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Source: Mark Grgurich

Baker Street Irregulars Is Still Going Strong 36 Years After Tom Cruise Learned to Sling Bottles for 'Cocktail' at Famous New York Bar

Jun. 10 2024, Published 10:34 p.m. ET

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The bar where Tom Cruise learned to sling bottles in the 1988 hit Cocktail wasn’t a set or reimagined restaurant but an actual bar and grille that’s still inspiring tales. Baker Street Irregulars, the actual setting for Cruise’s tutorial, continues to thrive at its Upper East Side New York location. But it’s lore isn’t limited to the toothsome movie star; the location is – for reals – the very first T.G.I. Fridays (no more).

Closed during the pandemic, Baker Street Irregulars re-opened in 2022 with new managers and a new attitude, owed to its owners and manager Kendra Rogers, a New York institution herself. The brassy, boisterous Rogers is a neighborhood celebrity, beloved for her warm-hearted greetings, off-the-cuff humor and no-nonsense business acumen. Dubbing herself the "bar mom," she oversees the daily operations with a mix of humor, dedication and a keen sense of what makes a pub feel like home.

"I run the big top," she declares, a testament to her role as the conductor of a very lively and loving circus.

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Tourists from all corners clamor to see the bar – still the same, folks – and sling a bottle as an ode to the Cruise classic, which made Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” a hit for the second time. Pop culture aficionados will also recognize Baker Street Irregulars from the Diane Keaton movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

These days, the real good bar is charming its guests with inspired events, like performances by Shorty Long, the little person known for big covers of classic rock hits. Rogers has also started poker and bingo nights, as well as appearances (or disappearances?) by actual magicians.

“Every night is a dinner party with all my closest friends,” Rogers says. “I love making an evening special for people.”

Baker Street Irregulars remains a cherished landmark in pop culture, a testament to the enduring power of history and revelry.

Here, everyone does know your name. And they’re awfully glad you came.


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