On the main drag of Staten Island’s Forest Ave, the Drunken Monkey is much like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. Basically between regulars, reality stars and fans, you never know what you are going to get. Outside it looks like a typical neighborhood hangout at the end of a little strip mall with a bright red awning. Inside however, the decor is what I would describe as posh Gothic with just the right touch of kitsch. The lights are very dim allowing the myriad of hanging lanterns to cast their glow against a ceiling of decorative plated tiles. The bar is a tasteful concoction of granite, mirrors and glass with flat screens perched nice and high to watch VH1’s reality hits! The walls have murals of friendly looking monkeys in various attire and situations. We marveled at how many there were. There is a stage at the back of the space with a large flat screen. This stage is used for events such as comedy night and Big Ang show viewings, with audio. It is clear that the interior was designed with a very keen eye and attention to detail. Even the “potty” as I told Angela herself, is that of one you would find in a nice upscale home and not a bar. The service was very friendly and attentive to the needs of the crowd. Like I stated before the crowd is the box of chocolates. Though Big Ang is there quite often (last night she was there after a 13 hour drive back from an appearance in North Carolina), you are best to check that she will be in attendance if you will be traveling a distance like I was. If you do run into her, you will find she is friendly, approachable and more than happy to chat and take a picture. If you are a Mobwives or Big Ang fan, or just looking for a taste of Staten Island, the Monkey is your best bet. Drinks are reasonably priced and decently sized. There is a small door charge so be sure to hit the ATM before you go, and if you forget, there’s one inside. You really never know who you will run into at The Drunken Monkey.
(1205 Forest Avenue, Staten Island, NY 718-273-2267)