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The St. Regis New York, 2 E. 55th St., at Fifth Ave. (Midtown East)
New York, NY
(1) 212-339-6857 | www.kingcolebar.com
AMBIANCEOld World Decadence
HOURSSun.-Thurs.: 4:00pm-12:30am; Fri.-Sat.: 4:00pm-1:00am
DOOR POLICYNone, but the space is small and you may have difficulty finding a seat
PRICE (COCKTAILS; BAR BITES)USD 18-24; USD 20-34
YEAR OPENED1948 (renovated in 2007)
SIGNATURE DRINKRed Snapper; any of the Bloody Marys
BARYes - full mahogany bar backed by renowned bartenders
FOOD SERVED?Yes - burgers, seafood plates, and bar bites served until 11:30pm
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
SUBWAY5th Ave.-53rd St. (E, M); 5th Ave.-59th St. (N, Q, R); 57th St. (F)
Tucked in a quiet corner of the oh-so-posh St. Regis Hotel lobby, King Cole Bar plays host to the crème de la crème of Manhattan’s power set. From the towering ceilings to the glossy marble floors, the low-lit rectangular space invokes the romantic age when cocktailing was the height of fashion. As if choreographed, tuxedoed waiters swirl about the leather banquettes and mahogany stools delivering stiff, pricey drinks. The unmatchable poise of the men behind the counter, the rich history of its signature Red Snapper cocktail (a version of the Bloody Mary), and the curiously elusive meaning behind the famous Maxfield Parrish mural overlooking the bar all leave an impression.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Men show up in suits and ties, and women will likewise feel comfortable in their business or cocktail best.
GO HERE WITH
Friends; parents; significant other; after-hour colleagues
A mostly mature but nonetheless attractive bunch of designer-clad execs and their colleagues or dates, along with in-the-know travelers and hotel guests.
WHY WE LIKE IT
You may pay a pretty penny here, but the perfectly swanky St. Regis locale, filled with the city’s wisest and wealthiest, makes this spot worth the splurge.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The tiny space adds to King Cole’s charm, but we wish it were easier to secure a seat during the busy post-work cocktail hours.
GOOD TO KNOW
Those familiar with this bar’s history will know to order the Red Snapper–otherwise known as the Bloody Mary–which got its US debut at King Cole Bar in 1934. The classic cocktail was brought to the US by its inventor, Fernand Petiot, who created the drink while working at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris during the ‘20s; he later moved to NYC and took up a post as a barkeep at the St. Regis. Word is that the Maxfield Parrish mural is a parody of American businessman, millionaire, and founder of the St. Regis, John Jacob Astor IV.
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