One of the city’s most beloved neighborhood pubs will soon be returned to the community as a better functioning, more efficient semblance of its former self. Jay McCarthy (owner/operator), Elizabeth Brinkworth (co-owner) and Nick Sinatra (building owner), are in the midst of reopening The Place restaurant on Lexington Avenue. The team is keeping the name, while paying tribute to the establishment’s past by incorporating many of the beloved pub elements, such as dark wood paneling, and the rich wood accents at the bar and back bar.
The changes will go a long way towards making The place more welcoming and comfortable, according to McCarthy. “We need to make a better connection between the side room and the bar room. Everyone wants to be in the bar room, and the side room is divided by the bathrooms. We’re relocating and updating the bathrooms, which will be a major relief for fans of The Place, because they were always a problem. Moving the bathrooms will allow us to have a flow between the two rooms. That’s very important to us, and the upgrade will make the restaurant more enjoyable for the customers. Then we’re going to extend the bar further towards the back. The bar was always crowded, so we’re going to offer more room to eat, drink and socialize.”
Keeping with the tradition of The Place, McCarthy tells me that they will be offering many of the old menu favorites, including the Flynnie Thinnie. At the same time, they will be incorporating some healthier options into the mix. The drinks will revolve around classic cocktails, such as the Manhattan, martini, old fashioned, whiskey sour and Negroni. This will still be a neighborhood watering hole, though updated to accommodate a few more people. The disjointed room off to the side was never fully utilized, making it a dead space. Now there will be more seating for customers, more bar space to belly up to, and updated bathrooms. The will still be a (smaller) banquet space in the back for meetings, private parties, etc.
The entrance to The Place will remain off the driveway. Apparently the front entrance has some code issues. But that’s OK, because for the most part that is the entrance that everyone used anyways.
In the end, those who loved The Place will love it even more. “It’s a connection to the past,” explains McCarthy. “It’s important to us and to the community. So many generations of people (friends and families) have come in though these doors. There is a generational connection. We want to carry that tradition, but we want to make the whole experience better at the same time. We’re trying to make the city a little bit better, by doing our best to bring The Place back to life.”
The Place will reopen sometime between Thanksgiving and the holidays.