King Cole Bar Mural & Riddle
In 1948, the King Cole Grille opens where the beloved Maxfield Parish mural would find its final resting-places over the elongated, carved oak bar. The mural, titled "Old King Cole," was commissioned in 1906 by hotel owner Colonel John Jacob Astor for his 42nd Street hotel, The Knickerbocker. For a "kingly sum" of $5,000, Parrish eventually agreed to the commission. However, the Knickerbocker was short-lived and the mural made a few stops throughout the City before coming to its home in The St. Regis in 1932. In the first year of the bar, only men were permitted to enjoy the plush surroundings. Finally, in 1950, women joined the revelry under the watchful eye of Old King Cole. For decades, Old King Cole has been delighting patrons, including Salvador Dali, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Paley and John Lennon and has been featured in several movies including The Devil Wears Prada, Hannah and her Sisters, Radio Days and The First Wives' Club. Old King Cole has watched over many an important event, most notably the birth of the Red Snapper in 1934.
In 2007, the 30' by 8' mural received a $100,000 cleaning which completely restored the beloved masterpiece to its original splendor.