When the late hotel heiress Leona Helmsley bequeathed $12 million in her will to her beloved dog Trouble, the unusual choice inspired headlines around the world. Now the moneyed Maltese is making news again, with a posh, new hotel bar dedicated to his memory.
Trouble's Trust is one of six new restaurants and bars inside of The New York Palace Hotel, which has been undergoing a $140 million renovation project. Originally owned by Helmsley, the hotel pays homage to the magnate and her four-legged friend through a winking cocktail program and lush furnishings inside the Champalimaud-designed space.
"Because of its discreet location under the Grand Stair, Trouble's Trust bar is unexpected--not unlike Trouble's sizable inheritance!" said Winston Kong, principle at Champalimaud. "If Trouble were alive today, we can imagine the Maltese holding court on one of the tufted leather banquettes, a regal seat for Leona's beloved pet."
The "den-like lair" also features burgundy lacquer walls and a floor to ceiling wine display behind the long bar. From chocolate-colored lounge chairs, visitors can peruse the golden paw print-stamped menu, which was overseen by mixologist Jim Saufley.
"As a dog lover myself--I have two--I was delighted to have the opportunity to use my four-legged friends for inspiration," Sauffley told ABC News. "Cocktails can be imaginative and playful just like quality time with your dog."
"The Pampered Pooch" combines Owney's "Original" NY Rum with B&B, Cocchi Bianco, fresh lime, simple syrup, creole bitters, and a sugar cane garnish.
Meanwhile, the "Queen of Mean" is named in honor of Mrs. Helmsley herself and is the most popular, according to Saufley. Mixing Breuckelen NY Wheat Whiskey with Red Jacket NY Apple Juice, Averell "Damson Gin" elderflower syrup and fresh lemon, it is topped with a baked apple chip garnish.
Unfortunately, no pups are actually allowed inside of the establishment.
"Regretfully local laws do not permit pets in bars and restaurants," said Saufley. "But I am happy to share our cocktail recipes so you can make them at home and enjoy it with your Foxhound at your feet or your Lhasa on your lap."