From its vinyl tile-style floor to its old fashioned grid ceiling and all wrapped up in wood paneling, The Flower Shop looks like a matriarch’s eat-in kitchen circa the 1970s. Decade-appropriate yellow and garish-chic patterns abound, there’s a pool table in a de facto rec room and menu items like spinach and artichoke dip seem especially appropriate for the era.
Just when you think New York has it all, you look around and realize there’s no Rainforest Cafe. In one sense, we have a paucity of theme restaurants: places that, like your cousin’s wedding, pick a conceit and stick with it far beyond logic and reason. In another, literally everything is in some way themed. Rooftop spots are view themed, romantic restaurants are love themed and speakeasy-style bars are, among other things, exclusivity themed. But not all are mutually inclusive with themes, writ whole.
There is some overlap, especially in that latter category, but to achieve a true theme designation, a place must reach beyond aesthetic winks, referential whispers and cheeky innuendo to fully commit to the bit. They must have a unifying conceit replete with props, otherwise eye-rolling puns and the occasional costume. These are spots where subtlety is scorned and blatancy is celebrated. Only then do they become the best themed restaurants and bars in NYC.
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