serving scam drinks and a side of narcissism

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Photograph: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

If you’re a man who has failed in his attempt to launch a vodka brand, has done the same with a line of steaks, and gone bankrupt several casinos and hotels, looking more into the hospitality industry may not seem like the decision. the wisest.

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But that’s exactly what Donald Trump did, never one to listen to his enemies or his advisers, by opening a new bar in his eponymous tower in downtown Manhattan.

The bar, named 45 Wine and Whiskey, in a nod to Trump having been the 45th president, promises craft cocktails in “the most exclusive setting.” Open in late November, it serves a range of President-themed drinks and is, according to marketing materials, a place to “kick back and relax”.

Perhaps that was the intention, but a recent visit to the Guardian revealed that 45 Wine and Whiskey served primarily as an ode to narcissism, or a world record attempt to cram the most black-and-white photos of a man in a whole Small space.

Behind the bar are 15 gold-framed photos of Trump, whose penthouse apartment is hidden 50 floors above. A giant photo of Trump sitting behind his presidential desk dominates the seating area.

In total, there are 39 photos of the former US President in the bar, suggesting this could be a venue for people who like the former Apprentice host.

There is a photo of Trump, the first president to be twice impeached, meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Korean demilitarized zone, while another photo shows Trump and Melania alongside a queen Elizabeth indifferent. Photo, odd choice, shows Trump holding on a copy of the Washington Post with the headline: “Trump Acquitted.

There are other things to look at. From the wooden bar, a customer can admire the peachy marble walls and the many golden railings that make the Trump Tower one of the main tributes to 1980s opulence. It’s part of a decor theme dubbed “Dictator style” by fashion writer Peter York.

Since 45 Wine and Whiskey replaces the ‘Trump bar’ that previously occupied the same location, this is not exactly a new venture. And just like its predecessor, the 45 Wine and Whiskey features red velvet seats, marble tables, and gold flourishes, in keeping with the rest of the building. The seating area sweeps across the lobby to the famous gold-effect escalator that propelled Trump onto the political scene in 2015.

The drinks follow the grandiose theme – at least in terms of the price, which is sky-high. The Forty Five – a whiskey with syrup and bitters, served with two small burgers and, oddly, a Diet Coke – costs $ 45. The Flotus – a potent set of white wine and gin that might hint at Melania’s lack of activity in the White House – costs $ 29.

The Forty Five – a whiskey with syrup and bitters, with two small burgers and, oddly, a Diet Coke – is $ 45.

The Mar-a-Lago spritzer, named after the Florida resort town Trump has locked himself in since leaving office, is a scam almost on par with Trump University. The drink consists of white wine, soda and grapefruit juice. It is served with an orange wedge and costs $ 29.

The price could explain the fact that on a recent hour-long afternoon visit, the Guardian was the only customer – although that doesn’t explain the laissez-faire opening hours.

According to the website, the bar is open from noon to 8 p.m., but at 1.30 p.m. one day recently, there was a red velvet rope guarding the entrance, and no sign of life. After leaving Trump Tower and returning at 3 p.m., the bar was still closed; it was not until 3:45 p.m., during a third visit, that access was obtained.

Hopefully for the beleaguered former president his supporters will visit the bar at more appropriate times. But some of his vaccine-skeptical supporters will face a major hurdle, in the form of a large blue sign at the entrance to the bar.

“New York City requires that you be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter this business,” he says. “Those five years and older must show proof of vaccination against Covid-19. “

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