Mercbar Turns 16 With Many Happy Hours

Photo: Ben Leventhal

MercBar celebrates its Sweet 16 this month, and owner John MacDonald is celebrating with a “Retro Hour” menu of discount cocktails available from 5 to 8 p.m. daily. (The “Sweet Sixteen” itself costs $8 and is made with Bulldog gin, St. Germain, organic agave nectar and fresh lime juice, and a splash of soda.) MacDonald, who also owns Lure Fishbar, designed a limited-edition T-shirt for the occasion (not for sale, but if you ask nicely, one could be yours). “The bar opened five years before the Mercer Hotel, and the only real business on the street was Honmura An and, around the corner, Jerry’s, both sadly gone,” MacDonald recalls. “Soon after, Match closed, too (Billy Gilroy opened it). And Spy Bar and Wax (Nur Khan). The Guggenheim Museum unveiled their downtown outpost years later, which ultimately failed and was converted into the Rem Koolhaas Prada flagship. While so much has changed, there is still a great sense of neighborhood in Soho, especially Mercer Street, with a tight camaraderie between the hotel, Fanelli’s, the crew at Prada, and the locals.” Spy Bar in its heyday Mercbar is not, but sixteen years in that location is a champion run, indeed. Carry on, sweet Mercbar.

Menu: MercBar’s Retro Hour