Boys’ Night Out

harlem-tavernMy 12-year-old son and I have a place. It’s called the Harlem Tavern. It’s a very big sports bar and restaurant, the largest chunk of which is covered by a removable tarp so it has an indoor-outdoor feel. We love the bar grub, the many screens of sports, and the many colors and ethnicities and ages of people that the place attracts. This Saturday night Adam and I were on our own, and he wanted to go and I wanted to stay home and maybe, dare I admit it, sneak in some work.

He won.

And this was all he had to say.

“Come on, dad. It’ll be awesome. A father and son night out, doing our thing.”

I was glad to know we had a thing.

So I agreed.

And you know what? He was right.

We hadn’t been there since the summer and it was good to be back, and good to be out with him.

Other than an overlong discussion of what appetizers to order, he even agreed to then order in tandem, sharing wings, an Asian chicken salad, and a cheese burger.

I guess food is part of our thing.

Eric Messinger is the editor of  New York Family. He can be reached at