Going Back to the Jazz Age at the Red Room


Natalie Osterling

The Wall Street Journal

Denis Woychuk, owner of the Red Room | Agaton Strom for The Wall Street Journal

New Speakeasy Opens Above KGB Bar

Speakeasy-type bars have been popping up all over New York in the past few years, but not all of them have direct ties to Lucky Luciano.

The Red Room, located on the third floor of a Lower East Side tenement where Luciano ran Palms Casino in the 1920s and ’30s, aims to recreate that Prohibition-era ambience.

“I love the space because it is like a time machine. Everything down to the sconces is from the Prohibition era,” said owner Denis Woychuk, who is also the man behind the KGB Bar downstairs in the same building.

The Red Room serves up classics (think dirty martinis and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s drink of choice, the gin rickey) and classically inspired drinks.

The Cocksman is a fruity mixture of rum, triple sec, orange bitters and pineapple juice. Bartenders also mix up a vintage Dubonnet cocktail, featuring the popular 1920s mixer stirred with gin and a lemon twist (all $12).

The Red Room serves food courtesy of Piccola Strada, a small, family-owned Italian spot down the block. The bar offers more-modest portions of the hearty Italian fare. Options like lobster ravioli with vodka sauce ($10), baked artichoke with marinara ($10) and gnocchi with pesto ($9) are perfect for snacking and sharing.

Like its cousin KGB, the Red Room offers a full calendar of entertainment that sets the little gin joint apart. There is something every night of the week, including belly dancing, burlesque and live jazz.

Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra take the stage every Thursday night, transporting visitors right back to the Big Apple’s flapper days.

Original Article