After 81 years, the famous New York establishment 21 Club is finally getting a few bar stools. Glenn Collins at The New York Times reports on some new developments at 21 which include a new bar in the lounge, complete with places to sit and drink.
â€œThe bar was for drinking, not for resting,â€ said a customer of 36 years, Thomas Moran, the chief executive of Mutual of America.
In the era of the three-martini lunch, the standing elbow-benders were three-deep at the bar, nearly as much a part of theÂ lore of â€œ21â€ as its checked tablecloths and the ceiling dangling with dozens of toy airplanes, patronsâ€™ sports memorabilia and other curios (they are dusted twice a month).Â â€œIâ€™ve served many people who ate a whole meal standing up,â€ said Tara Wright, a bartender there for the last six years. The tradition was â€œthat youâ€™d made it when you could stand at the bar,â€ she said. â€œYouâ€™d arrived.â€
â€œThe traditionalistsâ€™ rejection of change has been diminished by the whole series of shocks at â€˜21,â€™Â â€ said Alan Flusser, the menâ€™s-wear designer in Manhattan, a customer since the 1960s. â€œSo, the bar stools? The beer on tap? These are just little aftershocks, now.â€
â€œCurmudgeons may regret all this,â€ Mr. Moran said of the bar, â€œbecause itâ€™s the nature of â€˜21â€™ â€” we all feel as if we own it, and its traditions.â€
While you can now sit tie-less and have a cocktail or even a draft beer (gasp), don’t even think about trying to do it wearing jeans or sneakers.