Oscar Wilde NYC
In his house in the London neighborhood of Chelsea, famed Irish playwright Oscar Wilde wrote in a study containing “a colossal bust of Apollo, a number of bronzes, a Chinese lantern, a Persian carpet as well as a sheepskin rug, and several easy chairs.” There’s no doubt, then, that the witty writer would feel much at home at the soon to be opened Oscar Wilde NYC, named in his honor.
The bar, boasting smooth bronze figurines and cool marble statues, dozens of high backed, leather covered chairs, and a painted glass window that creates the illusion of everlasting sunlight, is a true homage to the writer’s gilded, ornate style. Even the bathrooms, a flight below the main bar area, are adorned with extravagance, with portraits of Victorian era figures and dark mahogany molding.
Perhaps even more breathtaking than the decor, however, are the elaborate, handcrafted cocktails thought up especially for the bar by mixologist Johnny Swet. Patrons can enjoy Wilde inspired drinks such as “Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray,” “Oscar Wilde’s Potent Elixir,” and a chilly, era esque absinthe drip. There’s the standard bar fare as well, but, in true Victorian fashion, it comes with an opulent twist -- displayed behind the the marble topped bar, which, at nearly one hundred and nineteen feet, is the longest in New York City, there are 300 types of whiskey and 32 beers on tap.
But Oscar Wilde NYC isn’t a slave to gilded memories of the past. In a move that departs from its grandiose Victorian theme, the bar will also provide modern dining options using fresh, farm-to-table ingredients. Dishes will include cured salmon with fried capers, crème fraiche, jalapeno, and salted cabbage slaw; ‘buffalo wings styled’ cauliflower, buttered in rice flour and tossed with a Sriracha butter sauce; and a personal, heartier favorite -- tender, pull apart oxtail with a side of pureed potatoes.
In putting this bar together, owners Tommy Burke and Frank McCole have outdone themselves with their dedication and attention to the work and lifestyle of Oscar Wilde. This isn’t a bar likely to end up jumbled up on your list of pre-game drinking spots, mixed in with your old college hang out and the place your bartender friend works at. Like the man himself, Oscar Wilde NYC is the main event, meant to be enjoyed in the singular, and -- most importantly -- in earnest.
OSCAR WILDE NYC opens on August 16th, 2017, and is located at 45 West 27th Street.
Special thanks to Shin-Jung and Justine.