On Saturday, just shy of its 90th birthday, Theater District staple Frankie & Johnnie's Steakhouse shut the doors on West 45th Street, where the restaurant had called home since 1926. The Times reported that the building housing the restaurant was "being put to another use" and thus the restaurant is relocating nearby to 320 West 46th Street. While the new space doesn't have as much historical cred, it was formerly home to the last outpost of B. Smith's, a restaurant chain started by the model in 1986.
In its early incarnation, the original space acted as a speakeasy, where tipplers would travel for illicit drinks and hunks of beef. In 1985, new ownership began building up the steakhouse aspect, leaving a semi-secret bar—only accessible through the kitchen—as an oasis to in-the-know folks prior to a Broadway show. In 2010, that bar underwent an unfortunate revamp that sucked the soul out of the special space.
"The 46th Street location is a stunning, bi-level, 140-seat restaurant with a private dining room...and an expansive bar, something the original location was challenged with," reads the press release. The "custom mahogany wood bar with black granite top" sounds like a fine place for a three-olive martini to toast the destruction of NYC's historic spaces.