121 St. Marks Place
Like any good speakeasy, Morrisey Park can transform rapidly. Step out for a cigarette and it will go from a relaxed lounge spinning surprisingly good beats or your standard indie-rock fare to a club with girls in miniskirt/tube-top combos grinding to Hot 97’s most recent 30-song rotation. One of the bars highlights is its versatility, but just make sure you stay away on a Saturday night if all you seek is a 2$ PBR (always available) and a comfy couch.
The gallery in the back further serves to distinguish the bar from its peers, featuring prints and paintings, all of which have one thing in common: the idea of a stately speakeasy in the Roaring 20s. The room itself is stark, with white walls and muted modern couches, giving me the distinct feeling that I’d just missed the party. This can be easily avoided by scheduling a private gathering — a possibility on any given night. The frosted glass of the gallery door goes unnoticed from the main room, as it’s camouflaged by the large-scale photographs of foggy woods, complete with trees so realistic that I invited my friend on a hike at the end of the night. Granted, I’d had a few cocktails.
Underneath the photos are vertical lines in earthy colors — at first glance this appears to be nothing more than wallpaper, but shine a flashlight on the wall and crags of construction paper reveal themselves. To make the wallpaper, line after line was cut out by hand and glued on the wall in a process for which the word tedious is simply not enough. Morrisey Park’s walls, then, feature art mounted upon art. This is intentional.
The bar’s attempts at outshining its neighbors are subtle enough that you’ll probably not notice if you just stumble in for a last drink, but marked enough that it’s worth coming back the next night and settling in for a while.