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Major Food Group Unleashes an Over-the-Top Tiki Bar in Midtown West Next Week

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The Polynesian will have large format drinks and a balcony

Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone, and Jeff Zalaznick at Carbone in Greenwich Village
Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone, and Jeff Zalaznick at Carbone in Greenwich Village
Daniel Krieger

Major Food Group — the love-em-or-hate-em restaurant crew behind The Grill — will open its outrageous new Midtown West tiki bar next week, a Polynesian island-inspired spot with a balcony called The Polynesian.

The bar on the third floor of the new Times Square Pod Hotel, at 400 West 42nd St. near Ninth Avenue, embraces colorful cocktails and large-format drinks, including one in a fish bowl and one in a huge clamshell with dry ice, according to the Times. The drink menu here comes from Brian Miller, a ZZ’s Clam Bar alum and co-owner in the Polynesian who’s played a role in making tiki bars so popular.

Besides over-the-top beverages, the mural-bedecked space will also have a large balcony overlooking Midtown, fitting a total of 200 people inside and out. Food will include snacks like crab rangoon. “My idea was Trader Vic’s meets ‘Mad Men’ meets ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’” Miller tells the Times.

MFG also plans to open a location of Parm in the hotel on the ground floor. The Polynesian is the first tiki bar for the restaurant group, though ZZ’s Clam Bar has served tiki-esque drinks in the past. As with many MFG projects, the players are talking a big game here, with Miller telling the Times that “New York’s been waiting for it. And honestly, I feel like people have been waiting for me to do it.”

Whether or not it becomes “the best tiki bar in the world” as MFG’s Jeff Zalaznick says he wants, at the very least the Polynesian will be one of the more ambitious bars to open near Port Authority and Times Square, an area with more tourist traps than anything else. Stay tuned for more.

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