Bathroom Beef: Quality Meats vs. Kobe Club

Swipe some tp from Quality Meats (left) and take it across the street to Kobe Club (right).
Swipe some tp from Quality Meats (left) and take it across the street to Kobe Club (right).haha Photo: Daniel Maurer


On limo-lined 58th Street, two nouveau steakhouses face each other in a bizarre game of Spy vs. Spy. The white spy: bright, cheery Quality Meats of the Wollensky empire, designed by the whiz kids at AvroKO. The black spy: Chodorow’s infamous Kobe Club, a noirish trip that resembles a Tarantino stage set. Each has its bag of trick s— QM’s meat-hook chandeliers! KC’s samurai swords!— but the nukes in their arsenals are, of course, the restrooms. After you’ve finished a 64-ounce growler of Quality beer or a $225 bowl of Kobe punch, you’re going to need to use ‘em. So let’s take a look.

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Quality Meats

Theme: Sparkling tiles, mirrored stall doors, and warm filament-bulb lighting vaguely evoke a spa (see also Public).

The lounge: Downstairs, a diorama-like nook done up in flock wallpaper contains two chairs, an old rotary phone, and a Lucite bull’s head.

Amenities: Over a disposal hamper, a shelf holds enough hand towels to dry off a herd of cattle. In the stalls, tp rolls are covered with custom paper.

Drawbacks: The men’s-room door doesn’t close completely, so you can hear screams of “STEAK ME!” from the nearby kitchen. The low-rider toilets are built for circus midgets.

Strategy: Hide out in one of the stalls so you can overhear the usual steakhouse-restroom banter: “Dude, is that hostess smokin’ or what?” “You should totally go for her, bro.”

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Kobe Club

Theme: As Platt put it in his review, “Unisex bathrooms done in what might be described as a neo-seventies Bob Guccione motif.”

The lounge: A narrow hallway where two wood-and-leather chairs with leather pillows flank not a rotary phone but a Zen-type plant tray.

Amenities: Mirrors everywhere; deep sink basins; and coolest of all, a pull chain descending from the ceiling causes the toilet to flush.

Drawbacks: In one of the small WCs, the push-down soap dispenser got a little too excited and squirted all over us — then the faucet didn’t work.

Strategy: Scrawl on the walls: “BRUNI WAS HERE.” We dare you.

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