Harry's New York Bar: The Parisian Home of the Bloody Mary
No matter what country they're from, everyone seems to love Harry's New York Bar, a Paris venue nominated for a Luxist Awards' Readers' Choice Award for Best Cocktail Lounge.
Since 1911, Harry's New York Bar has been mixing masterpieces for Parisians and international celebrities like Ernest Hemingway, FDR and the Duke of Windsor. The expatriate community is celebrated and encouraged there -- a somewhat atypical attitude in Paris -- and the bar is adoringly referred to as "Sank Roo Doe Noo," which is what the address sounds like if your French is terrible.
The bar is in the style of a proper classic cocktail venue; the main wooden bar is cozy and intimate, the walls are layered with college football pennants and black and white photos, the ceiling is dark and ornate, the downstairs piano bar is sultry and sophisticated and the lighting is warm and low. Be sure and take note of the Scottish crests on the walls; the original owner, American star jockey Tod Sloan, hired Scotsman Harry McElhone to run his "New York Bar," and he left his mark everywhere including the neon marquis out front.
Gallery: Harry's New York Bar in Paris
Harry's New York Bar has the distinguished distinction of (and our eternal gratitude for) having invented the Bloody Mary, the Sidecar and many other cocktails during their 99 year history. Perhaps one of their current concoctions will one day be as successful. Our bets are placed on the "Web Spirit" (5 cl mezcal, 2 cl cranberry juice, 1 cl lemon juice and 2 cl peach liqeuer), which they created for the launch of their website -- simple, yet devastatingly effective.
Though it's a long way to travel, you're certain to be welcomed at Harry's New York Bar -- and if you find yourself in Paris on Thanksgiving or The Fourth of July, there's no better place to be for American splendor (and drink specials).
Vote for the cocktail lounge that you believe is the best of breed. The voting period runs through April 30 and winners will be announced on May 1.