The Beekman Hotel raises the curtain on another bar tonight, this time underground bar Alley Cat Amateur Theatre. The lounge comes from nightlife stalwart Serge Becker, who helped build other NYC hits like Joe’s Pub, La Esquina, The Box, and Miss Lily’s, with snacks from chef Tom Colicchio.
Alley Cat blends old-school theater, izakaya, and speakeasy vibes. Located at 10 Theatre Alley, the bar plays homage to the area’s history by bringing an old-school playhouse look to its design and decor. The staircase down to the bar is lined with theater props, and the space, which can accommodate up to 110 people, features set pieces and a dress form, giving the bar backstage vibes. There’s also an actual stage area for live music. In addition to lounge-style seating geared toward large groups, there are 12 seats at a U-shaped bar.
Most of the drinks are classic cocktails infused with Japanese flavors, like the “tonkotsu old fasioned,” which is made with pork fat-washed rum, wasabi, and plum, and the “Tokyo gin fizz,” which mixes gin with shochu, lemon, egg white, sesame, and cherry blossom water. Japanese beer and whiskey, as well as sake, are also available. See the full drink menu below.
The food menu, overseen by Colicchio’s Beekman Hotel restaurant Temple Court, similarly incorporates Japanese flavors with a menu of small plates such as a grilled maitake mushroom with yuzu butter and the Japanese spice mixture togarashi. Miso broiled shrimp comes with bok choy in a curry butter, and the soy braised short ribs come with spicy ginkgo nuts.
Becker’s other NYC spots run the gamut, from burlesque nightclub The Box to taco and cocktail destination La Esquina to Caribbean restaurant Miss Lily’s. He’s known for his theatrical approach to design, and he was once profiled by the Times for being a “night life impresario.” He’s also currently the creative and artist director of New York’s Museum of Sex.
The Beekman hotel is also home to Keith McNally’s Augustine, and Temple Court has its own bar space called The Bar Room. Becker will oversee the music at Alley Cat, which will rotate between playlists, and DJs, and live musicians. The lounge is open Tuesday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.