December 11, 2018
Just to the right of the main doors of the historic Radio Wave Building, an unassuming set of double doors leads to the basement coffee shop Patent Coffee. But after 5 p.m., just as evening is falling, the space expands via a set of accordion doors that open up into a cozy brick-walled 34-seat cocktail lounge. Patent Coffee transforms into Patent Pending, a popular speakeasy dedicated to the spirit of invention.
The speakeasy draws its inspiration from inventor Nikola Tesla, who lived in this building at the end of the 19th Century when it was The Gerlach Hotel. Tesla used his rooms to transmit radio waves to his nearby laboratory. Tipping its hat to significant moments or achievements in Tesla’s life, Patent Pending offers a variety of thoughtfully-mixed cocktails including: “Hit by a Taxi,” “Currents & Coils,” “Cosmic Rays” and yes, “Radio Waves,” among others. A selection of beers and wines are also available.
Getting into the speakeasy is an experience of its own. First, you don’t just walk in. The code 4927# typed into an electronic keypad will prompt the host to let you through the doors. From there, quite often there are waits of up to an hour and a half as standing room in the speakeasy is limited. (Patent Pending does not accept reservations—it’s first come, first served.) But once you’re seated, the dark, relaxing atmosphere and finely-crafted beverages provide the perfect backdrop for socializing with friends, a passionate date, or just unwinding after a long day at work.
49 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
Sunday – Wednesday: 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Thursday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.