When: Thursday, 7:33pm
What I drank: Gin and tonic (brand unknown), Maker’s Mark on the rocks ($8 apiece)
With its peeling linoleum, bordello red glow and jaunty exterior neon, Subway Inn gives off a whiff of crusty old man hang, though that has never been the actual case on my early evening visits where it feels more like I’ve walked in on someone’s party. Or rather, clumps of parties, all made up of youthful mixed-gender groups with a lack of overtly unifying characteristics that would imply coworkers. This extends to the jukebox, which in the course of 30 minutes could play Justin Timberlake and Jay Z, initially unidentifiable metal (Memphis May Fire, thanks to Shazam) and unidentifiable-even-to-Shazam contemporary country. And the solo drinking men–too young to be so gruff and too early to be so sloshed–are twitchy about encroachment of their space at the bar.
I am not looking to make friends anyway (and after a few drinks kinship begins to simmer). Subway Inn serves as my pre-game option on the rare occasions when I dine in the E. 60s, the land of solid double-digit cocktails. Soon enough this dying breed may be snuffed out altogether–or who knows, repurposed by John DeLucie.
Was I carded? No, I only noticed the bouncer on his doorway stool as I was leaving.
Age appropriate? There’s nothing about the atmosphere that is specifically repellant to grown women who don’t mind a little dust and dishevelment, though in my limited experience I have not encountered them. Based on comments I’ve read, this is because ladies be shopping at Bloomingdales and Subway Inn is the refuge for sad and miserable husbands and boyfriends.