New York has an eccentric new addition to its bar scene…
The Oscar Wilde is a NoMad haunt dedicated to the fabled Irish writer that also claims the mantle of having the city’s longest bar top at a whopping 118.5 ft.
A snaking slab of Carrara marble – cut in Vietnam – sits atop the carved mahogany bar, which is decorated with garlands, horses, elephants and marble lions. Antiques that fill the bar’s interiors have been sourced from England, Ireland and France, where the writer spent his life.
‘We wanted to celebrate the life and times of Oscar Wilde,’ founder Frank McCole told Architectural Digest. ‘He was an eccentric and I think we Irish are very, very proud of him. He represented us and our craziness, a bit off-centre, a little bit, which we are, and that’s a good thing!’
The whiskey bar has 18th-century wood panelling from Ireland’s Hope Castle, all well as antique French fireplaces, 19th-century Italian glass panels and tin ceilings. Some 26 clocks dot the walls, all set at ten to two – the time Oscar Wilde died.
Mexican artist Annette Monter Rolland was enlisted to design custom wallpaper, crown mouldings and drapes for the 5,700 ft structure – designed in 1909 by architect Henry T J Fuehrman – while its original floorboards have been restored.
‘This [building] was the headquarters for prohibition, one floor up, and above that was the mob, and they were listening in on where the new raids were going to be,’ says McCole. ‘So putting a bar below it is just such an irony.’
Patrons can sip on over 300 spirits, including Wilde’s favoured absinthe, as well as signature cocktails by mixologist Johnny Swet, like ‘50 shades of Dorian Grey’ and ‘Oscar Wilde’s Potent Elixir’.
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