Well, this almost makes me glad that the Holiday Cocktail Lounge went out of business. Almost.
Barbara Sibley, the new owner of the storied old East Village dive (she owns La Palapa next door), was revamping the interior when she discovered an old mural beneath the mirror behind the horseshoe-shaped bar. The colorful, rather louche painting depicts a belly dancer being observed by two turbaned sultans and three harem girls.
Sibley suspects—correctly, I'm thinking—that the mural belongs to the Ali Baba Lounge, which occupied the space from the 1930s to the 1950s, at which time the Holiday took up residency.
Sibley seems to respect the joint's long history. The mural will be kept and restored. She will retain and refresh the old bar and keep the awning. She's going to rip up the plywood floor to get down to the original wood. She also found flocked wallpaper behind the current walls in the back.
(Photos are by Noah Fleck.)