King Cole Bar
The King Cole Bar is about as legendary as any bar in New York. Located in the St. Regis Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, it has been the place to go for a cocktail since it opened in 1932—Salvador Dalí, John Lennon, and Marilyn Monroe are just a few from a long list of famous names who have dropped in for a drink. The bar sits off the St. Regis New York's lobby and is presided over by the famous King Cole mural painted by Maxfield Parrish, with John Jacob Astor IV playing the part of the king, jesters to each side of him. Today it is still the ultimate setting to start a celebratory evening, or end one with a nightcap; it cemented its place on most lists of New York's top bars with an extensive renovation in 2013. While the bartenders can prepare anything you might be in the mood for, you may want to order a Bloody Mary. The King Cole Bar boasts that it was the first spot where the drink (then known as a Red Snapper) was served in the United States (a claim, it should be noted, that is disputed by some other bars).
By John Newton, AFAR Contributor
Super-Swanky, Classic NYC Cocktail Bar
John Jacob Astor IV founded the luxurious St. Regis hotels. So it's only fitting that King Cole Bar, which opened in the midtown St. Regis in 1948, is seriously swanky and opulent. The entrance is dramatic. Immediately greeting you is an enormous 30' by 8' mural of Old King Cole above a beautifully burnished mahogany bar. The mural by Maxfield Parrish was installed at the hotel in 1932 (before the bar opened) and benefitted from a $100,000 restoration in 2007. The bar's stunning, cinematic setting has been put to good use in movies such as The Devil Wears Prada and Hannah and Her Sisters. Despite the overall grandeur, however, the room's small size and dim, glowing lights make the space feel very intimate. Plus, the soft carpeting, leather banquettes and world-class service make it feel downright comfortable. The crowd is upscale and well-heeled. The mysterious lighting makes for great crowd-watching - one can imagine secret liaisons or power plays among business titans happening in the dark recesses of the bar. This alluring atmosphere doesn't come cheap, though, so be prepared! P.S. The Bloody Mary was said to have been invented here. www.kingcolebar.com Business attire dress For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to Drink Anywhere in the World" from the May 2015 issue.
By Charissa Fay, AFAR Ambassador
St. Regis King Cole Bar
There are bars and there are bars. One of the most iconic in the world, the King Cole Bar and Salon at the St. Regis hotel is one of the latter, and the perfect place to end a day or romance and start the evening. This is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary (in 1934) and a favorite spot for famous couples including Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In 2013, the famed Art Nouveau mural of Old King Cole by Maxfield Parrish was carefully restored to its original vibrancy and the bar spread out into the hotel's Astor Court. Now helmed by Chef John DeLucie (The Crown, The Lion), the King Cole’s kitchen does a spiffy afternoon tea daily from 3 PM to 5 PM. From Wednesday to Sunday, a harpist is on hand to give the plush, clubby atmosphere a celestial feeling. Photo courtesy of St. Regis New York
2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
Sun 12pm - 12am
Mon - Sat 11:30am - 1am