4. King Cole Bar

The King Cole Bar, located in the elegant St. Regis Hotel, is famous for its namesake mural and for being the  birthplace of the Bloody Mary cocktail. The mural, painted by illustrator Maxfield Parrish, was originally commissioned  by John Jacob Astor IV in 1909 for his Knickerbocker Hotel. Parrish was reluctant to paint the mural due to his Quaker upbringing, but ultimately agreed for the sum of $5,000. Old King Cole is thought to have been modeled on Astor, but there does not appear to be any resemblance between the two.

In 1921, Vincent Astor, John Jacob Astor IV’s son, converted  the Knickerbocker Hotel to office space. In 1935, Astor transferred the mural to St. Regis Hotel, which he also owned. The mural was placed in the hotel’s bar, which was renamed after it. The mural was cleaned and restored in 2007 at a cost of over $100,000, during which time a replica of the mural hung in its place. Today, Old King Cole continues to watch over the bar and its patrons.