Smith's Bar & Restaurant
Smith's Bar in Times Square is enjoying a new lease on life. Smith's came dangerously close to shutting down after 60 years, but it's bright neon signs continue to shine thanks to retired firefighter Skip Panettiere who came to its rescue. Boy, are we glad he did. Smith's is loud, brash and fun with enough big screens to satisfy any avid sports fan, but not too many to label it a sports bar. It remains a magnet for tourists and locals alike.
Rock music echoes through the joint making for loud conversation, but not overbearing. Beer is the drink of choice as folks belly up to the bar. The lucky ones are able to land a stool. The bar, which is square-shaped, spans two rooms and, as the guy next to me noted, it's perfect to "take in all the action."
What I like most about Smith's is there's just enough grit left to maintain that "real" feel, while not being too divish. They've also managed to save what New Yorkers treasure the most - its soul. Smith's is also the kind of place where you'll find a gaggle of giggling young women sharing a drink and snapping selfies on one end, and an older group sharing a pint on the other. The food's not too shabby either.
The menu features a ton of bar snacks; chicken tenders, fried calamari, tacos, mac & cheese, and something called "disco fries" topped mozzarella and gravy. All are reasonably priced. There's also a nice assortment of burgers made with Pat LaFrieda beef. I had the "classic" burger with applewood bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onions with a side of fries. The burger was a bit more done than I like, but still managed to be quite juicy. The hand-cut fries are fantastic. The menu also offers sandwiches, salads and entrees, like fish & chips and chicken fried steak.
Service at Smith's is fast and friendly. Best of all, your money is wellspent, helping to preserve a New York City gem. As I was leaving, "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen started playing. And I was grateful that, at least for now, Smith's has been saved!
Review By: Thomas Rafael