TIMES SQUARE — Even in Times Square, there are celebrity-friendly watering holes where the world-famous can go for a private bite.
Marvin Lewis, 43, of Sunnyside has been working at the Italian restaurant Bond 45 for the past three years. Located directly across the street from the Lyceum Theatre on West 45th Street, the restaurant is at the heart of the theater district.
What are the new plays people are talking about?
We get a lot of people from “Kinky Boots,” “The Nance” and “Annie."
What have they said about “The Nance”?
Mostly what I’ve heard is that Nathan Lane is great. He actually comes in here three or four times a week.
What does he order when he comes in?
I have not waited on him myself. He seems to be kind of going through the menu, trying different things. He doesn’t drink because it’s usually before a show. He sits by himself and he’s very quiet, very somber actually. Maybe he’s trying to focus. From what I understand, the character is tortured. Maybe he’s trying to get in that mode because he seems really sad.
Do people go up to him in the restaurant?
I was kind of shocked that the last two times he’s come in, they’ve sat him at that table, which couldn’t be more on display. Every person who walks up the stairs walks right past him and everyone down here has a view of him. But surprisingly, no. We get a lot of celebrities in here. I used to work at Planet Hollywood and Oprah came in there. They noticed I’m sure, but nobody walked up to the table. She had two giant bodyguards with her. But I think people are generally pretty respectful in a restaurant setting.
Why was Oprah at Planet Hollywood in Times Square?
I was walking through with a tray of empty glasses or something. I see this giant guy in a nice suit and I think, "He looks out of place at Planet Hollywood." I’m looking at him and then I stopped short because I almost ran into her. I was stunned. She brought in some of her girls from the school in Africa I think. It was her and Gayle [King], her best friend.
Which other famous people come to Bond 45?
Meryl Streep I guess comes in fairly often but I’ve never seen her. Kathleen Turner was here the other night. Maura Tierney, I saw her the other day. A lot of them are more people that you know but they’re not A-list people. Some of them, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you their names but I could tell you things they’ve been in. A lot of them are doing shows, like Maura Tierney is doing “Lucky Guy.” David Hyde Pierce has been in. One night Neil Simon, Blythe Danner and Stanley Tucci were all here.
What makes this place such a magnet for celebrities?
It’s a combination of the location and the fact that we’re kind of one of the only nice restaurants. We’re not fast food, we’re not a chain, not Olive Garden or something like that, right here in Times Square. So for people going to the theater, it’s a place where you can get a nice meal in a nice place, but it’s still close and convenient.