Hotel Elysée has been home to the Monkey Bar since it opened in the depths of the Great Depression. The Monkey Bar became known as “the place to go” especially for those who enjoyed off-color jokes and double-entendre songs spun by such performers as Johnny Payne (1934-1944) and Mel Martin (1945-1983).
Starting out as just another dimly lit hotel piano bar with mirrored paneling, patrons started to mimic one another (“monkey see, monkey do”). The tiny room was formally named The Monkey Bar in the early 1950’s when the mirrors came down and were replaced by wrap-around hand-painted murals of monkeys by caricaturist Charlie Wala. In successive years, other artists have added to the tableau, keeping the Monkey Bar as polished as it always was in days gone by.
The Monkey Bar
We know many of you choose to visit New York City to experience fine dining at its best. Among all the hotels in NYC, Hotel Elysée boasts one of the hottest and most world renowned restaurants, the Monkey Bar, which has been featured on 'Sex in the City" as well as "Mad Men".
Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair and an owner of the Waverly Inn, along with partners, Hotelier Jeff Klein and Jeremy King of The Wolseley in London, are the new owners of the Monkey Bar.