The Best Restaurant Bathrooms in New York

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This is my friend Justin, you may recognize him from his great work at Food & Wine Magazine. Last time I was in New York, I met Justin for drinks in midtown and afterwards we decided to grab dinner somewhere in Hell’s Kitchen. On the fancy end of the spectrum is Esca, one of New York’s best seafood restaurants (an appealing thing for someone who was about to become a pescatarian) but instead of the high road, I suggested a low road… a road informed by bathrooms. Specifically, my favorite restaurant bathrooms in all of New York, the bathrooms at Vinyl.

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Single Occupancy Restaurant Bathroom Pet Peeves #1 & #2

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#1: You are in a single-occupancy bathroom and you lock the door. You begin to do your business and someone comes along and jiggles the handle. This someone–we’ll use the name Hank–doesn’t stop there. Even though Hank can tell that the door is locked, he must persist. He jiggles harder, he shakes the door, he knocks. This leads us to a very clear conclusion: Hank is an asshole. Hank, if the door is locked someone is in there. It’s that simple. There’s no conspiracy to deprive you of a toilet and a sink; if you wait just a few more seconds it’ll all be yours. But no, you’ve gotta jiggle, you’ve gotta shake, you’ve gotta knock. I hate you, Hank! You’ve disrupted what should’ve been a very calming experience. Now I’m stressed out, I have to call out: “There’s someone in here!” When I leave, I give you a dirty look but you don’t care, Hank. Life marches on for you but for me, I’ll never pee calmly again.

#2: Ladies, this one you won’t relate to. Men: we go into the single occupancy bathroom to pee and the toilet seat is down. (Cue 80s comic: “Ladies, why can’t our men learn to keep the toilet seat down!”) Well it’s down because of you, ladies. So we use our foot to lift it up and it immediately slams back down. We try to lift it again and the same thing happens. Now we have a choice: attempt to pee with the seat down, risking a splattered seat or–worse–hold the seat up with our finger while we pee. This happened to me tonight. I opted for option 2, which totally grossed me out: I used the tip of my left-hand pointer finger, so if you shake my hand soon make sure to shake the right. But note to restaurant managers: if you have a single occupancy bathroom with a toilet seat that doesn’t stay up, please fix it. Nothing is less appetizing than trying to eat your food with a hand that just touched a toilet seat.

Thank you. I feel better now.

P.S. It occurs to me now I could’ve used a piece of toilet paper to hold the seat up. That makes me stupid: you can call me Stupid McDirtyhands.

P.P.S. After reading your comments, I’m shocked that you think I didn’t wash my hands aftrwards. Of course I washed my hands. What do you think I am, a Stupid McDirtyhands?