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October 15, 2021updated May 05, 2023

II The Crypt by Chapel Bar at Fotografiska

Cocktail of the Week: NYC's new Chapel Bar takes guests on a cocktail journey through the ages.

By Kim Ayling

The New York outpost of the iconic Swedish photography museum, Fotografiska has been the go-to destination for the city’s most creatively minded individuals since it opened in 2019. Now, the destination is being elevated to new heights with the opening of the all-new, and super exclusive cocktail bar, Chapel Bar.

Tucked away in the depths of the Fotografiska Gallery, behind an unmarked door to a former 19th-century chapel, Chapel Bar opened at the end of September – but only to those in the know. To gain entry to this elusive destination, guests must become either a Fotografiska Patron or NeueHouse Member, both of which come with a seriously scrutinized application process.

As you would imagine of a destination with such scrutinous entry requirements, Chapel Bar has already become something of a New York elite hotspot, with the city’s most notable individuals drawn to its exclusive and remarkably private nature.

Those fortunate enough – or important enough – to enter Chapel Bar, will be greeted by sumptuously dark and intimate interiors, courtesy of design house Roman and Williams. Hanging from the wooden beamed ceiling is an opulent oversized chandelier, that casts moody lighting over the central bar and main seating area.

[See also: The Best Restaurants in New York]

II the crypt cocktail by chapel bar

The cocktail menu takes guests through the illustrious history of alcohol and drink-making with references to some of the oldest known spirits and liqueurs available today / ©Fotografiska

Away from the main bar, hidden in a dark, cozy corner, is a VIP ‘confessional’ area, paying homage to the space’s religious past. Chapel Bar now offers a new type of religion, with what was originally the organ replaced by a DJ booth.

The cocktail menu takes guests through the illustrious history of alcohol and drink-making with references to some of the oldest known spirits and liqueurs available today, such as chartreuse, orgeat and Plymouth gin.

For those who haven’t yet made the pilgrimage to Chapel Bar for themselves, the skilled team of mixologists has shared the recipe for II The Crypt – a disconcertingly named cocktail that pairs the herbaceous flavors of chartreuse with smooth Reyka vodka and sharp lime juice.


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  • ½ oz orgeat
  • ¾ oz lime juice
  • 1¼ oz Reyna vodka
  • ½ oz Joseph Cartron Elderflower liqueur
  • ½ oz yellow chartreuse


Add all ingredients to a cocktail tin. Shake thoroughly and double strain into a rocks glass with a two-by-two ice cube. Top with a splash of soda before garnishing with fresh strawberry and mint sprig.

Chapel Bar at Fotografiska, 281 Park Avenue South, New York City,

See more Cocktail of the Week recipes here.

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