A First Look at Ella: Is She a Speakcheesy or Not? You Decide!

Photo: Melissa Hom

In what has to be the most impressive airing out of bar space since Gin Mill disinfected the Village Idiot’s former home, the team behind GalleryBar and Plan B has completely gutted Julep, keeping only the chandeliers, and is poised to open Ella there on October 1. You’ll remember this is the bar we worried would be a “speakcheesy,” but owner Darren Rubell assures us he's as tired of that trope as we are. “We wanted to capture the other side of 1920s,” he told us. “The glamour, decadence — all those things associated with Hollywood at the time.” To that end his partner, Jordan Boyd, got his uncle Carleton Varney, owner of esteemed design firm Dorothy Draper and Company, to give them some red half-moon banquettes left over from the green room at the Oscars, some kidney-shaped love seats, and the rest of it. The downstairs lounge has a piano, but rather than being a straight “piano bar” (you know, what the Beatrice was going to be?) as the press materials advertise, it will likely just hold intimate acoustic performances. And the bartenders (sorry, mixologists) have been asked to supply whatever bar snacks they can scrounge up before their shifts. Given the place's location near Russ & Daughters, we're hoping they'll spring for caviar.

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