Like many shut-ins, we had not noticed that the Minetta Tavern had been transformed into a hip boite until Jeremiah of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, who still gets around a little, informed us of it. The new Minetta serves a “cote de boeuf… a sublime hunk of glorious meat that you dream about hours later,” per the Times, and other expensive items.
This has gained the place its first Michelin star and a crowded reservations list. Jeremiah finally managed to get a seat at the bar — stuck next to two women engaged in “a gruelingly detailed conversation about the properly made Pimm’s Cup” — and noticed that though the restoration had preserved many original fixtures, it has removed the ancient portrait of Joe Gould, the famous autodidact and fraud, subject of Joseph Mitchell’s writing, and habitue of the Minetta.
Jeremiah wonders: had new owner Keith McNally “loved the painting so much he wanted to keep it at home? Or did he decide that a tobacco-stained portrait of a homeless madman poet was not fitting for the delicate sensibilities of the Minetta’s new clientele?”
More moans and groans from old farts here.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 20, 2009