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On death and dying

January 13, 2014

We’re having a morbid streak here on THEG (and no, Marty, Anonymous Guy isn’t dead, and if he were, which he’s not, I didn’t kill him; I swear). But I don’t make the news, I just report it.

First, they are closing Milady’s. That’s right, another one’s gone. For those of you who don’t know it, Milady’s is (was) a great local bar in SoHo that has stubbornly remained the same (cheap, working class, mildly menacing — I recently made the mistake of walking in there in a suit and tie) through the gentrification and then Prada-ization of the neighborhood. On the one hand, it’s amazing that it lasted this long. So I come here to praise Milady’s, as well as to bury it. Jeremiah links to this intriguing writeup from Bryan Miller in the Times circa 1992:

Milady’s, at the corner of Prince and Thompson Streets in SoHo, is rather nondescript from the outside. Inside, though, about 6 P.M. on Fridays, it becomes a raucous after-work clubhouse. The spacious room has rec-room paneling, sound tile, red-and-white-checked tablecloths, Connie Francis on the jukebox and a big color television mounted overhead.

Frank Genovese, the 35-year-old owner, grew up a few blocks from the bar, and later worked there before buying it 10 years ago. “I thought of making this place much fancier than it is,” Mr. Genovese says. “But then in my experience the chi-chi places make a lot of money for a very short time — but then?” He says his bar is having its best year in memory. Milady’s is primarily a neighborhood bar, although periodically celebrities like Madonna (“She comes with two huge people and has a club soda at the bar”) and Sylvester Stallone drop in for fresh homemade ravioli or the house favorite, a charred chicken salad with five types of greens and a mustardy vinaigrette.


Edit: In my haste to post this, I neglected to note that Milady’s was bar 297 in Marty’s epic NYC bar crawl. You should go over there and read all about Marty’s visit way back in 2010, but here’s a taste:

Marty Wombacher at Milady’s

The second morbid item of the day is to note the passing of Judy Protas at the ripe old age of 91. Who is Judy Protas, you ask? Well, she’s the writer who came up with the ridiculously brilliant “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s” advertising campaign. Talk about leaving your mark. Rest in peace, Ms. Protas. I hope there’s lots of rye bread wherever you are.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 13, 2014 11:33 am

    Good news about Anonymous Guy, although I won’t truly believe he’s still alive until I see a post here! Terrible news about Milady’s, a great bar, I’m glad I had a chance to document it and thanks for the shoutout! RIP to Judy Protas, a true Catcher in the Rye!

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