The East Village gains a whimsical cocktail bar next week, where riffs on popular drinks — like a dirty martini made with Japanese shochu instead of vodka or gin — will be served alongside upscale versions of food like Hot Pockets.
Mister Paradise, located at 105 First Ave., between 6th and 7th streets, brings elements of a high-end cocktail bar to an environment that’s supposed to be taken a lot less seriously. An Old Fashioned-inspired drink, for instance, is made with rye whiskey, olive oil, and coffee via the sous vide cooking method, but it has the light-hearted name “Cafe Disco.” Large format drinks for up to six people will also be on tap.
And co-founder Will Wyatt, who previously worked at the NoMad Hotel’s bar, is also doing a fancier version of the blowjob shot, a crudely named drink that’s topped with whipped cream and supposed to consumed with hands behind the back. Here, it’ll be made with aged rum, coconut, and coffee, bearing the name “Crossfit Breakfast.”
“The whole purpose of this place is to try to make something that is as accessible to everyone as possible,” Wyatt says. “It’s got elements of fancy and higher end cocktail bars, but it’s also the East Village.”
The bar is a direct representation of its different founders: Wyatt brings in upscale bar experience from his days at the NoMad, while his partner Eric Kruvant, who comes from a more casual East Village bar Drexler’s, ensures Mister Paradise has a relaxed atmosphere.
Meanwhile, chef and partner Jeremy Spector, previously of Employees Only, is behind a playful food menu that includes an apple pie Hot Pockets-like pastry inspired by the one sold at McDonald’s across the street, fried chicken served with black truffle honey, and a diner-style burger topped with bacon-flavored American cheese made on site. Cocktails will range from $13 to $15, and that burger with bacon-flavored cheese will cost $12.
Wyatt is banking on volume to keep prices down: He says he wants the bar to be a jam-packed with revelers every night. All the drinks, including that sous vide’d cocktail, will be prepped before service and poured on the spot, cutting out the time-consuming presentation that goes into making complex drinks at high-end bars, he says.
“We’re trying to get that same quality, much faster, at a more accessible price point — and in a party environment,” Wyatt says. “There are a few elements that really scream party atmosphere.”
The bar’s interior is an elegant Art Deco style but with cheeky elements. Photos like a sardine coming out of a banana peel are in the space — Wyatt says he searched for “weird” images on Getty to find them — and the bathrooms were specifically painted in the same light-blue-green color as room 237 in the horror film The Shining. And at the back of the bar, a private dining and party room called the Red Room is supposed feel like a set piece from A Clockwork Orange. The bar seats 60, including that back room.
“We really just want it to be a party, all the time” Wyatt says. “Guests should be able to cut loose any way they want to, hopefully not break anything, but still have a great time.”
Mister Paradise opens at 5 p.m. starting Tuesday, February 19. It will be open until 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and until 3 a.m. after that.