Dear Irving: The Time-Traveling Speakeasy

Dear Irving: The Time-Traveling Speakeasy

Dear Irving is a time-traveling-cocktail parlor in the heart of Gramercy that has a cool speakeasy vibe ready to help you party like it's 1967—or 1925 or 1886. Your choice. 

Dear Irving opened in 2014 and was inspired by Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris; the space is divided into four rooms each representing a specific historical era. True the speakeasy vibe, there’s no signage, but a short flight of stairs will lead you up to a small lobby and a hostess station. I was escorted through the JFK room—a mid-century modern spacious lounge with Don Draper inspired leather wing-back chairs, art deco fixtures, zebra-print walls and a view of the street. Then the space shifts to the F. Scott Fitzgerald room and I found myself surrounded by a scene reminiscent of “The Great Gatsby,” complete with crystal-esque beaded drapes, silver chairs and mirrored tables.

The bar is the centerpiece of the third room—it’s done half in the ‘20s style, half circa 1880s with gothic elements such as vaulted ceilings and pointed arches. My table happened to be in the latter half called the Abraham Lincoln room boasting crimson velvet couches and dark wood. I couldn’t help but peek into the final and arguably the most extravagant room of them all, the Marie Antoinette room. This section is whimsically done in a bourgeois, rococo-style with brocade upholstered furniture, chandeliers and gilded moldings. 

Dear Irving

Dear Irving’s cocktail program was created by Meaghan Dorman, who hailed from one of Manhattan’s favorite speakeasies, The Raines Law Room. She offers fun interpretations of time-honored cocktails like an island old-fashioned with aged Guatemalan and Guyanese rum, allspice, falernum and tiki bitters; as well as her own “fresh ink” cocktails. I love mezcal, a smokier tequila, so I had to order the Xantolo—reposado tequila, mezcal, spiced pineapple, lime, Aleppo, red pepper and agave. This is by far my new favorite drink in the city. 

One of the best aspects of this bar is that there’s no waiting to be served. No looking around trying to catch eyes with your waiter. Each table has its own personal buzzer and the waiter will be right with you. That alone guarantees a return visit from me. There is also a small food menu where I ordered the “nibble tray” with an assortment of gourmet olives, aged gouda & soppressata. Their menu also includes chicken liver & foie gras parfait, spiced nuts, and more. 


<< Dear Irving, 55 Irving Pl., No phone number




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