Is Graydon Carter's Monkey Bar not the power dining spot it was once destined to be? Last November, the once exclusive, impossible to get into Midtown haunt launched a resy line. Then came the Facebook page, the website. Just yesterday, in Steve Cuozzo Post column (entitled "The party's over") the critic wrote of easy civilian entry and wide open primo resys.
Add this to the pile: Earlier this year, Monkey Bar suspended lunch service in the dining room. A potential go-to power lunch spot now serves its steak tartare and warm lobster salad in the 50-seat bar area.
A PR person for Monkey Bar called up to explain, "We wanted to speed up the service and create a more casual atmosphere for lunch. And Graydon reconceptualized the bar, using red and white tablecloths to be more of a New York joint than a formal dining room." Not only has it been successful, he says, it has completely revamped the lunch business. "It's really the first entree in New York in a long time for a power lunch spot that can compare to Micheal's." (And judging from those tablecloths, they're evoking a little '21' Club too.)
That's all well and good, but as observer writes to us, "When the editor of Vanity Fair can't draw a decent lunch crowd in the midst of the city's prime social/corporate lunching ground, it suggests, at a minimum, that things did not go precisely as planned."
But kudos to them for adapting. Oh, and also PR adds that Michael Douglas and Tina Brown have been in lately.
Update: Another word from PR: "It's important to point out that, contrary to Steve Cuozzo's insinuation that Monkey Bar is less busy than it was last year, the dinner numbers at Monkey Bar are up in May 2010 14% over 2009 and up 9% in June 2010 over 2009. Lunch hasn't been downsized, it's doing wonderfully well and the restaurant is doing better business than ever."
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