While in New York, I just had to take a jaunt over to the real life bar which stood in for Scout, the watering hole owned by Carrie and Miranda’s exes, Steve and Aiden, on Sex and the City. The bar first showed up in the Season Four episode entitled “Ghost Town”, in which Miranda and Carrie are forced to face the ghosts of their relationships past at the grand opening of their exes’ new bar. Scout (real name Onieal’s Grand Street) showed up quite a few times during Sex and the City’s run, most notably during Season Four.
Although I didn’t have a chance to step inside and grab a cocktail at Onieal’s on this trip – as I have said before there was just so much to stalk and so little time – from looking at the interior photographs of the restaurant online, I am guessing that producers chose to use the bar because of its rich mahogany interior. In SATC, Carrie’s furniture-maker ex-boyfriend Aidan was supposed to have built the entire interior of the bar by hand, and Onieal’s hand carved ceiling (which was flown in from Venice many years ago) and wood-paneled walls fit in perfectly with that idea.
I found this location thanks to fave stalking book New York: The Movie Lover’s Guide, but Onieal’s is also featured in a fabulous book that I purchased for my boyfriend this past Christmas called The Histories and Stories of the Best Bars of New York. The chapter on Onieal’s chronicles its sordid history as a speakeasy, a brothel, and a gambling establishment. Owner Chris Onieal opened up the bar in 1995 on the corner of Grand Street and Centre Market Place, in a space that has housed a bar of one type or another since 1875. The most notorious bar that stood on that spot was named the Press Room and it was located directly across the street from NYPD headquarters. During prohibition a tunnel was dug connecting the bar to the police department so that New York’s finest had easy (and secret) access to a watering hole.
Interestingly enough, in the SATC episode entitled “Ghost Town”, Carrie brings Aidan a mulberry bush as a bar-warming gift. She says “Because your new bar is located on Mulberry Street.” Well, that’s not exactly true. Onieal’s Grand Street is located on Grand Street, as the name suggests, in between Mulberry Street and Centre Market Place, but on the Centre Market Place side. Mulberry Street is actually a full block down from Onieal’s entrance. In the above screen capture, you can see that they even went so far as to put up a street sign saying “Mulberry” outside of the bar. LOL
Even though I didn’t have a chance to grab a cocktail at Onieal’s, it is definitely high up on my list of things to do next year. It looks like a very cool place to spend an evening and I highly recommend stalking it. 🙂
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: Scout aka Onieal’s Grand Street Bar is located at 174 Grand Street in SoHo. You can visit their website here.