06 April 2011

Posh King Cole

The King Cole Bar. Photo: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times.

There’s something about hotel bars that I’ve always liked. I enjoy observing the people around me, creating stories about where they're from and why they're in town. I especially like classic hotel bars. So when I was asked to meet someone for drinks at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel, I jumped at the offer. 

The King Cole Bar is named for the Maxfield Parrish mural that dominates the room. The bar itself isn’t all that big—the leather chairs and banquettes in the small, rectangular room fill up quickly—but the wood and low light give the place a cozy, posh feeling that reeks of class and history. You expect to see a tycoon or a movie star (in fact, I saw Annette Bening in the lobby).

In 1934, the St Regis brought over Fernand Petiot from Harry’s Bar in Paris who perfected a tomato-based drink he had been making and dubbed it a Red Snapper. The drink became better known as a Bloody Mary. The bar's menu includes about a dozen different types of Bloody Marys along with other classic cocktails. Settingly into one of the leather chairs, I slowly sipped my drink and enjoyed the assorted snacks served in silver dishes (Macadamia nuts. Green wasabi peas. Yum.), which were handed to me by a tuxedoed waiter. I could have stayed there all night. 

The King Cole Bar is located in The St. Regis Hotel at 2 East 55th Street. If you visit New York or need to feel glamourous for a few hours, drop by and have a drink. Or two.

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