Page 3 of 6THE SUBWAY INN
Known affectionately as Le Chateau Subway to locals, the brightly lit red neon of the Subway Inn sign shines prominently across from Bloomingdale’s art-deco flagship store, although it attracts a markedly different crowd to the corner of 60th and Lex. Located two stories above a hub of underground train activity, longtime owners of the bar put up the sign in 1937 — just before the neon craze of the 40s hit the city — to attract weary commuters in need of a drink to ease their MTA pain. These days, however, quite a few patrons (or former-patrons) complain that the 70-year-old sign is better cared for than the bar itself, which many say was likely last renovated and cleaned around the same time the sign went up. “People walk through the door and say that they used to come in here 30 years ago and just wanted to stop in and see how the place looked,” said Will Sutton, a somnolent bartender from Sunset Park. “They may or may not have a beer, but all agree that nothing about it has changed much.” Nor will it anytime soon, if the longtime drunks have anything to say. Though almost lost in the development boom of the past five years, the current economy and new owners of the Subway Inn promise the dive bar — and its sign — will continue to delight and annoy Upper East-Siders for at least a few more years.