Well, this is embarrassing. Shortly after it was announced that the Rum House would close, we declared, using capitalization and very large font, that Whatever Replaces the Rum House Is Banned From Grub Street. At the time, the Rum House was to Times Square what Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is to Bourbon Street: a wonderful, worn-in old-timer with a piano, where you could escape the fabricated insanity all around. We assumed it would be replaced by “something dopey, probably,” and who could blame us? But now Sam Sifton brings word that the nice guys behind casual cocktail den Ward III have taken over the space, and while they’ve cleaned it up a bit and upgraded the bar program, they’re keeping the piano, the name, and some of the nautical decor. Much like the reopening of Fedora, it seems like the best of all possible outcomes, no? And so we humbly lift the ban. The new Rum House opens next week.
The Rum House Rises [Diner's Journal/NYT]