This landmark bar in the luxurious St. Regis hotel off Fifth Avenue is beloved by tourists and Manhattan wage slaves, as well as celebs and the city elite. The place buzzes with merriment every night.
The wood-paneled room located just off the lush lobby is dominated by artist Maxfield Parrish’s massive mural depicting Old King Cole of nursery rhyme fame attended by his courtiers. The painting was commissioned by John Jacob Astor IV and installed at the St. Regis bar in 1932. It is said that the king was painted to resemble Astor himself.
Although the bar’s location within the hotel has changed during renovations, it still pulses with real history – the Bloody Mary cocktail made its U.S. debut here in 1934, served by the hotel’s bartender Fernand Petiot, who had originally concocted the recipe at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris 13 years earlier.
Marlene Dietrich and Ernest Hemingway loved to party here, and Salvador Dali, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon and Yoko Ono all lived upstairs over the years.
Table 55, tucked in the corner of the room, has its own private menu and can be reserved.
Ask your server about the hidden joke in the mural.
Get a peek inside the famous — and gorgeous — King Cole Bar in this video courtesy of Wall Street Journal:
2 E. 55th St., New York, NY 10022