There was a time long ago when gargantuan tour buses — splashed with pink and stock images of girlfriends sipping on cocktails — roved the isle of Manhattan. They transported women, mostly; huddled masses from across the middle America, all yearning to breathe free and drink a cosmopolitan cocktail at the same bars frequented by Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, the characters of HBO’s Sex and the City.
But much like the once ubiquitous “going out” top, such tours have become a rare (albeit ongoing) sight. Many of the restaurants featured on the original show, which ran from 1998 to 2004 and somehow never addressed 9/11, have long been closed. The women’s favorite hangout, Coffee Shop in Union Square, closed in 2018 and has been replaced by a Chase bank. City Bakery, where Carrie re-encounters “the face girl” Nina Katz, has also permanently closed its doors, denying the city its top-rate chocolate chip cookies.
The New York we enter in And Just Like That…, the Sex and the City reboot on HBO Max, is not the New York we left in 2004. We’ve experienced hurricanes, market crashes, and a deadly pandemic that we’re still contending with. The lavish lifestyle demonstrated by the series’ main ladies has taken on a grotesqueness, especially following the Trump presidency, which further laid bare the inequities inherent in capitalism. Bisexuality can no longer be written off, as Carrie once did, as a “layover to Gaytown.”
But still, there are bars and restaurants. Bars and restaurants on the brink of doom, sure, but they’re hanging on all the same. No pandemic or death of a loved one by Peleton (for the best, it seems) will stop Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte — sans Samantha, as actor Kim Cattrall who declined to return to the series due to friction with lead and executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker — from dining across the city.
Want to pretend like it’s 2004 again? Well, throw on some low-rise jeans and Manolos and hit the town (masked and boosted, or better yet, maybe just in your imagination). Here, we’ll be charting every restaurant, bar, and cafe that makes a featured appearance on And Just Like That… for your touring convenience. Obviously, there will be some spoilers.
Episode One, “Hello It’s Me”
This premiere was obviously dominated by one major controversy, which has little to do with food and that’s Carrie not attempting CPR or calling 911 as Big flopped around on the floor of their gigantic shower and died.
Clee, a.k.a the Whitney Cafe, 99 Gansevoort Street
But before that, there are some restaurants. In fact, we’re reintroduced to Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte as they wait for a table at Clee, a fictional restaurant that was filmed in non-fictional restaurant the Whitney Cafe, part of the Whitney Museum. The real star of this meal is Carrie’s stupid little Robin Hood hat,