Restroom Report

Revisiting the Hallowed Stalls at Bar 89

Now you see into them, now you don't see out.
Now you see into them, now you don’t see out.haha Photo: Daniel Maurer

Unless you’ve blocked out your raver phase, you probably remember Fun, the club where video feeds allowed the boys to spy on the girls’ room and vice versa. Those were the days when a restroom that makes you go “(p)oo-la-la!” could make or break a nightspot, and the most celebrated holdover from that era is Bar 89, a.k.a. “that place in Soho with the cool bathrooms.” Obviously, we don’t go there much and we’re guessing you don’t either, since the once novel aspects of the place’s décor have been dampened by almost a decade of beer funk. So how exactly have the restrooms held up?

Concept:In the spacious, mirror-lined upstairs restroom lounge, translucent glass doors resemble entrances to cryogenic freezers. Seconds after you open and close the door, it fogs up and the word “occupied” projects onto it.

Privacy: Paranoia over the windows unfogging is so late-nineties. Hook the latch and you’re fine.

Amenities: Ceiling speakers; red or purple lightboxes that make you feel like you’re at Hollywood Tans.

Drawbacks: Harsh chemical soap. The stand-alone steel sink might’ve looked sleek at one point, but now that the floors are grimy, it smacks of the facilities on a Greyhound bus.

Strategy: The challenge here is to drop trou in the second or two before the doors fog up. Before heading upstairs, slip your belt off at the table for the quickest possible draw.

Rating: 2 stars


Revisiting the Hallowed Stalls at Bar 89