Phil Suarez Likens Monkey Bar to King Cole Bar

Photo: Robert K. Chin

Phil Suarez likes what fellow restaurant entrepreneur Graydon Carter has done with the new Monkey Bar. “We were at the Monkey Bar last night, and it was quite nice,” he told us last night at the Vanity Fair Tribeca Film Festival dinner. “I really think he’s done a heck of a job. I mean, it doesn’t pretend to be anything else than what it is, and, you know, it’s just a fun place.” Architect Richard Meier opined that spatially, he doesn’t think the new spot is as nice as the Waverly Inn, where he dines often because his daughter lives next door. The two spaces, Meier acknowledged, are very different. “Totally different,” Suarez agreed. “One is warmer, and the other one is more thematic. And it is what it is; it’s historic. It’s like going to the King Cole Room.” So what would Meier have done with the Monkey Bar interior? “If I could do the Monkey Bar,” he considered, “oh, it wouldn’t look that way!”