Naming names - Quirky restaurant names can be fun. It’s the misleading ones that bother. A restaurant named Barking Dog gives the impression that the restaurant’s casual, they like dogs and probably have treats and a water bowl for passing dogs. A restaurant named Popeyes (no apostrophe, the Popeyes we know and at least secretly love) is named after the Gene Hackman detective character Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in the 1971 film, “French Connection,” according to the chain’s owner in a wiki description. Even if you think the Popeye names belongs to the spinach-eating comic strip character you don’t go there for fine dining. A restaurant named Tandoor Oven lets you know that you’re going ethnic Indian. So how do you digest or at least think about what kind of restaurant you’re going to if its name is Munchies Korner? Sounds casual, inexpensive. Hard to tell what kind of food they serve or what kind of setting - maybe a food court with casual bites eaten standing up or at a counter or casual benches, some tables. Turns out to be a darkly lit, white-linen-ed Tapas Bar with a casual menu that could hardly be described - or priced - as munchies. It’s located several steps from Jacques Brasserie which has the same owner. At least Jacques Brasserie let’s you know what kind of food you’ll be eating. Both menus are in the same price range. However, if you want a cheese plate, stick with Jacques, where three cheeses are $18. At Munchies, they’re $22.
Speaking of barking dogs - There’s a Barking Dog restaurant that still stands on Third Ave and 94th St. It opened in the early 90s. Several Barking Dog restaurants at other locations, one on the UES, the other in East Midtown, are gone, both pre-pandemic. Now Barking Dog’s in Hell’s Kitchen at World Wide Plaza. Back in June of this year, W42ST.nyc reported that the doggy friendly Barking Dog came before Community Board 4 and passed their first hurdle to opening their pooch-friendly venue by getting the approval of the board’s Business License and Permit Committee and were waiting to get approval for a full liquor license. I’m told that Barking Dog’s are up and running. Well, not running. The dogs have an outside seating area which is for dogs accompanied by a diner. The pooch gets to “interact with other furry friends” while the diner gets to dine without distraction. There are plans for outdoor seating, with 15 tables and 60 seats.
And speaking of Popeyes - Its been months now and the Popeyes coming to Third Ave between 88th and 89th Streets is still a work in progress. Not what I’d expect from a fast food server. COVID has certainly changed my perspective as to the types of establishments opening. Many many months ago I rued the big boxes coming to our town. And now I’m thrilled to have a Target on 86th St even though I’ll always miss the Barnes and Noble that was its predecessor at the location.