Inside the bar at Bernard's
Inside the bar at Bernard’s


The Peninsula? The Four Seasons? The Ritz? Get me there, get me on a velvet couch—oh, and somebody get me a cocktail, please.

I’m a sucker for luxe hotel bars. That’s why, when an invite from the Elysian finally arrived in my inbox last week, I replied in seconds flat. The opening of the stately new European-style hotel and residence tower on Walton Street has been hotly awaited and several times delayed in recent months, and while Wednesday marked the official grand opening, I was there for a media preview on Monday night.

After menu tastings in the Elysian’s two restaurants, our group adjourned to the second-floor Bernard’s Bar, fully padded in suede and the aforementioned velvet. And while I won’t be able to gauge the crowd at Bernard’s until a “real” night this weekend, here are the initial stats, as recorded in my trusty notebook:

$27 million: Price paid to the previous owner (for whom the bar is named), Bernard Herrey, for the prime piece of real estate on which the Elysian sits. Herrey donated the entire amount to children’s charities.

$14: Price of a classic cocktail; the list includes the Perfect Manhattan, the Vesper, and the Sidecar. Try something mixed with the house-made tonic.

34: Number of people who can comfortably park themselves in Bernard’s deep burnished orange and chocolate brown interior at one time.

5: Estimated inches of thickness of the white Carrera marble bar

4: Number of framed charcoal nudes by the Chicago artist Francine Turk hanging on the walls

3: Number of inches too long my hair happens to be at this moment. I compulsively pointed out my split ends while relaying this information to Mario M. Tricoci, principal and general counsel at the Elysian, before he informed me that he is neither a stylist nor involved in the family salon business.

2: Number of Elysian interior shots I mobile-uploaded to Facebook after several cocktails at Bernard’s (at right). My photo caption, referring to the glittering starburst light fixture in the lobby, reads: “This chandelier defines me.”

1: Number of days until I go back for another round.