Oscar Wilde Bar: A Victorian Treasure Trove Opens its Doors

The Oscar Wilde bar, a tribute to Victorian times, opened its doors August 16th.
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Situated on 27th Street in NoMad, Oscar Wilde amazes with its regal décor, over 300 inspired spirits, and selection of unusual dishes. This 5,874 square-foot establishment, designed in 1909 by Henry T. J. Fuehrman and complete with an authentic Victorian air, is home to one of the longest bars in the city at 118.5 feet. Its location at 45 West 27th Street was occupied by the Bureau of Prohibition in its heyday – delightfully ironic considering the building’s current function! Oscar Wilde opened to the public on August 16th.

As per its name, the bar and restaurant honors the writer-poet Oscar Wilde, an Irish Victorian-era icon and prominent voice in LGBTQ+ history. This so-called “public place for private affairs” contains the centerpiece standing whisky bar, accompanied by precious antiques and a private event space that can accommodate up to 70 people.

A generous array of beverages line these Victorian walls.
A generous array of beverages line these Victorian walls.

At the bar, patrons can choose from more than 300 whiskeys and 32 beers (many of which are local to New York) on tap, as well as a wine menu curated by Denise Prykanowski. Oscar Wilde also offers an abundance of $14 Victorian- and Prohibition-era cocktails, courtesy of head mixologist Johnny Swet. Among them are the “50 Shades of Dorian Gray,” containing Plymouth gin, cherry liqueur, Chinese 5 spice, and citrus; and the “Mary Pickford,” with Plantation pineapple rum, Vedrenne pomegranate liqueur, Luxardo marashino, and pineapple.

Co-owners Tommy Burke and Frank McCole founded the Celtic Developer’s Group (CDG) in 2000 which, prior to Oscar Wilde, has founded several popular NYC bars, including Lillie’s Victorian Establishment in Union Square and Times Square, Papillon Bistro & Bar in Midtown, Papillon Bakery in Long Island City, and Ashby’s located in Wall Street and the Flatiron District. The pair told us about Oscar Wilde’s conception: “We named our newest bar after Oscar Wilde, since he was longtime friends with Lillie Langtry, a successful British actress and socialite of the late 19th century and the namesake of Lillie’s Union Square and Lillie’s Times Square. Coming from County Mayo and County Monaghan in Ireland, we grew up reading Oscar Wilde and studying his literature. We want the bar to celebrate his legacy and become an inclusive destination for all.”

From "Godfather" to "The Nightingale," Oscar Wilde delivers.
From “Godfather” to “The Nightingale,” Oscar Wilde delivers.

Luxurious lunch and dinner menus feature “farm-to-table” items such as buffalo cauliflower (“buttered in rice flour and tossed with a Sriracha butter sauce”) and lamb sliders with goat cheese and apple chutney. Also making an appearance is the bar’s original Wilde Burger: imported Irish beef topped with chili aioli and house-made pickles, served with American cheese and fries.

While the cuisine at Oscar Wilde is certainly a feast for the food lover in everyone, the bar’s various design elements and artifacts are a feast for the eyes. Patrons will find themselves surrounded by wood paneling from Hope Castle in Ireland, antique French and Irish fireplaces, bronze table bases, Welsh chandeliers, stained glass from late 19th-century Milan, an 1819 Player Piano at the whiskey bar, and 26 antique clocks, all set to 1:50, the time of Wilde’s death.

Patrons will sit at bronze-based tables made in Mexico.
Patrons will sit at bronze-based tables made in Mexico.

Oscar Wilde is open seven days a week from 11 am to 2 am. It is located at 45 West 27th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. Visit http://oscarwildenyc.com or call 212-213-3066 for more information and to schedule a reservation.

 

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