The Playgoer: McHales' Last Call?

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

McHales' Last Call?

McHale's bar, one of the last refuges of real life in the synthetic new Times square theatre district/theme park, is now really, really forced to close, apparently. (Read the sad details here) Indeed, with the decline of the old Howard Johnson's last year, the old Times Sq really is gone. And there are no more modest fun places to hang out pre- or after-theatre that are not exorbitantly expensive or make you wait 45 minutes for a table. McHale's was a true "enclave" and, like the HoJo, actually had some "real people" (i.e. non-tourist, non-theatre folk) as customers.

So raise a final glass. And watch the remains of an authentic theatre culture chipped away a little more each day...

2 comments:

John Branch said...

I haven't read the linked story, but Playgoer's report saddens me. I think there are two, related problems with the area McHale's is in. One is that the Times Square district is being glossed up; the other is the influence of Broadway theaters with their exorbitant prices, which inspires bars and restaurants to try to cash in.

Fortunately, theater in New York isn't limited to Broadway, nor are theater bars here limited to the Broadway region.

Chris Capp said...

Very sad news. I am a native New Yorker currently living in L.A. I spent many a post-show night at McHale's. It was always the fallback place to hang out after seeing or doing a show.

Great blog!

- Chris