Tracy's New York Life | A Blog About Life in New York City: Jimmy's Corner Keeps It Real

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jimmy's Corner Keeps It Real


You can see the neon lights of Times Square, just a block or so from Jimmy's Corner.

I had never been to Jimmy's Corner  until last weekend. Stepping through the bar's front door almost felt as if I had mistakenly landed on a New York movie set. Adorned with dollar bills, Christmas lights, and posters of boxing legends like Muhammad Ali, the narrow saloon is tucked on West 44th Street, just steps from the fussiness of Times Square. 

My husband had told me about this hole-in-the-wall Midtown bar many times; he'd hung out here one night in the early '90s when he was in NYC for a wedding. His stories from that fun evening had piqued my interest over the years, but for whatever reason, I had not yet crossed Jimmy's threshold until last Sunday. 

Our cousin Steven and his soon-to-be bride Andrea were in town for one night only. After a decadent dinner at Lidia Bastianich's Becco (one of our favorite Italian restaurants, by the way!), we landed at the 30-plus-year-old watering hole. According to both Michael and Steven, who had jointly imbibed at the bar that single night in the fall of 1991, with the exception of the flat screen TVs, Jimmy's Corner has not changed one bit in 23 years. Oozing quirkiness and charm and loaded with boxing memorabilia, Jimmy's Corner is the real deal, which is practically a rarity in present-day Manhattan –– especially in sanitized, Disneyfied Times Square. 

The joint's front room was relatively quiet with a group of what felt like colorful regulars chilling at the bar. The last seat, farthest from the door, was occupied by none other than the former boxing trainer, Jimmy Glenn, himself.

A longtime hangout for locals and a friendly place where your glass never runs dry, to say that Jimmy's Corner is affordable is an understatement. Mike ordered four drinks and the total tab was just $18. And beyond the $4 and $5 cocktails, Jimmy's boasts the best jukebox in town, playing a collage of standards mixed with '70s hits. Likewise, the divey yet homey atmosphere and mellow vibe transport nostalgic patrons to another time and place –– a forgotten New York. 

Below are a few scenes from my first night at Jimmy's Corner, which will not be my last. Until next time, Jimmy...

When it comes to New York bars,  Jimmy's Corner is the real deal.

Steven, Andrea, and Mike chill out.

Dollar bills adorn the back bar at Jimmy's.

Mike and I felt comfortable as soon as we walked into Jimmy's Corner.

Slow dancing is permitted!

Mike and Steven hang out with Jimmy.

Making drinks is what it's all about!

My Kodak moment with Jimmy!

Until next time...
Jimmy's Corner
144 W 44th St
New York, NY
(212) 221-9510

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Phil Holtberg said...

Been there a few times myself. It's one of those great old school NYC bars that are vanishing little by little.

Tracy Kaler said...

Hi Phil! I know. There are few left. Jimmy's will hopefully stick around a little while longer! This is my new go-to spot in Times Square.

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