Hidden New York: UWS club pays homage to colonial gentleman’s club

Posted at 7:39 AM, Nov 08, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-10 03:37:06-05

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — It’s a restaurant on the Upper West Side that’s hiding a secret that will take you back to colonial New York.

On West 79th Street, you’ll find Burke and Wills, an Australian restaurant with a whole lot of history and culture.

Named after two British explorers — Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Willis — who embarked on an expedition to Australia in the 1800s, the restaurant brings an Aussie feel to the Big Apple.

The restaurant, however, is home to a speakeasy hidden behind a green leather door that guests often walk right past it.

Up the stairs, you’ll find the Manhattan Cricket Club, an elegant speakeasy where an old apartment was restored to its original layout — wood paneling, leather sofas, hidden bathrooms. 

Do you have to play cricket to come in? No, but it helps.

The speakeasy is kind of a throwback to the old-school gentleman's clubs where you had to pay to belong and social with the elite.

Fast forward to today, all you need is a reservation. 

The menu sticks to the Australian theme, including its famed kangaroo burger.

But the main attraction are the elegant drinks. While downstairs has all the hustle and bustle, the bar upstairs is all about the craft. 

You can just make a reservation, but the Manhattan Cricket Club also takes memberships, which guarantee you access and allow you to store your favorite beverage of choice. 

The Manhattan Cricket Club is at 226 West 79th St.

For more information on the Manhattan Cricket Club, click here.