Barred: Bar URBO

Synapse Films Synapse Films

When: Tuesday, 6:48pm

Lately I’ve noticed that if you tweet about a Times Square establishment, a nearby business you’ve never heard of will attempt to engage you in conversation. Something called The Three Monkeys wanted to know why I’d called URBO “the weirdo bar.”

Well…because it is weird.

PWeird,“ "crazy,” and “fancy” are all uncreative catchalls I frequently lean on. I can’t help it. In this instance URBO is weird because it’s in my office building where the Señor Frog’s is threatening to open any day. Up a massive spiral staircase that opens into an empty event space and catering kitchen, the second-floor bar is also large, more after-work than touristy, never mobbed, reasonably priced at happy hour, but more than anything the whole URBO complex is weird, enormousness aside, because the lofty, rough hewn-industrial aesthetic paired with Blue Bottle coffee, pork belly, and poached eggs as garnish is still out of place on the corner of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue facing Chevy’s and Dallas BBQ. I believe that within ten years this Brooklyn shorthand will be the norm and that the entire swath of Times Square will be lit by Edison bulbs and filled with communal tables crafted from reclaimed wood.

Recently URBO has added stand-up comedy and “curated open mic” nights. Weird or crazy?

On the substantial walk from the bar to the very nice individual stall, floor-t0-ceiling door, bathrooms (one might say fancy) on the far side of the unused private dining area, “Sausalito” by Ohio Express was tinkling quietly over the speakers. On the subway ride home “Sausalito” by Ohio Express started playing in my earbuds. Definitely weird.

Was I carded? No one underage would even bother.

Age appropriate? Of course. Anything geared toward midtown drones will be to some degree. On this particular evening the bar appeared to be hosting an office party including a very non-young pregnant woman in a maxi dress.

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