This New Midtown Speakeasy is a Piece of History from the 19th Century

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Beneath the Life Hotel is now a historic speakeasy serving up fabulous cocktails. Gibson & Luce is the not-so-new bar that just opened under the lobby.

The hotel was once the Life magazine headquarters, and below it (in the space that’s now the bar) was where the journalists would go to do their drinking. As Zagat reports:

“The team, helmed by BR Guest Hospitality vet Stephen Hanson, named it after one time Life magazine editor Charles Dana Gibson and publishing legend Henry R. Luce, a fitting tribute to the building’s storied history.”

The speakeasy will feature upscale bar food such as Gently Poached Shrimp (with holy schmidt’s horseradish, and chili roasted cocktail sauce); Goose Fat Potato Knishes (with crème fraiche, dill, and hackleback caviar); Henry Burger (daily ground aged beef blend with caramelized onions, american cheese, smoked bacon, vigz sauce, and french fries); and a variety of pizzas like their Pizza Bianca (which comes with black pepper ricotta, potato, and saunders farm egg).

As for cocktails, the names are as fun as the drinks themselves! The variety of alcohol ranges to fit almost all taste buds, including cocktails like The Front Page (made with pierre ferrand cognac, bruto americano, vicario walnut, lemon, and chocolate fig); Room Upstairs (made with akashi japanese whiskey, allspice dram, mandarine tea jam, lemon, and shiso leaves); Gibson Girl (made with wolfed rosé gin, poli miela grappa, and contratto bianco); and Hold Me Tight (made with el dorado 5yr rum, spiced apple cider reduction, punt e mes, and lemon). You’ll also find other gins, whiskeys, and aged rum in their list of wonderful cocktails.

The speakeasy can be found through the doorway in the back of the hotel’s lobby, located at 19 West 31st Street. 

All article images courtesy of Gibson & Luce