BY: MAGGIE PARKER
What’s better than standing outside in freezing weather throwing elbows to get a glimpse of your favorite Broadway star off the stage? How about tucking into a delightful neighborhood spot for a nightcap or dessert and spotting the actor there? It happens — really! After the curtain goes down, actors often pop into a bar or restaurant to unwind before heading home.
The rule of thumb is that for any show, the bar closest to the theater is where you’re most likely to find the stars after-hours; however, there are a few standout places that actors will travel (at least a few blocks) to reach. Broadway Spin rounded up our five favorite spots known for hosting Broadway performers from all corners of the theater district. If you hang long enough, you could run into an entire cast!
The Glass House Tavern prides itself on being a place where actors can feel comfortable. This bar/restaurant is in the heart of the theater district and has recently attracted stars like SpongeBob SquarePants’ Wesley Taylor and The Band’s Visit’s Amir Arison. (The Glass House Tavern is right across the street from Ethel Barrymore Theatre, where The Band’s Visit plays, so Arison’s casual drop-in makes sense. It also happens to be next to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where Sara Bareilles and Gavin Creel currently star in Waitress, and close to Choir Boy at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.) “The best thing about the community we’ve created is that our non-actor guests are savvy enough to know not to bother the actors for pictures or autographs…everyone just sort of blends together,” Glass House Tavern manager Chris Reilly told Broadway Spin.
While Joe Allen is a pre-show dinner hot spot for theatergoers, the unmarked Bar Centrale above is where the theater A-listers congregate come curtain call. The décor sets the tone, with tables decorated in ticket stubs and vintage photos of Times Square lining the walls. It’s close to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, where Kinky Boots currently plays — and both James Corden and Matt Bomer have recently made appearances here after their own shows. A word to the wise, however, this rather small hideaway is run by a no-nonsense hostess who won’t think twice about turning you away if you dare show up without a booking. Make a reservation (well) in advance to avoid being left in the cold.
While many of these establishments have been post-show go-tos for years, there is a new kid on the block. Dutch Fred’s’ craft cocktails debuted near the Great White Way in 2016 and Broadway thespians have been flocking there ever since. Located a stone’s throw from The Glass House Tavern, Dutch Fred’s has made quite a name for itself in just under three years. Ben Platt stopped by recently with pals Fra Fee (The Ferryman) and Killian Donnelly (Les Mis).
You know you’ve made it in the theater world when you have your caricature mounted on Sardi’s’ walls. While the Theater District icon has become somewhat of a cliché, it still attracts Broadway stars — and not just when their caricatures are unveiled. Many theatrical press events are held here, as are the star-studded Outer Critics Circle Theatre Awards. It’s such a hot spot for actors, in fact, that Sardi’s still offers a discounted actor’s menu for those who present their equity card. Nestled on 44th Street, this mainstay is near the St. James Theatre (home of Frozen) and across the street from The Majestic Theatre (Phantom of the Opera), Shubert Theatre (To Kill a Mockingbird), and The Broadhurst Theatre (Anastasia).
Situated right next door to the Longacre Theatre (The Prom), Hurley’s is the unofficial post-show spot for whoever’s performing at that theater, along with many others in the area. Over drinks and bar snacks in the laid-back watering hole, you may spot a Broadway celeb or two. Ariana DeBose, who was just cast in the new West Side Story film, was once spotted there with Adrienne Warren of Tina the Musical and Chloë Grace Moretz.
PS: WE’VE GOT 2 GIFT CARDS — 1 FOR THE GLASS HOUSE TAVERN & 1 FOR DUTCH FRED’S — UP FOR GRABS! Make sure to follow our Instagram @BroadwayRoulette & Twitter @BwayRoulette for your chance to win! (Disclaimer: Celebrity sighting not guaranteed.)