15 February 2007

Marion the Contrarian

After seeing on Eater.com that Marion's Continental, the swanky old place on the Bowery, was on the block, I decided to swing by the joint, just in case it up and closed on me with no notice.

It was open and serving customers that cold night. A few brave patrons lent the environs some life. I surveyed the cocktail list—which leans much to heavily toward vodka for a place that first opened in 1950, when vodka was an obscure Russian spirit that nobody of culture drank—and ordered a Negroni, a cocktail that was invented in 1920 in Florence at the Bar Casoni. Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth. (Though the option of vodka was offered by Marion's. The dame does like her vodka.)

Drink in hand, I surveyed the wall of framed momentos of Marion's founder Marion Nagy's glory days as a model and quasi-celebrity. Most intriguing was a shot of Nagy, Judy Garland and Lana Turner following some charity event or other at which $150,000 was raised. So Judy and Lana were there, once upon a time.

As for Marion's imminent closure, the bartender said "That's not true." I took it with a grain of salt. He was only the bartender, and it's not as if owners don't sometimes lie to their staff. If would be a shame to see it go, though. The Negroni was great.

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