Winnie’s Karaoke Bar Reopens in Chinatown


For three many years, Winnie’s, an old-school dive and raucous karaoke bar, lured Chinatown residents and trendy guests for boozy singalongs in the shadow of the Tombs (in any other case often called the Manhattan Detention Complex). When it shut in 2015, it turned one other casualty of a gilded metropolis. But an unlikely resurrection occurred on Valentine’s Day this yr, when Winnie’s was reborn on East Broadway.

On a chilly Friday night time in March, Teddy Mui, the supervisor and 40-year-old son of Winnie Mui, the proprietor, appeared as if he had returned from a prolonged keep on a desert island.

“They’re not even calling it Chinatown — it’s Two Bridges,” he mentioned of neighborhood newcomers. “At the old Winnie’s, our first crowd was Chinese gangsters.” As he reminisced, lyrics from a Journey music lit up the karaoke display: “Strangers waiting / Up and down the boulevard.”

Winnie’s is lodged above one in all Chinatown’s busiest stretches, threaded up a staircase inside a knot of cellphone restore retailers and jewellery emporiums. The rectangular room has ambiguously underdesigned décor. The darkish wooden bar is embellished with a ZZ plant and a framed photograph of Ms. Mui with Bill Clinton; a small stage and pink cubicles conjure the spirit of its first location.

“It has an underground vibe — the irony is that it’s upstairs,” mentioned Stephanie, a 30-something girl who declined to offer her final identify as a result of she works “for the city.” Earlier, she had mangled a rendition of “Blank Space,” by Taylor Swift. “I’m not proud of it,” she mentioned.

By midnight, the bar was fleshed out with older Chinatown residents and youthful karaoke fanatics. There had been Converse Chucks and drapey, silken blouses.

Someone cracked open a aromatic carton of takeout dumplings. Two girls carried out “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra, and Ms. Mui floated in, resplendent in a plum blazer. “There are old friends and new friends,” she mentioned. “I’m very happy. Are you going to sing?”

The erstwhile laserdiscs aren’t precisely gone; they’ve been repurposed in a number of chandeliers that resemble opaque, inverted lemon juicers. Digitized karaoke choices veer poppy and nostalgic: Bowie, Madonna, Paul McCartney. “We can have it up a little louder,” Mr. Mui mentioned, of the brand new location.

21 and over, no cowl.

Miller High Life is $5, and small bottles of sake are $6. Winnie’s Dragon Punch, a fruity and liquor-masking mix, is $10. There are plans to serve meals. For now, a bucket of pork rinds awaits behind the bar.

Winnie’s Bar, 58 East Broadway, 2nd flooring (between Catherine and Market Streets); (646) 838-8880. Open each day, midday till four a.m.



Source link Nytimes.com

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