Burger Lovers Rejoice! J.G. Melon Has A New West Village Outpost
Beloved, fiercely unchanging Upper East Side pub J.G. Melon has been feeding the locals its iconic cheeseburger since 1972. Check that: a lot more than UES locals eat this thing, which, despite (or because of) it's straightforward presentation–burger, melted cheese, unassuming bun, all toppings on the side–has for years been making an appearance on all kinds of Best NYC Burgers lists. So when J.G. Melon opened up its first ever "sequel" over the summer, a fully-licensed outpost in the heart of NYU territory on Bleecker and MacDougal Streets, fans of the burger, and the bar, had mixed feelings, both excitement (I can hit Melon's downtown now too!) mixed with a fair amount of trepidation (oh man I hope they don't screw it up). So how's it going so far….?
J.G. Melon – Now In The West Village!
It's been almost two months since the Greenwich Village J.G. Melon opened, and all signs indicate that they did an excellent job recreating both the food and the spirit of the Upper East Side original. This is not too much of a surprise, really, when you consider the team behind the newcomer: Danny Abrams of Mermaid Inn, Steve Abrams of Magnolia Bakery, and, crucially, Shaun Young, who managed the uptown Melon's for more than three decades. The decor is exactly how you'd expect it to be, all dark wood, red tin ceiling, melon-themed art, and those signature green-and-white gingham tablecloths both inside and out. The sidewalk tables by the way, particularly the ones facing Bleecker, make for a very pleasant autumn eating spot, with great people watching. And the vibe inside is grown-up enough to make you feel like you haven't stumbled into an NYU house party.
What To Eat At J.G. Melon
As far as the J.G. Melon downtown menu, there are no surprises here, filled as it is with things like Turkey Club, Chili Cup, Tossed Green Salad, and Sour Cream Apple Pie. But what you really want to know about is the burger. I recently had one with cheddar, bacon, (iceberg) lettuce, pickles, and (wan) tomato and it was… fine. Now, you should know that I've never been a huge Melon burger fanboy, thinking it was more along the lines of decent bar food, rather than being "Best of NYC" material, and I don't think the West Village version is any better or worse than what I've had on the Upper East over the years. I also got the Cottage Fries, of course, overpriced at six bucks for a small bowl, and I feel the same way about these that I do about the burger. They're ok. I don't really get the hype. But if you're looking for a spot to hang with your friends, drink some beers, and eat some casual food, J.G. Melon is a solid spot on Bleecker.
For Menu and More Information on J.G. Melon
The West Village J.G. Melon is located at 89 MacDougal Street on the corner of Bleecker, and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., except for Sunday when it closes at midnight. For more information, see the JG Melon on Zomato.