In the coming months, Manhattan will get two new spots where patrons will be able to mount a mechanical bull. Incredibly, the Capital of the World is currently devoid of any places offering such amusement.
The first bull will be unveiled at Johnny Utah’s, a Southwestern-themed restaurant set to open on July 11 at the Rockefeller Center Hotel. The bull apparatus will be featured prominently in the 6,000-square-foot space, and will be surrounded by cascading metal chains and burning candles.
For the downtown set, there may be a safer alternative. Brothers Rob and Will Shamlian, who gave the Lower East Side Dark Room in 2004 and its twin, Fat Baby, on Rivington Street a year later, will open a “rockabilly bar/restaurant” tentatively called Evan Ford in October, at 133 Essex Street.
A mechanical bull, made in the Midwest specially for the bar, will be located toward the back of the 3,000-square-foot space. In addition to the neighborhood’s ever-escalating rents, the duo had to shell out some cash for, um, liability purposes.
“There is a special type of insurance that you have to get when you are operating a mechanical bull,” Rob Shamlian explained. “It’s pretty expensive.”
Even with a couple of successful places under their belt, it seems like Murray Hill—drenched in recent college grads—would be the more appropriate place for the Shamlian’s bull-riding eatery than the hipster-laden environs of the Lower East Side.
Rob Shamlian begs to differ.
“I think it will add a lot to the neighborhood,” he told The Observer. “And I know the hipsters will like it.”