The new ground floor bar at the old Times Square steakhouse Frankie & Johnnie's is officially open. It opened last Thursday.
My hopes that the bar—which replaced the classic, hidden, upstairs bar—would be kinda cool have been dashed. The decor is as run of the mill as possible. Brick wall, small wooden bar with the usual liquors, usual stools, TV always on, even a friggin' metal coatrack in the bar. And it doesn't greet the street the way I thought it could. The doors are half open, and the staff of three bored young slavic women just watch Beyonce on the TV all the time. There's no buzz, no life.
Also, people now pass through the bar to get up to the restaurant, as the small bar space is connected to the skinny old stairwell that leads to the second floor. So the neat, secret, speakeasy feeling of entering through that narrow doorway is gone.
One additional note: you might want to watch your money here. I was told that all the drafts (except one) were all $6. Then I was charged $7. And when I gave the woman a $20, she gave me change back for a $10. Call me cynical, but I think she knew what she was doing. (Just having no luck in bars this week.)