Sunday, January 29, 2006

So Long to Barrymore's

Barrymore's closed its doors this past evening, one more remembrance of what Times Square used to be. A handwritten sign taped to the door - "Kitchen closed" - and the people quietly sitting at the bar or at tables having a drink or two marked its last day. You could sit and have a drink at the bar or order a burger or salad in its cavern like space. Ted and Steve, two waiters, would pull up a chair and chat. At the next table might be a stagehand or two, or even Chita Rivera, George Hearn, Karen Ziemba or other Broadway regulars relaxing and unwinding. It was unpretentious, if you had an attitude it was best to leave it at home, and you could strike up a conversation with the people at the table next to you.

In its place, we've heard, is a hotel. The regulars will find another place to go and tourists will pay top price to say they've stayed in New York. And we'll walk past 45th Street and see the ghost of Barrymore's, just like walking down 42nd Street and you can hear the ghosts of the Times Square Gym.

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