When you’re a high-powered Manhattan macher, you can’t be bothered to walk around the block: You need backdoor shortcuts along the lines of Henry Hill’s Copacabana entrance in Goodfellas. That seems to be the feeling of management at Brasserie 44, at the Royalton, whose 44th Street entrance is inconveniently a block away from their biggest customers in the media and fashion business. Owner John McDonald explains, “We have such a large client base in the media and fashion biz (conde nast, hearst, nytimes, grace building i.e. Michael Kors, Tahari, and more) that as a special VIP service they no longer have to do the long walk around the block and back through the lobby. We have stationed a door person who is at the back door from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. who greets and allows you direct access to 44.” So pay no attention to that plaque next to the door. Just say you’re here for lunch and Johnny Mack sent you.
Unless, of course, you’re a big shot.