Putting a mechanical bull in your restaurant will draw mad crowds -- who doesn't want to see their friends crash through a wall into the ladies room? -- but it takes more than hilariously violent novelty to keep them coming back. Well, Ohio State Buckeyes #9: here's Johnny Utah's, open to the public next Monday*
A surprisingly sprawling, Old West-themed spot housed in a highrise's basement, Utah's is the Keanushly-named home of Midtown's first, and probably last, mechanical bull. But beyond the bovine, the design (by Jersey-based Riscala) is boomtown classy, e.g., a private bank vault room w/ safety deposit box walls, and...outhouse-style bathrooms. More importantly, there's an exceptional booze program, highlighted by a 50-strong tequila list, a wall of high-end bourbons, and self-serve Jack Daniels on every table ($3 a shot, taken on the honor system -- because everyone knows, whiskey leads to honesty). There's also a bbq-heavy Southwestern menu from former Blue Smoke talent, with dishes like Texas brisket, braised short rib flautas, "enchilada pie", and three-cheese-stuffed fire roasted jalapenos (the Fire, the Snack, and the Holy Roast).
As for the bull: it's the same model used by professional riders practicing for the real thing, with speed controlled by an operator. Rides are free, so all that's standing between you and glory is courage, dishonorable whiskey pilferage, and a half-inch of sheet rock.
Check out the menu