Photo of Bemelmans Bar by Don Riddle for The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
One of New York City’s most storied bars will reopen next month following a year-long shutdown. Located inside the historic Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side, Bemelmans Bar will welcome guests back to the iconic mural-covered watering hole on May 11, the first time since last March. And for the first time in its nearly 75-year history, Bemelmans is now accepting online reservations.
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With rising rents and ever-changing commercial drags, New Yorkers can take comfort that the city still holds classic bar haunts, some of which have been serving booze for over 100 years. Some watering holes, like the Financial District’s Fraunces Tavern, played a crucial role in major historic events. Others, like Midtown’s 21 Club and the West Village’s White Horse Tavern, hosted the most notable New Yorkers of the time. These institutions all survived Prohibition–managing to serve alcohol in both unique and secretive ways–and figured out ways to serve a diverse, ever-changing clientele of New Yorkers up to this day.
6sqft rounded up the seven most impressive bars when it comes to New York City history–and they’ve got the legends, stories, and ghosts to prove it. From longshoreman bars to underground speakeasies to Upper East Side institutions, these are the watering holes that have truly withstood New York’s test of time.
This way for the roundup