Barred: Keens

Matt Furie via Little Wolf

Matt Furie via Little Wolf

When: 6:47pm, Wednesday

Keens’ bar room was filled with the expected after-work scrum, but I’d under-estimated the tourist factor, both seemingly Japanese and of the baggy denim and white tennis shoes persuasion. The primary benefit to so many out-of-towners is that their politeness and hesitancy can work in your favor: assertiveness and lack of respect for strangers’ personal space is practically required to get your $14 Manhattan during peak hours.

The crew of short, shouty men nearest to me included members who were recently married and recently celebrating 40th birthdays. One thought he was “more of a jerk” than when he was younger while another thought he’d mellowed out. “I don’t just jump on anybody for the fuck of it,” he declared, thoughtfully. The merits of Wolfgang’s vs. Empire Steak House were also discussed, but more importantly, Keens ranked highly because there were fewer women present than at other steakhouses.

Of course, there is the reclining nude over the bar, a.k.a Miss Keens, and a bun-less, fry-free burger named for her, yet I still wouldn’t lump Keens into the same category as Los Pollitos III and its gendered cocktails.

Age appropriate? Yes. Dark, woody bars that haven’t been fashioned to look dark in woody in the last five years, are usually safe bets.

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