Restroom Report

Fun in P.J. Clarke’s Bathroom

We could stand here all day!
We could stand here all day!haha Photo: Daniel Maurer

Some things are sacred, and old-fashioned urinals are one of them. Unfortunately, outside of ones that are imported from France, the pickings are slim: You have the ones at Old Town Bar, McSorley’s, and Foley’s (the latter were lifted from the Waldorf-Astoria), but are you really going to eat at those places? When we want a nibble and a dribble, we go for a burger at one of Nat King Cole’s favorite spots, P.J. Clarke’s.

Concept: Confessional. Across from the bar, a rectangular enclosure is capped by a dome of stained glass.
Privacy: The saloon-style stall doors don’t lock or even close fully, and there’s a pencil-size peephole in the men’s-room stall divider. (Hey, the Ramones did say 53rd and Third was gigolo central.)
Amenities: The six-and-a-half-foot porcelain urinals, of course. Other P.J. Clarke’s locations boast $8,000 reproductions, but these are the originals. Frank Sinatra once said you could stand then-mayor Abe Beame up in one of them. And no one had that idea during Giuliani time?
Drawbacks: Because of flooding, ice is no longer kept at the bottom of the urinals. Sacrilege!
Strategy: Women weren’t allowed in here until the sixties, and it’s still a bit of a testosterzone. Ladies, take a stand by marching into the men’s room and using the urinal. You’ll want one of these.

Rating: 4 stars


Fun in P.J. Clarke’s Bathroom