Let’s get one thing straight. No one is going to your establishment just because you have a cool bathroom – you have to come correct with the food, drinks and service to get my business. However, ambiance plays a big role in where we choose to go, and in New York’s competitive restaurant and bar scene, you have to get creative to stand out. Restrooms are a great place to show your personality and creativity and keep your restaurant theme alive, and these are my favorites:
1)Smith & Mills, Tribeca
This itsy-bitsy restaurant/lounge is known for great Dark & Stormy’s and a steampunk themed place to expel them from your body.
The “Iron Chef” has created a sleek and spaceship-like atmosphere that extends into the restroom facilities, with seat warmers, a control panel complete with a bidet and 3D graphic walls.
3)Beauty & Essex, Lower East Side
Chris Santos’ trendy speakeasy has a bathroom with it all: lighted mirrors, candlelight, music, couches to lounge on and free champagne. Come for the tapas, stay for the commode.
4)Raines Law Room, Flatiron
Marked only by a small sign and doorbell, this speakeasy takes the prohibition theme into the loo that’s artfully decorated with beautiful mirrors and furniture and OMG what is that on the wallpaper…
5)The Way Station, Crown Heights Brooklyn
Dr. Who fans MUST make their way to Crown Heights for some cheap drinks, Dr. Who artwork on the walls and a real TARDIS bathroom.
6)Local 138, Lower East Side
There is something to be said for the days of grimy New York, where Times Square was dangerous and the subways were decorated in graffiti. This dive bar is keeping that era alive, and then some. There’s plenty of good advice to be had on those walls!
7)Doughnut Plant, Chelsea
No one needs a reason to go get a treat at Doughnut Plant, but the free wifi, donut garden wall and disco-themed restroom is definitely enough to persuade me to stop by after Fly Wheel.
The spicy feta spread abnd lamb kebab is so good that it will drag me to this dull part of the city. The high ceilings, wall murals, vibrant bar and stellar Mediterranean-themed unisex bathrooms make it equally enjoyable.
As I conclude, let’s have a moment of silence for the bathroom stars we’ve lost along the way: Sea Thai, Bar 89 and Peep…
Anyways, enjoy your bathroom tour! Did I miss any? Let me know or throw a pic on the ‘gram with the hashtag