Upon entering the latest Manhattan disco bunker, my shocked companion said, âIt looks like Bungalow 8 went to the bank!â She's right. Like Bungalow 8, the place Amy Sacco made famous, GoldBar is long and thin and could comfortably accommodate about 100 people; unlike it, GoldBar is painted gold and has so many artful design flourishes referencing metal that it resembles a Bond villain's lair. This isn't soothing, but it does feel like money, so if that sounds sexy to you, go with it. The hysteric decor includes hundreds of gold skulls lining the walls, curtains of gold chains that separate the front bar from the back lounge area and mock oil portraits of fictitious but vaguely threatening figures of Italian nobility. (In-joke alert: The bar's owners are among those featured in the paintings.) Despite offering a potentially fabulous backdrop for a fashion shoot, the experience of GoldBar is neither kitschy enough to be amusing nor exclusive enough to be special. It's really just expensive. True, the specialty cocktails, $17 each, are tasty. The Gold Rush (fresh lemon, honey, bourbon) comes with an enormous, rough-hewn chunk of ice; the Pomegranate Gimlet (fresh lime, grenadine, vodka or gin) smells like a club and turned my insides into a party; and the Bee's Kiss (honey, cream, aged rum) is comprised of wonderful ingredients that look great on the menu. GoldBar also offers light Italian fare, captain's chairs at the bar and graffiti on the bathroom walls (arty, self-conscious graffiti, not the real stuff). Even if the interior has to be seen to be believed, you can have the theme-bar experience elsewhere and you'll probably find it reminds you less of waiting in line at the bank. 389 Broome St., (212) 274-1568. Jonathan Durbin
Photo from Eater.