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Bemelmans Bar

Bars, Lounges Lenox Hill
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Bemelmans Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Don Riddle

Time Out says

From the iconic Madeline murals by Ludwig Bemelmans to the live music, Bemelmans is like no other experience. Somehow, the white-jacketed service doesn't feel stuffy but transportive to another era that isn't just another Prohibition-style bar knockoff. Maybe it's the fact that the classics are done just right (head bartender Luis Serrano has worked here for 31 years).

By: Bao Ong



Address: The Carlyle, 35 E 76th St
New York
Cross street: at Madison Ave
Transport: Subway: 6 to 77th St
Price: Cover (after 9:30pm): $20–$35. Average drink: $20. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 11am–1am; Sun noon–midnight
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Users say (3)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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This iconic New York City bar was named after Ludwig Bemelmans who created the Madeline children’s books that we all know and adore. The decor is something you have to see with your own eyes as words cannot describe how special it is. The ceiling is covered in 24-karat gold leaf. If you are lucky, you might even get in to see the famous Woody Allen perform his amazing jazz. You can get expertly made cocktails and munch on bar snacks while you are mesmerized by your surroundings. Check the website for special events and tickets as there is something magical always going on here. 

In search of a watering hole with plenty of atmosphere, taste and that old New York style of casual sophistication? Look no further than this dimly lit bar adjacent to the majestic Carlyle hotel. Bemelmans takes its name from the prolific novelist and children’s book author Ludwig Bemelmans (1898–1962), who covered the bar’s walls in his signature fantastical drawings (an elephant ice skating in Central Park, dogs having a picnic, that sort of thing). The waiters are highly professional and nattily attired in uniforms; there is a bottomless serving dish of nuts, cheesy crackers and potato chips; and often there’s a silken-fingered pianist plying his trade. Oh, yes, and cocktails. The martini is top-shelf and packs a punch. The Old Cuban is perfect if you’ve ducked in from a hot summer day. Or any season, really. The burger sliders and fries will help you cushion the booze. None of this is cheap, but if you’re fine with spending a $150 or more on some drinks and a bite, you won’t regret it.

This cozy bar on the Upper East Side is discreetly charming and decadent at the same time. It takes you back to another era--waiters wear white jackets alongside live piano music (and sometimes even trios). The murals on the wall are by famed artist and children's book author, Ludwig Bemelman, author of the Madeline books. Martinis are to die for--and even though they are $25, you get a sidecar, which is basically another entire drink. Cover applies after 9pm but is totally worth it. Perfect romantic date night spot.

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