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That ‘70s Bar: Lucy’s Garage Basement Reboot

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Rob Catalano, the manager of Lucy’s, at the bar of pennies. The popular Pleasantville music nightspot was reconfigured during the pandemic, transforming it into a place that would be recognizable to anyone who spent their teen years in the 1970s or ‘80s.
By Brian Kluepfel  

Who needs John Taffer’s “Bar Rescue” when you’ve got Rob Catalano? Not Lucy’s of Pleasantville.  

Don’t call it a comeback; call manager Catalano’s new twin vision for the Bedford Road bar The Garage at Lucy’s and The Basement at Lucy’s.  

Catalano tapped into a certain zeitgeist, two crucial household hangouts for pre-cell phone, pre-laptop ‘70s and ’80’s teens – the basement and the garage.  

“To me, this is bringing it back to being a kid again, when we were hanging in our parents’ basements,” Catalano said. “In the ‘60s, they were hosting parties down there, but by the ‘70s and ‘80s we were relegated to these places.”  

As for the garage?

“Well, where do most bands practice growing up?” Catalano asked.  

With that in mind, Lucy’s has been reconfigured into a dual-purpose bar that is half wood-paneled garage band chic, with complete Craftsman toolkits, repurposed road signs, historic license plates and bikes dangling from the wall.  

The other half is basement cool, replete with a quarter-operated jukebox (i.e., Styx, Thin Lizzy, with James Brown and the O’Jays supplementing sounds via Spotify), vintage movie posters with matching horror flicks on a huge screen and a video game loft that is heaven to the Pac-Man generation.  

“The second floor shows off my love of arcade games and nerd culture, ‘Tron and ‘80s movies,” said the forever young bartender, who walks a fine visual line between an impish Eddie Van Halen and Jax from “Sons of Anarchy.”  

The back bar –the centerpiece of The Basement – is topped with 1,000 copper pennies. Slightly more was invested in updating the raised stage band setup in The Garage at Lucy’s for the popular Tuesday Blues jam and the expected weekend musical madness. A simple, yet satisfying burger-centric menu with various tap beers completes the vintage landscape.  

Catalano, a Hawthorne native and a familiar face to the establishment’s patrons over the past 15 years, invested months of pandemic time into this ‘70s saloon reboot, picking and choosing among the detritus of garage sales and flea markets to adorn the walls.

“I became a real picker,” he joked.

Pickers of a different sort still dominate Adam Love’s Monday open mic and Duke Covone’s Tuesday electric jam, while a flurry of original and cover bands rule the weekends. Yet the venue is expanding its reach with other cultural calendar dates.  

On Apr. 3, The Garage at Lucy’s welcomes spring with an Ecstatic Dance celebration – an afternoon gathering where music and spirit take center stage and participants are encouraged to move to a natural high.  

Bartender Mary Sofianos, the mover behind this Sunday afternoon mix, said she started the group because she’s passionate about having space for the community, connection and creative expression.

“Ecstatic Dance events are spiritual experiences where we can move through the physical and emotional aspects of ourselves, where we can let go, have fun and feel supported by each other in a safe, loving and energetic environment,” Sofianos said.

She speaks from experience, having studied art therapy and education at the College of New Rochelle before graduating with honors from Lehman College with a double major in art and dance.  

Sofianos was also a prime influence behind The Basement’s Tuesday night book club, a twilight, sloe-gin salon where patrons can meditate on their favorite book or magazine with a neighbor over a Cosmo or a shot. (Or maybe some absinthe in honor of Hemingway’s Lost Generation?)  

“We began a literary collaboration where people can hang out and read or discuss what they are reading in a relaxed and social environment,” she said.  

When was the last time you plugged a quarter in the jukebox to hear “Come on Eileen” or “Billy Don’t Be a Hero?” You can get all that, along with some ecstatic dancing, rock ‘n’ roll and literary chit-chat at the new and improved Lucy’s. Call it nostalgia in a pint glass.  

Be sure not to miss the Hudson Valley Ecstatic Dance Celebration, on Sunday, Apr. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at The Garage at Lucy’s or the Tuesday Night Book Club, from 5 to 7 p.m., at The Basement at Lucy’s.  

Monday and Tuesday acoustic and electric jams at The Garage at Lucy’s have an 8 p.m. sign-up.  

The Garage at Lucy’s and The Basement at Lucy’s is located at 446 Bedford Rd. in Pleasantville. For more information, call 914-747-4740 or visit on Facebook at

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