Headshot portrait of Serbian-American physicist and electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla aged 34, circa 1890. From a photograph by Napoleon Sarony (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The Speakeasy Located In Nikola Tesla's Old NYC Apartment
By Nick Johnson
Nikola Tesla gained a reputation as one of the most intriguing figures in American history for scientific feats, from the Tesla coil to the neon sign and, eventually, the idea of hydroelectric power. Today, the Radio Wave Building, once known as the Gerlach Hotel, in Manhattan recognizes Tesla's legacy by re-utilizing the same space where Tesla once experimented with radio waves.
Inside the Radio Wave Building basement is the Patent Pending speakeasy, which references Tesla in everything from the décor to the menu. Founded by Ryan Mckenzie, during the day, the basement-level room is Patent Coffee, but a door slides open in the evening to reveal the intimate, 34-seat speakeasy.
Patent Pending features craft cocktails named after the inventor's life, such as the sweet-and-spicy gin cocktail White Lightning or Hit By a Taxi, a Japanese whisky cocktail that alludes to the taxi cab that struck Tesla in 1937. As of 2018, you could only access the secret space by typing a code into a security pad, which would send an alert to unlock the door.