Hotel Elysee - Monkey Bar

60 E. 54th St
New York
NY 10022
United States

General description

The Elysée is known for the Monkey Bar, a piano bar just off the lobby. Opened in the depths of the Great Depression, it became known to the cognoscenti as “the place to go where jokes die,” especially off-color jokes and double-entendre songs spun by such performers as Johnny Payne (1934-1944) and Mel Martin (1945-1983).

Starting out as just another dimly lit hotel piano bar with mirrored paneling, the tiny room was renamed in the early 1950’s when the mirrors were replaced by wraparound hand-painted mural by caricaturist Charlie Wala. The mural depicts monkeys with decidedly human features riding elephants, crouching under a tree, mixing up banana daiquiris for tough-looking monkey-like customers, etc. In successive years, other artists have added to the tableau.

Other information

Type(s): Hotel, Activities, Lounge

This is an indoor location, and the average cost for two adults is 20 Dollars.


The following three ratings are averages from user feedback.

from 2 people
from 2 people
from 2 people

Feedback people have left about Hotel Elysee - Monkey Bar

nice place!

Left by devorah on Sun 4 Jul 2010 16:09

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