02 April 2008

"Chow" Shines Again

As loathe as I am to say anything good about the business that took the place of Second Avenue's late great Chop Suey joint Jade Mountain—as heartbreaking a closure as any this blogger has ever had to face—well, here I go. I'm going to say something good. A couple things, actually.

First and foremost, the bar, called Shoolbred's, has kept Jade Mountain's iconic Chop Suey/Chow Mein sign hanging, and, what's more, kept it lit—at least the half of it that lit during the last days of Jade Mountain's life. Second, Shoolbred's has replaced the great Jade Mountain neon sign with an almost equally great neon sign saying Shoolbred's. Look at it. You've gotta admit, if someone told you that sign was 50 years old, you'd think it was fantastic.

Additionally, the new bar has a weird and wonderful New York provenance. It's co-owned by William Ivey Long, a longtime Broadway costume designer and a true New York eccentric. (Read this profile.) Long collects houses, mainly down in the Carolinas, and many of the antiques in the bar are from his several homes down there. And the name of the place isn't a goof. It's the last name of Long's Scottish grandfather. Not a bad selection of scotch, either.

All that taken into consideration, I have decided not to boycott the place. Just a hunch, but the owners seem like the kind of guys who would have actually appreciated Jade Mountain.


Anonymous said...

To tell you the truth, the food was horrible at Jade Mountain. Greasy, gross, and inedible. I wish I could say different, because I love old Cantonese places.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Most of it was bad, I agree, but if you asked around and ordered carefully, there were some gems on the menu. The bacon-wrapped butterfly shrimp, for example.