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by anna ben yehuda | June 19, 2014 | Food & Drink
New York’s cocktail scene is bursting with creative concoctions that elevate the art of drinking. At the forefront of this imbibe renaissance? Newly opened Dear Irving, a bar so special that you'll have to visit a few times to completely understand it (and why it's got people talking “time travel”). Below, seven reasons why you should run, not walk, to the new cocktail parlor.
From the founders of Raines Law Room comes Dear Irving, New York's newest cocktail-centric bar.
Every Visit Will Be Completely Different
Inspired by Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, the space boasts four rooms, each representing a specific historical era. Upon entering, you’ll find yourself in the JFK room, with spacious '60s-style leather chairs and a view of the street. Walk through to the F. Scott Fitzgerald room and find yourself surrounded by a scene reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, complete with crystal-esque drapes that would impress Daisy Buchanan. Next up is the Abraham Lincoln room, which boasts an actual bar, velvet couches, and dark wood. Finally, and arguably most daring of all, is the Marie Antoinette room, with incredible French-inspired chandeliers, paintings, and sofas. “The idea is that everyone can find their favorite space,” says head bartender Meaghan Dorman.
Dear Irving's first room offers spacious couches and JFK memorabilia.
The People Behind Raines Law Room Founded This Place
Cocktail haven (and heaven) Raines Law Room is renowned for its devotion to the speakeasy lifestyle: an aura of exclusivity served alongside top-notch drinks. Expect no less from their new outpost. “We had the idea to start another place almost two years ago,” says Dorman. “After Raines was really successful and we realized we had a good thing going, we started looking for other spaces.”
Be amazed by the crystal-like drapes in the F. Scott Fitzgerald room.
A One-of-a-Kind Location… and Name
“We liked the idea of having a built-in clientele that comes to this area,” explains the bartender. “Just the space itself gave us room to do things that we haven’t been able to do at Raines, like having a small kitchen and having a room we can close off to have private parties.” The location also lent itself to the perfect name, “‘Dear Irving’ of course [comes from] the street and the writer,” says Dorman. “But at Raines we always felt like we were inviting you into our house party, and it’s that same kind of idea… ‘Dear neighborhood, dear guests, [come in]’.”
The Abraham Lincoln room serves as an homage to the 1860s.
Minute and Elaborate Décor Details
Chandeliers, old-time phones, eclectic mirrors…. The décor is one of the space’s strong points. Dear Irving used the same acclaimed contractor and designer as Raines Law Room so “there’s a lot of DNA that makes it similar,” says Dorman. “But it’s quite different as well.”
Eye-catching chandeliers and gilded accents await in the Marie Antoinette room.
The Ice Cubes
Hand-carved by the bar's own staff, Dear Irving's carefully crafted ice cubes complement the taste of each cocktail and express the patience needed to prepare the perfect drink.
One of the spot's most popular drinks, the Whiskey Business (LEFT) includes Ancho Chile, rye whiskey, lemon, cinnamon syrup, and angostura. Gin lovers will appreciate the Gibson (RIGHT), made with dry vermouth, pickled onion, and Carpano bianco.
The Cocktails, Obviously
Whimsical and fun, the cocktail menu, designed by Dorman, reinvents classic items (like the Heir of Little Venice, a grownup root beer float) but still lets patrons indulge in traditional flavors. “Since we have a kitchen, we can [also] make some cool [drink ingredients] in house,” explains Dorman.
Each table's buzzer is connected to the bar. The waiter will be over as soon as your number goes off.
You Will Never Wait for a Drink
One of the best aspects of the new bar? Not waiting to be served. Use your table’s personal buzzer and the waiter will be right with you.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SETH OLENICK