Thursday, May 15, 2008

Last Night at Minetta's

Last night at the Minetta Tavern was the last night of the Minetta Tavern.

When the owner thought they would close on May Day, April 30 was their official farewell celebration. I missed that and then the bar's closing kept getting put off. But last night was it. McNally's going to close it until October for renovations and change the longtime Italian menu to French bistro.

I'm sure Matthew Broderick will miss the food. He said in the Post, "There's something really cool about eating in a place like this in the city that has [such an] unusual past. I also love the great Italian food. My favorite dish is the linguini with clams."

my last meal: Tortellaci Minetta

For my last night at Minetta's, I had hoped to find some old regulars, storytellers, characters. But there was no such crowd. No fanfare and no sense of finality, other than the playlist on the sound system, which included a perhaps intentional array of farewell and doomsday songs: Seems Like Old Times, Sentimental Journey, Yesterday, and (maybe a portent of what's to come) Ill Wind, with Ella singing, "Go ill wind, go away. Skies are oh so gray around my neighborhood, and that's no good."

There were no old Minetta stories told around the bar, but one person recalled meeting McNally on a recent visit: "All he's interested in around here is making everything fancy." Let's hope he doesn't touch the murals. Stained sepia by tobacco smoke, they show the Village that was, filled with images of the vanished and the vanishing.

provincetown playhouse: vanishing


Anonymous said...

Keith McNally is the best thing that could happen to the Minetta's space and what would have been better, a fucking bank? a fucking Starbucks?

AHHHH. Just woke up from a nightmare.

So sad. We spent a lot of time here when our best friends lived around the corner. We decided to pass on paying our final respects. Just too pissed.

Anonymous said...

I remember going to Minetta's in the early 80's, when I was a poor student. I actually sold Christmas trees in Chelsea, and then would head to Minetta's for dinner with my sister who lived in the neighborhood. On my last day, flush with money and Christmas spirit, I tipped the great bartender far too much. He yelled at me, saying that I needed the money for school.

I will always love that memory, and the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Wow, just discovered it closed today. Sad to see it so empty, with a forlorn box of old brass coat hooks that had been removed sitting in the front window. Glad I was able to catch a last drink there back in April (a Manhattan, of course!)

Anonymous said...

I have been going to Minetta Tavern for firty years. Love the decor and ambience. I will miss the joint. One can only hope that some of the murals in the back room will be left intact.

Anonymous said...

I do not get to New York tha often, however when I did get there I would always stop at Minetta's. Decor, Food, and Staff were always great! I was disappointed to find out last night that it was closed for renovations. To find out today that the new owner is also changing the menu, to french nonetheless, really is upsetting.

I will always love the restaurant.