Pulino's Offers More Proof That Restaurants Have Become Nightclubs

by BILLY GRAY · April 9, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about restaurants usurping clubs as the ultimate nightlife scene. Now, NY Barfly brings word that Keith McNally's Pulino's--the biggest restaurant of all time--has basically installed a bouncer at its door.

Here's the report:

"One gentleman didn’t join the crowd as they jockeyed for position. He paced conspicuously back and forth throughout the night; the only thing missing was a secret service style earpiece."

The dapper gatekeeper wasn't there to protect a visiting celebrity from the riffraff. The Pulino's team, presumably after taking a time machine back to 1978, simply hired him to maintain order on the mean streets of Bowery and Houston:

"The staff explained it was a 'sketchy corner', so he was milling about to keep the peace."

Makes sense. You wouldn't want the young ruffians drunk on horchata and hopped up on kale at the Whole Foods across the street terrorizing the pizzeria with gluten-free baguettes or anything. Maybe McNally--whose restaurants used to be glitzy pioneers in on-the-cusp neighborhoods when there were still on-the-cusp neighborhoods left in Manhattan--is trying to manufacture a bit of his old outlaw vibe.

Then again, it would be awfully easy to swipe one of Pulino's abundant bottles of Jack off the wall and haul ass. Good to have an intimidating presence to prevent that.

(Photo via Matt Rodbard/NY Barfly)