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New York: Top 7 bars of your favorite movies and series

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New York’s most legendary bars

From neighbourhood pubs to posh bars and beer gardens, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to having a drink like your favourite film and TV heroes. Cheers!

Vazac’s Horseshoe Bar

In Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) lives above his bar. His bedroom window looks out onto Avenue B, on the left corner of the first floor of the building. Sitting on the stairs of the building opposite, Jessica spies on him for a while, then pushes the door of the establishment. She had several drinks there before spending the night with him. Vazac’s, also called 7B since it is located at the corner of 7th St and B Av, is typical of New York and has been filmed many times.

A sense of déjà vu will surely win you over when you sit at Vazac’s Horseshoe Bar. And for good reason: this East Village establishment, with its arched front door and horseshoe counter, has been the setting for a large number of films. it’s up to you to make your own…

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Old Town Bar

In Close Enemies, as their friendship develops, Rory Devaney (Brad Pitt) and Tom O’Meara (Harrison Ford) spend an evening drinking beers and playing pool at this unique establishment. Open since 1892, the Old Town Bar is one of New York’s oldest pubs and has retained its period charm. In order to cross Prohibition, he transformed himself for a time into a restaurant while maintaining a clandestine activity. Born German and initially called the Viemeisters, it changed its name for the first time during Prohibition, and became Craig’s Restaurant (Officially; behind the scenes it is still a speakeasy). The bar itself is 17 meters long, the crates are old, the alcoves are made of wood, the booths, the oldest dumbwaiter in New York still works, and the row of urinals on the first floor in the men’s room dates from 1910. Several other films were shot here: The Last Days of Disco, State of Grace (1990), Q & A (1990), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Madonna’s video “Bad Girl”, and the series Sex in the City and Mad About You.

Founded in 1892, the aptly named Old Town is one of the oldest bars in New York City and still has many period features, such as the 17-metre long counter, wooden alcoves, tiled floors and 1910 urinals. Its dumbwaiter, still in use, is considered the oldest in the city.

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Mulberry Street Bar

In Godfather 3, Michael’s nephew Vincent Mancini-Corleone (Andy Garcia) begins to get close to Michael’s daughter Mary (Sofia Coppola) when he goes to have a drink in the bar. Mary was originally intended to be played by Winona Ryder but she gave up at the beginning of the shoot because she was too stressed. Francis Ford Coppola then decided to replace her with his own daughter, Sofia, who was 19 at the time.

You don’t need a sponsor to enter this Little Italy bar, where you can expect to run into Al Pacino or the Sopranos at any moment – the photos on the wall remind you that the place, which opened in 1908, has hosted some famous film shoots. The decoration is vintage as you wish, the clientele is eclectic and the jukebox is just waiting for you to play the greatest standards of Elvis and the Four Tops.

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McSorley’s Old Ald House.

In Once Upon a Time in America, the five young gangsters gather in this place steeped in history as it is the oldest Irish tavern in New York. Founded in 1854, the place seems frozen in time.

New York’s oldest Irish tavern, founded in 1854, doesn’t like change. Moreover, nothing that covers its walls has ever been removed, Houdini’s handcuffs are still chained to the bar of the counter and it took more than fifty years for the menu to be slightly modified in 2017, simply by adding Feltman’s hot dogs.

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The Campbell

In Gotham, in season 3, Alfred meets a Wayne Enterprises employee in this bar located in Grand Central. It is housed in the former office of John W. Campbell (1880-1957), a millionaire who was president of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad. After his death, the place was used as storage and even as a small prison, before being restored to become a bar in 1999.

Order a “Blonde Negroni” or a “Manhattan” at the Campbell, formerly The Campbell Apartment, an exceptional bar in Grand Central. Tastefully renovated and reopened in the spring of 2017, this emblematic bar has retained its monumental fireplace and sumptuous setting inspired by 13th century Florentine palaces. Two other bars are now attached to it: The Campbell Palm Court, with its palm trees and view of the main terminal, and The Campbell Terrace, an outdoor verandah.

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King Cole Bar

In Radio Days, Sally White (Mia Farrow) is a cigarette seller in this bar whose name comes from the huge painting “Old King Cole” painted by Maxfield Parrish and enthroned behind the counter since 1932. It is here that the famous Bloody Mary cocktail is said to have been invented in 1934, but several bars claim authorship.

Just like the luxurious St Regis Hotel inside which it is located, this bar, named after the Maxfield Parrish painting hanging behind the counter, exudes a certain charm. Order a “Bloody Mary”, this is where the famous cocktail was invented, in 1934, by Fernand Petiot.

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McGee’s

In How I met your mother, McGee’s is the bar where the creators of the series, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, used to hang out when they worked for David Letterman’s The Late Show not far from here. They were inspired by the place to create MacLaren’s. The name comes from the associate producer of the series, Carl MacLaren, which is why the bartender is called Carl in How I met your mother. The atmosphere of the place, with its benches, the fireplace and the colours of the decoration will plunge you back into the series. It is also used both on the menu, where all the dishes and cocktails refer to it, and in terms of merchandising. The actors have been there several times and it still happens to see fans going there with a yellow umbrella …

This Irish pub inspired MacLaren’s Bar from How I Met Your Mother. The two creators of the series used to have a drink there when they were still working for The Late Show. McGee’s is still surfing on the success of HIMYM and its cocktails are named after some of the most famous episodes: “The Naked Man”, “Slutty Pumpkin”, “Don’t Drink Tequila” or “The Pineapple Incident”. Beware of binge watching!

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By Anthony Thibault

Monday, March 11, 2019

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