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If you want to sip cocktails before dinner, you have a wonderful bar option at The St. Regis New York: the historic King Cole Bar.
King Cole Bar invites you to stay awhile, with soft leather chairs, oak tables and nighttime piano music drifting from the nearby Astor Court restaurant. The bar gets its name from its large mural Old King Cole, painted by Maxfield Parrish at the New York hotel owner’s request in 1906. The mural is now valued at more than $12 million and some say there’s a riddle hidden in the painting that you can coax out of the bartenders — if you stay long enough to get them chatting.
King Cole Bar claims to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary. According to the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel, a St. Regis bartender named Fernand Petiot introduced the drink to New York in 1934 after experimenting with a vodka and tomato juice cocktail in Paris in the late 1920s. The drink was originally called a Red Snapper, and though the name didn’t stick, the combination has been popular ever since. In addition to six specialty Bloody Marys — with ingredients like Tabasco, housemade clam juice or orange juice — King Cole Bar offers a variety of wine, beer, single-malt whiskey and bourbon, as well as house martinis and cocktails. There’s an impressive list of cognacs, including an 1881 Frapin priced at $760 a glass.