King Cole Bar & Lounge
Photography by diffordsguide.com
last reviewed on 08-Jan-2011
St Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th Street, (btwn 5th & Madison Aves), New York City, New York, 10022, United States
Tel: +1 212 339 6721
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-1am; Fri-Sat 11:30am-2am; Sun noon-midnight
Door: Open door
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Historic interest
Price guide: High-end
Food: No food
This traditional, luxurious hotel bar has its own place in cocktail history for it was here that Fernand Petiot probably perfected and certainly popularised the combination of vodka, tomato juice and spices known today as the Bloody Mary, an association on which the bar still trades today.
A mural by the Golden Age illustrator Maxfield Parrish dominates the small room with its magnificent high ceilings. This immortalises the industrialist John Jacob Astor, who built the hotel in 1904 and would die on the Titanic in 1912, as Old King Cole with his fiddlers three.
According to Bloody Mary lore, it was John Jacob's son Vincent who insisted that Petiot rename his drink the Red Snapper, as the original name was too crude for the St Regis' refined clientele. The bar lists the "Red Snapper" made with "Belvedere vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice and spices" to this day.
This classical place attracts a blend of older hotel guests, aging regulars and business visitors, alongside the occasional merry young soul.