Meet Mr. Cannon The Seaport District's Newest Speakeasy

Meet Mr. Cannon The Seaport District's Newest Speakeasy

Mr. Cannon Speakeasy (Farah Lopez)

As a proud Harlemite, I rarely find myself in lower Manhattan.  I’d heard of the Seaport District and some the great summer events and concerts going on, but it wasn’t until I was invited to experience the east river’s newest speakeasy Mr. Cannon, that I decided to make the trip downtown. Even though I was given very clear instructions on how to find the bar, I got turned around a few times and I have to admit, I absolutely loved that. I walked through the crowded “Garden Bar” that has been taken over by Chase Sapphire for the summer—the members only lounge has a pergola draped in greenery and offers 78-square-feet of comfortable seating along with games, cocktails, and bar nibbles. 

I continued to make my way down the cobbled streets found a glass door that led to a small courtyard. The path then turned into an alleyway with no signage behind a series of buildings. Finally there it was—a black door with Mr. Cannon’s logo: a rat dressed in a finely-tailored suit. When I walked in, the light pierced the darkness so abruptly, everyone stopped to look at me. As the door closed behind me, there was just enough light to make sure I didn't bump into furniture and made it safely to the bar. Mr. Cannon's large room has several 17th-century portraits, framed mirrors, vintage love seats and plush chairs that can be moved around for group seating. 

Mr. Cannon Speakeasy (Farah Lopez)

Every surface from floor to ceiling is painted black which makes the one exposed brick wall the most beautiful feature in the room. The bar, also painted black, was manned by two bartenders dressed in you guessed it, all black.  I found a seat at the bar and chatted with Chris Kearns, manager and mastermind behind the Mr. Cannon cocktail program and overall bar concept. “Mr. Cannon was named after Cannon's Walk for John Cannon, a 17th-century Staten Island native,” said Kearns. John Cannon built the east river wharf that would become one of the busiest docks in the 18th-century. I also asked Kearns why he chose a rat for the speakeasy’s logo. He laughed and said, “We wanted to take something that’s despised and make it lovable. They’re everywhere in this city and they’re not going anywhere, so if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”  

The bar was packed with a mixed happy hour crowd of professionals and couples trying to get to know each other over old school R&B tunes like Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone and Lauryn Hill's Sweetest Thing.  After perusing the menu, I ordered the Longshoreman cocktail with Belvedere unfiltered vodka infused with rose and Chaga (a medicinal mushroom), St. George green chile vodka, vermouth, lime, and honey. It was spicy and complex, and the lime was wonderfully refreshing; a well-balanced drink with clandestine potency. In addition to cocktails, Mr. Cannon offers a champagne menu for those who want a more high-roller experience. Unfortunately, there are no bar bites here, but the Seaport District offers plenty of food options year round including Clinton Hall, home of the viral sensation donut grilled cheese and tomato soup. 

If you’re looking for a great speakeasy bar with a lot of New York history and a touch of mystery, Mr. Cannon is well worth the effort. Open daily 5 pm- 2 am.

Mr. Cannon, 206 Front Street, Seaport District, no phone number

 

 

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