC02454 Locals can remember when the place was a run-down restaurant, and when they step inside and allow their eyes to adjust to the dimly lit gloom they find that the interior looks very much the same as it did in their childhoods. The early 1970s dark wood grain paneling, and sepia toned wall paper imprinted with repeating patterns of Canada Geese in flight remind one of some basement rec-room that missed out on its chance at a modern remodel a long time ago, persisting long enough that it now becomes a sort of affront to aesthetic sensibilities to renovate. The front half of the place is dominated by the bar stocked with a rotating selection of local, and craft beers, top shelf spirits, and sake. As you make your way towards the back you quickly come upon a small partitioned off kitchen leaning out into the common area like a fat man in a hallway, the glaring brightness of the work space beaming out of the narrow serving window where dishes of Japanese style street food and Ramen are handed off to the few servers working the tables. A gate of wooden balusters welcomes you into the main dining area, where modest groups of high backed bench seats preside over a few laminated top tables lit by stained glass Tiffany knock off lamps hanging low from the darkness above. It can get mighty crowded back there on a busy night, with patrons standing beside their companions in animated discussions blocking the way towards the restrooms at the rear. All of this would work to promote the place as a destination of note on its own, but what really makes Quinn’s special are the frequent, almost nightly musical acts, which have been invariably of the highest quality. The folks there who work to book these acts routinely get excellent musicians to set up shop on the rough hewn plywood stage up by the front door. The styles presented range the gamut from Jazz to folk to Avant Garde experimental electronic music to Black Metal, and more. You can pretty much count on the act playing there any night to be well worth the five dollar donation once the wood box is passed around. So, if you find yourself on Beacon’s Main Street at night, be sure to drop in to Quinn’s and taste a little of their magic for yourself.

Toby Dunne and his wife drinking at Quinn’s. Photo by Justin Grimbol.

One thought on “QUINN’S— BEACON, NY—By Toby Dunne

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