You can put this spot on the list of places that came back even better after the pandemic. Fotografiska is one of the coolest museums in New York. And its Chapel Bar is basically the VIP room. If it wasn’t already cool to grab drinks at the museum’s restaurant Veronika, the Chapel Bar Fotografiska cranks it up a notch.
For fans of private speakeasies set in historic landmarks, this one’s for you. The Chapel Bar at Fotografiska is a dark and moody private lounge with jewel-tone colors and deep, plush armchairs. Moreover, it’s located in the lobby of the Swedish museum Fotografiska behind a hidden door in a beautiful, old 19th-century chapel. Originally the members-only club was created so that the Fotografiska and NeueHouse communities could connect. But carefully crafted cocktails, a rich history, and live events and performances have attracted a broader clientele.
And the room also has a story to tell. Back in 1897, it was constructed as a schoolhouse by James Renwick Jr. (Renwick is the architect behind St. Patrick’s cathedral.) Then the space turned into the famed Calvary Church where Edith Wharton and many elite NYC families, including the Astors, the Vanderbilts, and Roosevelts, were among the congregants.
The inventive drink menu at the Chapel Bar at Fotografiska includes cocktails and spirits, especially chartreuses, gins, and champagnes. The concoctions are influenced by monks, priests, and other religious and spiritual figures of the past, taking guests on a journey through the ages. Also, true to its original roots, there’s a confessional booth where servers can deliver drinks to you through a special hatch. (Only slightly sinful.)
A Claim to Fame
Chapel Bar was recently featured in the Netflix series Inventing Anna, about the fake German heiress, Anna Sorokin (also known as Anna Delvey), who conned the New York City elite. And her plan was to use it as the space for her foundation to impress high-profile clientele. So the bar got some airtime in a few episodes to play her private club.
Q: Can I just walk in to Chapel Bar and get a drink?
Q: What are Chapel Bar’s hours?
A: Chapel Bar is open daily from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Q: Since the bar is part of the museum, does it display art?
A: Chapel Bar often displays photographs that align with Fotografiska’s exhibits.
Chapel Bar at Fotografiska Information
Address: 275 Park Ave S., New York, NY 10010
Phone number: 646-993-6993