Apparently, simplicity doesn't work anymore ... simple names, simple concepts... In the Times last week, Frank Bruni noted the three owners of the new Blind Barber on East 10th Street:
"This troika of tricksters is determined to get your attention. That’s no easy feat in the crowded downtown drinkscape, where the competition comes armed with secret entrances, hidden alleys, pharmaceutical paraphernalia, taxidermy. What’s left? A bar with barbers, it turns out."
Given the economics, I suppose you can no longer open a bar called Jim's where people could come and drink and have conversations and be profitable.
No, wait. I suppose you can no longer open a bar called Jim's where people who live in the neighborhood could come and drink and have conversations and be profitable.
So let's take a look at some of the new bars (and restaurants) that just opened or are opening very soon in the neighborhood:
1) The 13th Step
The team behind Down the Hatch is opening the 13th Step at the former Telephone Bar on Second Avenue. I posted this back in February.
The term the 13th Step means: This term is used as a euphemism for inappropriate sexual advances by a member to a newcomer in AA (such as sponsors toward sponsees).
In a post on the new 13th Step sign last week... some readers here weighed in...:
13th step. What the fuck is that, now we're gonna get all quaint and cutesy and ironic about alcoholism? Gawd sometimes I really hate people and their "creative ideas".
Pretty soon we will have more bars with ridiculous flippant alcohol problem-referencing names like "The Drunk Tank", "Drunk and Disorderly's", "Alcohol Poisoning", "The Binge", "DUI"... possibilites are endless.
Theres's a new upscale winery coming to Stanton in the Bowery... at the former annex for the SRO Sunshine Hotel. So. The new owners tastefully decided to name this place... SRO... This name annoyed the CB3/SLA committee last Monday night, as Eater noted. (Read BoweryBoogie's coverage of this place here.)
As Jeremiah wrote about SRO: "another unfortunate appropriation of poverty-related language by caterers to the affluent. Hey, why not call it Flophouse? Or Soup Kitchen? Or Skid Row? Wouldn't that be hip? How about Scabies?"
3) The Ninth Ward
As Fork in the Road reported, the owners of Shoolbred's are taking over the former Thai on Two space on Second Avenue. Per the Fork:
"The new place will have an 1890s' New Orleans feel, with absinthe drips and classic cocktails, much like Laffite's or the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street. Some food — most likely, Cajun standards — will be served."
Fine, but... When I heard that name, I recalled my trip to New Orleans in the fall of 2006 — nearly 14 months after Hurricane Katrina wiped out portions of the city. A friend, who was born and raised in New Orleans, took me for a tour of the devastation in various parts of the city, including the Lower Ninth Ward. Houses had been knocked off foundations. Not much remained except some muck — layers of canal water, sewage and dirt — and mold. Doesn't make me feel like a cocktail.
On Friday afternoon, Fork in the Road noted Louisiana-transplant and writer Cajun Boy's reaction via Twitter:
A New Orleans-themed bar in NYC called Ninth Ward has opened. Maybe I'll open a NYC-themed bar in New Orleans and call it World Trade Center
4) Billy Hurricane's
In the former Rehab/Midway space (and Save the Robots) space at 25 Avenue B, an upstairs/downstairs combo is opening soon. Grub Street reported in April that the owners will open the "Bourbon. Beer. Rock'–themed Idle Hands in the basement space while upstairs a group with ties to Thunder Jackson’s and Point Break will open Billy Hurricanes, a Mardi Gras–themed bar trafficking in frozen daiquiris, Cajun food, and a signature drink that will be limited to two per person."
Billy's has a blog. The first post notes:
Once we get the kitchen finalized, among other things... we will be ready to rock!
Watch out for our opening night party... will be off the hook!
Please welcome us to the neighborhood.
Are you ready to rock!?
DNAinfo had a follow-up on Billy's/Idle Hands a few weeks back. Per Patrick Hedlund's story:
But even though its door have yet to open, the space has already been forced to contend with negative criticisms that have cast the bar as a theme-park-style venue that will attract rowdy crowds to the residential area..
"There's always going to be somebody who doesn't like it and doesn't want you there," said co-owner Rob Morton, 37 ...
Morton responded to the snipes by saying his group is simply following a long list of glitzier nightlife establishments that have flocked to the formerly gritty area.
"You can't yearn for a neighborhood that was," he said
Or can you?