21 April 2006

McHale's Lives!—Sort Of

News about McHale's, the classic Theatre District haunt whose death instigated the creation of this blog!

No, it's not reopening. No, there is no current hope in hell that it will reopen in the near future. But, if you're game, you can now close your eyes and pretend you're eating one of McHale's classic two-ton hamburgers.

McHale's old fry-cook, a man by the name of Italo, who was responsible for those fine burgers—one of the main drawing points at the old 46th-and-Eighth joint—was adopted by a restaurant directly across the Avenue called, rather nauseatingly, Le Rendezvous. The place is trumpeting their new acquisition on the back page of the menu, which begins with a maudlin paragraph about how the demise of McHale's was a blow to the entire community. (True, but you don't have to get all syrupy about it.) It then goes on to list the same great line-up of all-beef patties and same cheap prices that were once found across the street. Otherwise, the bill of fare is mainly made up various Middle-Eastern dishes.

Now, Le Rendezvous is no McHale's. The décor is Modern Trendy Anonymous. The music is obnoxious and the hostess in a chilly Eastern European import who seems none too impressed with the Empire City or the might of the American Capitalist Machine. But, if you want to honor the memory of McHale's, or at least comfort yourself that the place hasn't entirely disappeared without a trace, a meal here might be in order.

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