Since opening in 1907, the Plaza Hotel's Oak Room has emerged as a New York City institution, a place where locals and tourists alike can marvel at Everett Shinn's murals of Central Park, engage in unconfirmed Eloise sightings and, more recently, spend 19 dollars on a cocktail. Tonight after last call, the bar and the restaurant will close for good, in the wake of what the New York Times calls "a protracted and bitter battle with the Plaza's owners over noise levels, money and alleged lease violations, among other things." (According to the Times, Shinn's murals of Central Park will stay.)
It's a blow not just to connoisseurs of classic Gotham watering holes, but also to film, for Hollywood has gone time and again to the Oak Room's high ceilings, dark interiors, and long, lonely bar over the years. Among the notable productions that took advantage of the space:
North by Northwest (1959)
Rare is the bar room that's both the perfect place to begin a complex thriller involving mistaken identities and the kind of place Cary Grant would seem comfortable having a three-martini lunch.
The Oak Room was the watering hole of choice for one of the movies' wealthiest and most persistent drinkers.
Scent of a Woman (1992)
The Oak Room isn't where Al Pacino and Gabrielle Anwar had the famous tango scene (that was at the Pierre Hotel ballroom), but it is where he took Chris O'Donnell out to a fancy dinner.
Gossip Girl (2009)
Even the CW set got a glimpse of the interior in the finale of the second season.