King Cole Bar & Salon (Courtesy of St. Regis New York)
New York is a drinker’s town (duh). And the hotels are hopping on the high-end booze train in big ways, becoming so much more than just places to lay your head. We’re talking serious bars. Here’s what’s buzzing.
The Mile High Bar: Bar 54
Bar 54 (135 W. 45th St., 54th fl., btw Sixth & Seventh aves., 646.364.1234), a skybox lounge atop the Hyatt Times Square, combines breathtaking altitude with a playful mod décor. The venue is high up, but patron pockets best be deep: House cocktails (crafted by Julie Reiner) go for $23 a pop, while special punch bowls (try the Green Submarine—Pimm’s, gin and Green Chartreuse with ginger, lemon, soda and cucumber) can be placed before parties of four for $115. Somehow, sipping amid the glowing spires of the area makes evenings here feel worth the splurge.
Where Art & History Meet: The King Cole Bar and Salon
Maxfield Parrish’s iconic mural “Old King Cole,” has resided at the regal St. Regis Hotel since the 1930s. Needless to say, it’s since accumulated some … well, gunk. After a professional restoration, the painting is once again displayed, this time with renewed grandeur, at the recently renovated King Cole Bar and Salon (Fifth Ave., at 55th St., 212.339.6857)—which, rumor has it, is where the bloody mary was introduced in 1934. A new salon space adds a plush plot for tucking into Italian plates by Chef John DeLucie. Ask the bartenders why the painting’s characters all are making funny faces—unless, that is, you hold your nose to such stinky secrets.
New York in a Glass: Park Kitchen
As Chef Nathaniel Eckhaus of Park Central Hotel’s elegant Park Kitchen (870 Seventh Ave., at W. 56th St., 212.247.8000) told us, “We want to make people remember—I’m in New York!” The bar menu does the trick, with cocktails representing all five boroughs (a kind of tippling tour). The Bronx (gin, sweet and dry vermouth, lavender bitters, blood orange) is a leader on the list.