George Washington Bar Looks Like a George Washington Bar

Mahogany Wood, Historical Significance and Drinks by an Angel's Share Alum

By Ilana Dadras ·
Photo: Oleg March

1939: W. H. Auden called the original George Washington Hotel the "the nicest in town."

1979: Keith Haring lived in the building, when it housed dorms for the School of Visual Arts. 

2018: You sipped a tasty concoction of whisky, coriander, porcini and curry leaf at a stately mahogany bar. You took a bite of a deviled egg topped with seaweed powder. You made a soft, "mmm"-ing sound.

There we have some significant and not-as-significant happenings in the building that's now home to George Washington Bar: a historic place for drinking and snacking courtesy of Gabriel Stulman, now open in Flatiron.

Let's get you two familiar.

Specifically, inside of Freehand New York: the hotel that has taken over the original George Washington Hotel, once home and frequented by many a storied writer and musician. Come with a friend and make for the hotel's former library room: a space that's all original mahogany millwork, restored fireplace and vintage furniture—all pulled together the way only Roman and Williams know how

Claim some sofa or slide into a couple of wooden bar stools facing the George Washington painting head-on. The drinks here are sophisticated, involved, complex, all that—and crafted by an Angel's Share vet. For something spirit-forward, maybe the Medianoche (mezcal, ancho reyes, pedro ximenez, sherry, chocolate bitters). For something sour, Sweep the Leg is the move—that's got shochu, pineapple, Thai basil and lime. Check them all out here, if you please. If you're hungry at all, snacks run the gamut from house chips with onion dip, to foie gras torchon with cherry preserves, to American caviar with crème fraîche and latkes.

"But the photos!" you shout, with passion. "Where are the photos?"

Relax. They're right here...

George Washington Bar at Freehand New York, now open, 23 Lexington Ave (between E 23rd and E 24th), 212-475-1920, see the menu and the slideshow

Ilana Dadras

Ilana Dadras passes her days writing about good food, talking about good food and consuming good food. Occasionally doing other things, too.

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