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Bemelmans Bar - cover, etc.?

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Hubby and I are heading here on Sat. for, well, probably only 1 drink . . . it's sort of a sentimental choice due to a favorite movie and we haven't been.

Anyway, is it correct that the cover is only charged later in the evening? We will be out of there by 7:30 pm, 8 pm at the latest.

Reviews in other places suggested that both cocktail attire and skinny jeans/dressy top were ok. But we're heading to Babbo for dinner afterwards - should I just make hubby wear a suit and be done with it? (He doesn't have much in between a suit and khakis and we're not doing the latter.) :)

And finally, any drink recommendations from those who've been? Thanks!

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  1. From the Bemelmans website:
    Cover charge is applied after 9:30 p.m.
    Sunday & Monday: $10 per person at bar, $20 per person at table
    Tues.-Sat.: $15 per person at bar, $25 per person at table

    Jeans are out of place at Bemelman's, in my opinion. Life is short. Dress up. This is one of those evenings and places when it makes sense. Enjoy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Huh, how did I miss that on the website? Well, sounds like we're good to go anyway, since we'll be gone well before 9:30.

      I'm quoting your last sentences to my husband since I totally agree. Thanks!

      1. re: ScarlyAngel

        Bemelman's is one of my favorite places in Manhattan. No need to wear a suit, but I suspect that jeans with a fabulous jacket and fabulous shoes would be fine. Just don't wear a fanny pack. I tend to get a martini there (gin), but have also had a great Pisco Sour, as well as some kind of pear "martini" concoction last time I was there. If you can possibly get there before four, you might be able to get Tommy at the bar and, well, he's my favorite bartender in NYC. Which, yes, suggests that there have been times in my life where I have been at Bemelman's before four.

    2. Champagne cocktails and dress up as life's more fun when you do!

      1. Your husband won't be overdressed in a suit--when I was there all the men were in suits. I agree with the previous posters, why not dress up.

        But I'm sad to say we didn't have a good time there. The Bemelmans murals are amazing, we loved seeing those, but our waiter knew NOTHING about cocktails in general or their drinks menu specifically, which is really a shame in a bar with that history. Our drinks were good though, we probably should have sat at the bar. Not sure who was bartending that night. I wasn't crazy about the atmosphere--in the early evening, all the other couples were prostitutes with businessmen. And of course the drinks are very expensive, and inferior to the best NYC cocktail places, which are half the price. I'm still glad we went, but we're not in a rush to go back.

        7 Replies
        1. re: tarnation

          I have heard things like that sadly. But, we want to give it a try - sentimental choice - and then cross it off the list. :)

          1. re: tarnation

            The secret is to go in the afternoon when Tommy is behind the bar (he has been there for over 50 years and knows everything about cocktails). I actually like to go when it's quiet and talk as it's a very soothing spot.

            1. re: bronwen

              Exactly.

              1. re: MMRuth

                A tangent: have you been to Bar Pleiades yet?

                1. re: gutsofsteel

                  No - have to confess I've not even heard of it. Don't have occasion to go to many bars these days!

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    It's the new bar of Cafe Boulud. Looks very nice and grownup. Last time I had dinner at Cafe Boulud, they were just about to open so we peeked in. Have been meaning to go have a drink.

                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                      Ah nice - will find an occasion to check it out.

          2. Thought I'd quickly report back - we enjoyed our time here. I tried the Pear martini - which was good but not out of this world. DH's whiskey splash was amazing, however, and I wished I'd gotten that. He also tried Tommy's signature drink, and it was good too, but not as good as the whiskey. The bar was packed at 6:30 on Saturday night. I was glad we exited before the cover charge kicked in - I don't know how you'd hear yourself talk over music too! All in all, I'm glad we went!