The Bemelmans Bar Playlist Celebrates New York History - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

The Bemelmans Bar Playlist Celebrates New York History

When it comes to classic New York bars, it doesn’t get more iconic than Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle. With its 24-karat gold-leaf ceiling, classic cocktails, and large-scale murals by Ludwig Bemelmans, there are few places that feel more New York than this Upper East Side landmark.

If you’ve ever visited, you know there’s always a musician tickling the ivories to set a stately tone for the experience—every day of the year, beginning at 5:30 p.m., to be exact. And yet in the name of good hospitality, the bar also created a Spotify playlist so regulars and fans can tap into the same nostalgic vibes whenever they please (an offering that that’s especially welcome while the bar is closed due to COVID-19).

“Music is one of the main attractions and reasons that our guests visit the bar–and music is as much a part of the bar as any of our other special components,” says Tony Mosca, director of food and beverage. “Live music has been performed in the bar since it opened and our performers have always stayed true to the bar’s roots by featuring classic standards from the likes of Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and many others from the Great American Songbook.”

To bring the bar to life via Spotify, the goal with the soundtrack was to feature favorite songs that are played most evenings in the bar. “We looked no further than our very own talented pianists who perform live in the bar every night–from pianist Earl Rose and Rob Mosci to The Loston Harris Trio and The David Budway Trio,” says Mosca. “We especially wanted to make sure the late Chris Gillespie was featured on the playlist. Chris unfortunately passed away suddenly in 2017–he was an extremely talented and beloved pianist at Bemelmans Bar for over 16 years and was instrumental in the success of the bar. His talent and passion for the Great American Songbook is still missed by so many and we are thrilled we have his recordings available to remember his voice and talent.”

Mix yourself a classic Martini or Old Fashioned, don your best evening wear if you please, and tune in to the playlist below.

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