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« Monday, March 1st, 2010—Bar 50 | Main | Saturday, February 27th, 2010—Bar 48 »

Sunday, February 28th, 2010—Bar 49

Day 49—Saturday, February 27
King Cole Bar (In the St. Regis Hotel)

Okay, it’s Saturday night which means it’s hotel bar night.
Last week, if you’re a faithful reader of 365, you’ll remember I skipped the hotel bar night and went to Manitoba’s. While there I met two fine and fun people, Joe and Jessica.
Joe and Jessica

I told Joe that I usually got to hotel bars on Saturday nights, because most bars are too packed and noisy for my taste on Saturday night. Also, hotel bars have a different ambiance to them. Joe suggested I check out the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel. He told me there’s a painting there of King Cole and Joe told me that there’s a secret in the painting. The secret is that supposedly Old King Cole, that merry old soul just let loose with a fart in the painting. I checked online sure enough I found this article. Within the article is this paragraph:

“Through decades of mixed-drink conviviality, bartenders have shared with their regulars a secret of the painting that is considerably less elegant than the hotel, the bar or indeed the mural itself. The legend, repeated by generations of bar patrons, is that the king’s sheepish grin, and the startled reactions of his knights, were occasioned by the flatulence of the monarch.”

Okay, I gotta see this myself and you’re welcome to join me, bring some Beano if you have any!

Alright, here we are down in the bowels of the Union Square subway station. These guys are making a horrible racket down here. I'm tempted to give them a twenty to shut up, but I have a feeling I'm going to need my money for the bar.  I'm pretty sure the King Cole Bar ain't cheap.

More subway entertainment on a Saturday night. This guy's whole schtick is that he's painted himself gold. Whoopie-dee-fucking-doo! You want a tip, Goldie? Move your act to Time's Square and maybe some tourists/hicks will find this shit amusing enough to fill your gold tip box.

As I hit the steps to go down to the tracks I double-time it because a train has just pulled up. Woo hoo, perfect timing!

Some of my fellow travelers in the car.

Okay, we're close now, here's the exit sign to take us above ground.

Midtown Manhattan on a Saturday night.

And here we are, the St. Regis Hotel in all its glory.

Here's the fancy, schmancy lobby. Whoops, I think I'm a little underdressed. Oh well, it's not the first time.

And here we are, the glassed-door entry way to the King Cole Bar. It looks crowded in here!

It's a full house. All the seats are taken at the bar, but I managed to squeeze in a standing spot at the left end.

There's just one bartender and he's busy filling all the drink orders.

But I managed to get his attention. His name is Bob and he was very hospitable and served me up the house specialty, The Red Snapper.

And here I am in all my under-dressed glory with the aforementioned Red Snapper. I gotta learn another pose, this pointing at the drink thing is getting old!
Free snacks!

Look at these guys! Hi assholes!

The leather chairs and tables were all occupied.

Now it's time to check out the mural. Here's Old King Cole smiling a devilish grin. Has he let loose with a ripping fart?

I'd say from the look on this guy's face, there's definitely more than dust in the wind! Joe was right and I'll buy him a drink when we have dinner in Forest Hills in an upcoming Sunday bar crawl.

Okay, I had an 18 dollar Red Snapper and two 10 dollar bottles of Budweiser. May as well blow the rest of my dough on a cab ride home. Goodnight everybody!


King Cole Bar is an elegant bar one of the city’s swankiest hotels that is a throwback to the old days of New York City. Some people who have lived here include Ernest Hemmingway, Salvador Dali, Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio. John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived here before they moved into the Dakota on the Upper West Side.

The signature drink is a Bloody Mary, which they call the “Red Snapper.” Legend has it that the King Cole Bar is where the Bloody Mary was first served in America. Behind the bar hang’s artist Maxfield Parrish's 25-foot King Cole mural, which was taken down and cleaned and restored to it’s original appearance a couple years ago. The bar area is a small room with high ceilings and glass doors. It’s low-lit and the small wooden horseshoe bar seats between 12 to 14. There are polished wooden tables, leather chairs and banquettes lining the dark wooden walls. The clientle is old money New Yorkers, out of town Yuppies and curious tourist’s.

In addition to the Red Snapper the King Cole Bar has eight specialty cocktails. But bring your credit card because it ain’t cheap to drink with the King. The Red Snapper is 18 bucks and is the cheapest of the specialty cocktails. Some of the bottled beers include Budweiser, Sam Adams, Duvel and Becks, but again, be prepared. A bottle of Budweiser is the cheapest of the lot and it goes for 10 dollars a bottle. There’s also a full bar and an extensive wine list.

There’s a bar menu that includes Tuna Tartar, Chicken Saté and Sliced Steak in Brioche. The bar menu is available till midnight. And if you’ve spent all your money on booze, don’t fret, the almonds, pretzels and green wasabi peas that are on the bar and tables are free!

King Cole Bar (In The St. Regis Hotel)
Two East 55th St. @Fifth Avenue

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Reader Comments (6)

Old King Cole was a merry old soul, a merry old soul was...BRRRAAAATt...GAAA...GHASP! CHOKE! GAG! B-B-BARF! CHOKE! Your Highness FORGETS Himself...puleeese!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

At $18 for a Red Snapper you could have had the real thing!
And for $10 for a bottle of Budweiser, forget the fart, I think I'd shit my pants!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

LOL @ Boris comment! Lots of rich people in there. Perfect Sugar Daddy spot for women!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

I laughed when you said "n all my under-dressed glory" Ahahahha. I am forever under dressed too. But thats because I live in pajamas!

I cant believe you spent 18$ on ONE drink! I hope it was the best damn Red Snapper you ever had!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

18$ ! That's the price of what I buy for my under dressed zioum style per year ! ... some buttons + sewing thread ! Since Jesus hole is in my life, I got a strange OCD and I nibble my clothes like a moth...

Anyway... I'm happy to see I'm not the only one who lives in pajamas !!! :D

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZioum Zioum The Chainsaw

There it is! The home of the aforementioned three-beers-and-a-plate-of-oysters-for-$60! Still, that mural is worth the price of admission and it's great people-watching to boot. I loved your assholes up there. I remember when we visited, there was a guy at the table next to us wearing bermuda shorts, a button-down with a RL sweater tied around his neck, dress socks and saddle shoes. I kept waiting for John Hughes to jump out and yell, "Cut!"

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

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