Opening in 1934, the Merry-Go-Round debuted at the Copley Plaza Hotel shortly after the end of Prohibition. It was here that the Massachusetts Governor George Ely spent Repeal night with a celebratory martini. Perhaps looking to capture the excitement of a new era in nightlife, the hotel added an actual carousel to the space, mixing elegance with whimsy. In Drinking Boston, Stephanie Schorow writes: “the bar was a popular theme for postcards. I found one postmarked in 1942: ‘Dear Mom and Dad, I’m on the Merry-Go-Round but not getting too dizzy.’”
After the Merry-Go-Round shuttered after its long run in 1978, the space was reinvented as the Oak Room, known for its serious, dim-lit atmosphere and for their famed martini service that would produce enough of a cocktail to fill your glass one and a half times. To celebrate the hotel’s 100th anniversary, the space has been reimagined as the Oak Long Bar + Kitchen. Paying attention to the history of the bar, designers kept much of the past, including the gorgeous coffered ceilings and the beloved martini service. They also uncovered pieces of the past that had been hidden, like the tracks from the original merry-go-round, which are outlined in the floor today.