Pete’s Tavern 2024

Welcome to Pete’s Tavern, NYC’s oldest continuously operating restaurant and bar, located in beautiful Gramercy Park on East 18th street and Irving Place. 

New York Christmas 2024 all you need to know

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We would like to take you back on a tour through time and show you how ‘Pete’s’ has changed throughout the decades, yet still remains one of New York City’s great cultural landmarks. The building, built in 1851, originally housed the Portman Hotel where downstairs on the main floor a “grocery and grog store” was the first drinking establishment, founded in 1864.

During Prohibition, ‘Pete’s Tavern’ was disguised as a florist, adorned with fresh flowers. Signs outside invited passers-by in. Enticed to purchase orchids, roses, violets and gardenias from this fake store. Patrons entering through the side door, in what is now the first dining room, who were in the know, would signal and give the password, and then be escorted through a dummy refrigerator door (whose hinges are still intact). 

They would enter into the bar, where they could drink, chat and socialize, while conducting any business necessary. When Prohibition was repealed on Dec. 5th, 1933, the florist signs came down and ‘Pete’s’ remained in business.

Preparations for the holiday festivity start as early as late August, taking down old lights and restringing them. It is not until November 1st that 18 people begin the decorating which is a two week long process.

Upon entering, you immediately feel the festive holiday ambiance coming to life. In a recent post by Pete’s Tavern, they posted a reel with “Jingle Bells” playing in the background showcasing the bar room.

The ceiling is strung with hundreds of beaming red lights, complemented by the small red bows and bells on the green tinsel all around the edges of the cabinetry. 

The decorations do not stop there, though. In the outdoor space, in front of the windows there are multiple Santa figures and nutcrackers surrounded by fake snow. The star of the show is an inflatable snowman that is displayed on the roof of Pete’s, styling a red and green scarf and black hat.