HOLIDAY COCKTAIL LOUNGE
Almost 100 years old, this iconic East Village watering hole has pioneered “Dive Elegance”, where craft cocktails and a warm welcome meet. The bar has been a gritty dive bar frequented in the 1990s by The Ramones and The Bouncing Souls, who immortalized it in their “Holiday Cocktail Lounge” song. In the 1980s, Madonna, Iggy Pop and Keith Richards frequented its bar stools. Poets Allen Ginsburg and W.H. Auden were regulars in the 1970s, as was Godlis, who documented the punk rock scene, Frank Sinatra and Shelly Winters made it their haunt in the 1960s. Holiday Cocktail Lounge opened in 1950, succeeding The Ali Baba Burlesque, which entertained guests in the 1940s. The venue began its libational history back in 1919 as a speakeasy hidden in Ann’s Beauty Shop, attracting the likes of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky during his East Village sojourn. It was the city’s 50th licensed bar when Prohibition ended in 1933. The building itself dates back to 1835.
The mahogany horseshoe bar from the 1920’s greets guests and the front of the room is crowned by a hand painted harem scene mural from its Ali Baba days, that was discovered hidden behind a bar mirror. The wooden phone booth, one of only few left in New York City, remains in place, untouched, with its original phone number.
Holiday Cocktail Lounge, the East Village magnet for rockers, poets, intellectuals and revolutionaries, is owned by Robert Ehrlich, founder of Pirate Booty and Vegan Rob’s, who reopened its doors in January 2015 following a painstaking three-year restoration.