Secret entrances just make everything cooler, and secret entrances are especially cool when celebrities once used them. That is just part of the appeal of the new Pebble Bar, which has become the place to be for tourists, the midtown work crowd, and celebrity spottings, since opening in late February.
A saloon called Hurley’s used to inhabit the four-story townhouse located on the corner of 49th street and 6th Avenue before closing in 2000. With its proximity to Rockefeller Center, Hurley’s became quite the watering hole for NBC bigwigs including Johnny Carson, Jack Paar, and David Letterman during its prime. Letterman once bought a round for the entire bar during one of his late night-stops, according to The Associated Press. Perhaps it helped that the venue has a secret entrance direct from the 30 Rock’s NBC studios, known to be used by Carson.
The secret entrance is still very much there and though it hasn’t been confirmed that any celebrities have used it, it would make sense as Pebble Bar has already become a draw for the likes of Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, and Jimmy Fallon. Fallon, who hosts The Tonight Show from 30 Rock, even has inspired a drink at Pebble Bar: the “Ginny Fallon.” It is described as a delicious gin-and-tonic made to Fallon’s specific liking.
Celebrities may feel comfortable there because many of the investors in Pebble Bar are famous themselves. The list includes Pete Davidson, Nicholas Braun, Justin Theroux, Mark Ronson, and Jason Sudeikis. With playlists handpicked by Grammy and Oscar winner Ronson and a founding team including Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte, and Julian Brizzi (known for The Jane Ballroom, Grand Army, The Smile, and Ray’s) it would be pretty hard for this bar to not be considered cool.
Pebble Bar has become a bonafide hotspot since opening not even two months ago. Pattinson threw the first party at the venue after the premiere of The Batman. Perhaps Kravitz used the fire escape entrance. She is Catwoman after all.
Brizzi describes the space, which was designed by Gachot Studios, as fitting in “any era of the Rockefeller Center/Radio City story, built by hand. Something that has been here forever.” Pebble Bar consists of three main areas so when you walk up the stairs the first thing you see is a beautiful, open bar room with great music playing. Above that is the cocktail room which Brizzi describes as “grown and sexy.” This is the quieter part of the bar that allows for a more personal guest experience with a raw bar and light bites. It also only has 10 tables so reservations for this room are slim!
For guests looking for a party room (possibly with some celebs), Johnny’s, on the next floor, is a space for larger groups to settle in. “Maybe someone’s playing the piano, or “I got the blues” by Labi Siffre on the Ojas speaker system, and at the corner bar someone is getting an amazing cocktail made for them,” Brizzi said.
In addition to Fallon’s go-to, The Dude (bourbon, ginger, saffron, dandelion) is also recommended and Brizzi’s personal favorite is the Martini 1-H (gin or vodka, vermouth, citrus oil) on the rocks. You will also want to try executive chef Carlos Barrera’s Kampachi Ceviche and smoked-and torched-Mackerel.
Brizzi said Pebble Bar is working to open up more availability for day-of and walk-ins, but for now, the best bet is to try to make a reservation one month in advance.
Pebble Bar is located at 67 West 49th St and is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday and 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Wednesday. Reservations are available online via Resy.