Opulent light fixtures, custom marble, antique fireplaces, scores of paintings and photographs, and two statues of Oscar Wilde are what await at a new bar in NoMad named for and dedicated to the Irish writer. Tommy Burke and Frank McCole, who run the similarly-decorated duo of Lillie's bars—named for Wilde's longtime friend, actress Lillie Langtry—are behind this new space, which will open in late June on West 27th Street.
"Coming from County Mayo and County Monaghan in Ireland, we grew up reading Oscar Wilde and studying his literature," Burke and McCole say of their inspiration. "We want the bar to celebrate his legacy and become an inclusive destination for all."
The two men spent a considerable amount of time and money renovating the space, which was home to the city's Prohibition Enforcement Headquarters in a previous life. They spent $4 million acquiring all of the many, many design features, including the hand-carved marble imported from Vietnam, Milanese painted glass from the 1800s, and lots of clocks.
"The standing clock from England dating from the 1880's is our favorite design piece. We will set the time on all the clocks to 1:50 pm, which is the time of Oscar's final act," Burke and McCole tell Gothamist. "We have one grandfather clock from England and other 24 small time pieces from the British Isles."
Then there's the enormous bar, which they're claiming will be the city's longest at 118.5 feet.
The author can be seen drinking a Guinness at one end of said bar; the iconic Irish beer is also a key ingredient in the bar's signature cocktail, the "Oscar Wilde's Potent Elixir," made with cognac, gin, Guinness, cassis, lavender, champagne and orange zest. Mixologist Johnny Swet will channel both Prohibition-era cocktails in addition to Victorian sensibilities and what Wilde himself liked to drink, including champagne and absinthe.
When they eventually open there'll be food, too, including "gastropub"-type dishes like cottage pie and a bacon cheeseburger.
45 West 27th Street; oscarwildenyc.com