Don Draper's New York
by Harrison Peck, 03/21/2012 [Updated 04/03/2015]
Courtesy, '21' Club
21 W. 52nd St., 212-582-7200
Though it has never actually been featured on Mad Men, '21' Club could easily serve as a stand-in for any of the swanky, nameless restaurants where Don, Betty and the Sterling Cooper ad men wine and dine. Opened as a Prohibition-era speakeasy—and narrowly surviving numerous police raids, thanks to a secret wine cellar and an intricate, lever-operated system for the disposal of contraband liquor—'21' Club, in its current Midtown location for the last 80 years, has always been synonymous with New York society. Appearing in countless films and television shows, '21' Club has long been a favorite hangout for celebrities, from the likes of Groucho Marx, Katharine Hepburn, Ernest Hemingway and Frank Sinatra to nearly every US president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Even today, '21' maintains a dignified ambience, as one of the few remaining restaurants in the City with a strictly enforced dress code, and continues to serve classic American fare to a distinguished crowd.