Looking for an East Village bar that’s not a dark, romantic lair, and a step up from a beer-and-shots dive? Have no fear: Mister Paradise is here. The cocktail bar, opened in February by owner Will Wyatt and chef-partner Jeremy Spector, (formerly of NoMad bar and Brindle Room, respectively), is equally ideal for post-work drinks and weekend high jinks. With an emphasis on cocktails, Mister Paradise bills itself as a fun space to let loose while enjoying palate-expanding drinks and chef-y takes on nostalgic midnight snacks.
Wyatt’s drinks menu is both unconventional and whimsically retro. There’s the Cougar Magnum, a refreshing drink made with smoked grapefruit cordial and popcorn-infused gin. An Awfully Big Mustache, a “rich, savoury daiquiri,” features sesame rum and smoked scotch with beetroot caramel. The Dr. Angel Face is a true love-it-or-hate-it cocktail, a dirty martini made with shochu and tomato dashi that tastes the way a tomato vine smells—like pure summer.
At Mister Paradise, the ’90s are back: picklebacks are reimagined as whiskey and Cynar, followed by a bite of mignonette granita. The much-maligned BJ shot is now the Crossfit Breakfast—rum, coffee, and coconut with pandan cream. Spector’s food menu, partly inspired by the neighborhood McDonald’s, offers sweet, salty, and fatty treats for late nights or rough days—fried chicken, gourmet Hot Pockets, and steak tartare.
Like the drinks menu, the ambiance is a mix of chic and irreverent. A peculiar mix of photos makes patrons look twice en route to the bathrooms—modeled after The Shining’s Room 237. In the main room, inward-facing banquettes allow for easy conversation. The Red Room (think eerie movie set, but with toucan sconces) seats 12 to 15 and is available for private events.
For those seeking an insouciant setting with exceptional drinks, or an offbeat location for that birthday or office party, Mister Paradise awaits with open arms.