MANHATTAN – Just days before the City ground to a halt, put under stay at home orders by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo as a novel coronavirus swept through the five boroughs in the beginning of March 2020, the owner of the Upper East Side’s popular ice cream parlor and ‘storage room,’ UES, had reached a deal on her next project, ‘Not A Speakeasy.’ You know what happened next.
“I actually was set to start construction,” Cortney Bond explained in an interview with Upper East Site, “I had the deal in my hand [on] March 3rd. ”
Fast forward two years and Bond’s ‘Not A Speakeasy’ has finally opened on East 84th Street, near the corner of Second Avenue, welcoming customers to an all-new experience— just look for the giant neon purple heart mural painted on the wall by artist Adam Fu.
“It’s great to see people dancing all night long, having cocktails and you know, just having fun,” Bond said.
“People need to have fun. It’s so important. It’s so necessary after what everyone’s been through.”
Called NAS for short, the new underground speakeasy serves up fun, contraband-themed cocktails and mocktails— including one served in a cough medicine bottle and another that comes with a pill bottle filled with sour Skittles, to compliment the sour apple puree that that comes in the cocktail.
Once you have your drink, find your way over to the ‘Last Supper’ painting featuring history’s greatest gangsters– real and fictitious– including Scarface’s Tony Montana, the Godfather’s Vito Corleone, Denzel Washington as Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas, ‘The Teflon Don’ John Gotti, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, Frank Sinatra and tax-evader Al Capone using a notice from the IRS to light his cigar.
Take a load off in the money green velvet booths, take your photo in the Instagram booth or show off your moves on the dance floor, because as the sign on the wall says, ‘a little party never killed nobody.’
That’s if you know how to get inside.
Yes, ‘Not A Speakeasy’ is in fact a speakeasy– but, it’s also much more than that.
“Obviously everyone is going to get in, but there should be a little mystery to it,” Bond said.
A longtime Yorkville resident herself, her new establishment, ‘Not A Speakeasy,’ pays tribute to the neighborhood she holds dear.
Take the steps down the green and purple lit staircase inside the newly-constructed entrance on East 84th Street and you’ll be greeted by the words ‘Upper East Side, I have so much to thank you for.’ The custom work of art commissioned from artist Benny Cruz, leads the way inside Bond’s flashy, opulent cocktail bar.
Stop by the money-themed bathroom with hundred dollar bill wallpaper and dollar sign chandeliers above the blinged-out sinks to snap a photo of the generous positive affirmation written in neon: YOU ARE MONEY.
“You don’t always want to have to go downtown, to go to Meatpacking or to go to any trendy club places,” Bond explained, “the Upper East Side is really awesome.”
‘Not A Speakeasy’ is open Thursdays through Saturdays, 6:00 pm to 3:00 am.