Jimmy’s Corner is long and narrow, as if some great prophet looked at a hallway and said, I see a dimly lit saloon here, complete with an extended bar and walls plastered with photos of boxers. Opened in 1971 by erstwhile pugilist James Lee Glenn, Jimmy’s sits midblock on West 44th Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan. Which is what makes this no-frills bar unique. It’s a classic American dive, and the only one around, a relic from when the Times Square area was more depravity than Disney. Bartenders, who can spot a near-empty glass with the eyes of a hawk, are friendly but gruff. Case in point: As a 50-something woman with spiky bleached blonde hair mixed me another whiskey soda, I nodded to the boxer-bedecked wall behind the bar and said to my friend, “They don’t really like boxing much here, do they?” The bartender looked down the bar, pointed her finger at me, and bellowed with a thick Russian accent, “He make feeble attempt at joke!” She might have been right. If you go to this watering hole, make sure you’re thirsty (drinks are cheap) and your jokes are not so feeble.
This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Shanna Ravindra