Despite the name, and its jaunty Parisian sign, there’s nothing particularly French about Rue B. Indeed, the brilliant collection of black-and-white photographs which clutter the walls is a open-hearted celebration of mid-20th century American cultural or sporting greatness. The effect is quite comforting: these photographs attract your gaze, to the extent that each photo becomes so familiar, each time I return Rue B feels more and more like a second home.
The bathroom is devoted solely to Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. But Rue B, one of a string of establishments on Alphabet City’s Avenue B whose name references the address (B-Cup, B-Side, Bee Liquors), is something rare and special, somehow managing to be a bar, restaurant and jazz lounge. When lights are low a tight three-piece combo swings in the corner, under the watchful gaze of an aging Chet Baker. Last Tuesday I had an excellent cocktail, but I also love the brunch: how could anyone resist something called “Eggs Corleone”?