Wednesday, December 20, 2017



I never went to Vynl, but it's been around for 23 years, it's a gay place, and people will miss it.

Vynl was part of a restaurant mini empire by John Dempsey.

No reason for the closure is given on the goodbye note. They only say the place is "retiring."

It will close this Saturday.

Thanks to Ben for the tip


Scout said...

You could offer more detail - yes, Vynl has been around for ages, but in four different locations. It was originally at 54 and 9 (where El Centro now is), then moved a few blocks down to a much larger space (where Hell's Kitchen now sits), then downsized to its present spot. They had a branch down in Chelsea briefly. They seemed to have an ongoing problem with maintaining scale and consistency. I remember periods when the food was suddenly inedible for a few weeks, then they would bounce back.

We always used it as a "go to," somewhere perfectly fine for everyday, or to order take-out. And the bathrooms, themed for various pop stars and decorated with mosaics and kitsch, were always fun. I'll remember it fondly. But there are other spots just as good that will survive, and new spots will always be popping up. No restaurant lasts forever in New York. And that's OK.

tsokolove said...

You should check it out before it closes. I think you would really like it. It's one of the few places in the city that retained a little eccentricity, albeit around pop culture. It's been through too many changes and iterations to be anything like the original one. Never-mind the one that was in Chelsea, as that never had the character that the one in Hell's Kitchen has/had. If anything, go for the Michael Jackson bathroom.

Unknown said...

When I lived on W. 52nd St., I went there many times, at all 3 Hells Kitchen locations. I was lucky enough never to find it inedible or even bad. As @Scout implied, it was simple but interesting food, usually well prepared and a good deal for the money. A little loud in the evening. as you'd expect from a young crowd. I didn't like their last (corner) location. Too boxy, crowded and noisy.

In addition to the themed bathrooms, the menus were all inside old LP album covers, usually of rock bands. One time, they brought me the menu in an album cover for a group I didn't like. I asked them for a different menu. It was kind of a joke but they took it well.

Scout said...

It was already closed last night, so... Saturday was a generous estimate.

Unknown said...

I discovered this place while walking home from the cheap movies at Worldwide Cinemas around '95 or so, and liked the unusual, reasonably-priced food & weird, fun decor. After they moved a few times, they kept changing the menu: there was a watermelon-juice-type cocktail that we liked, then we went back again and THAT was gone (even the waiter seemed disappointed when we asked for it). Then the music got louder & it wasn't as fun; I wonder if changes in owners/management had something to do with it. Well, at least Island Burgers & Shakes is still there.

Roberta Lasky said...

Moved to the EV