Door in New York Bar With 96 Handles Branded 'Impossible' to Figure Out

A door in a New York bar with nearly 100 knobs has been branded "impossible" to figure out after a drink or two.

A snap of the bathroom door was shared to Reddit's Mildly Infuriating forum by Jwstoner86, aka Jason, who appeared to be out for a drink at The Garret West, in Bleecker Street.

After popping to use the facilities, they appeared to face a puzzle to exit, with the door covered in shiny golden handles.

He uploaded a snap to the site on Sunday, saying: "This is the inside of the bathroom door at a bar in NYC. After some cocktails, it is impossible to pick the right one on the first try."

The photo amassed more than 30,000 upvotes, and can be seen here, as people furiously debated which handle was the right one.

Commenting on the design, Awkward-Ordinary-965 wrote: "Your friends freaking out cuz you're missing but you're just f****** confused turning knobs in the bathroom lmao."

ChrisWolfling pointed out: "I find it funny how some of the knobs seem to have been ripped off the door. Like someone got frustrated and started pulling them off..."

Rabidjellybean admitted: "This makes me irrationally angry."

The_RockObama joked: "Idiots they are. It's obviously the top right knob."

BioticNinja commented: "Mate, I wouldn't know which one to turn at first when I'm sober, I think that's a problem with the test."

CabbagesStrikeBack observed: "It looks like a lot of people go for the 2 above the actual door knob due to the wear on the door lol."

Referencing the plated door knob, Nowhereman136 thought: "I feel like that would be a trick. Like it wants you to use that one. I'd go for the one 2 knobs above it as it seems most worn. The knob used the most is likely the one that works. The plated one is plan b."

Some were convinced that was the right handle, 1thief said: "It's the only one that's on metal plating. And it's closest to the latch.... maybe this actually an IQ test."

Photo of New York bathroom door.
Photo of New York bathroom door. The door to a bathroom in the Big Apple features dozens of door handles. jwstoner86

Jason also shared more about the venue, saying: "It's a fun speakeasy. You actually have to walk through a Five Guys to get to the bar upstairs."

He told Newsweek: "I think the door is a cute way for a fun speakeasy to decorate its door. However, after a few cocktails the 'it's a trap' sign is correct. I probably tried 3 door knobs before I got the right one.

"If you look closely in the photo you can see a brass plate around one of the ones on the left. That's the real one."

The Garret bar's website indicates the Bleecker Street branch is one of five across the Big Apple.

A plaque next to the door states "it's a trap," and cites Philip Mortillaro, thought to be the artist. The Garret Bars, and Mortillaro's Instagram page, previously shared snaps of the door.

"One knob doesn't do the job," the bar captioned their photo, posted last April.

Mortillaro's posts are from a few years ago, possibly when the door was first installed, and as such look a little different from today—with noticeably more scratches and a few missing knobs.

He called it "the most expensive bathroom door in Manhattan," captioning one photo: "96 door knobs and only one of them work—go to the bathroom at @garretonbarrow and have a mini panic attack."

New York's bustling nightlife has long been one of it's main attractions, and a crucial part of the economy.

A 2018 report from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment observed: "Not surprisingly, nightlife is a major economic, as well as cultural driver for New York City, with more than 25,000 nightlife establishments citywide."

One of the five pillars of the nightlife economy, bars previously generated 13,400 jobs, $492 million in wages, and $2 billion in direct economic output among 2,100 venues, the NYC's Nightlife Economy Impact, Assets, and Opportunities report showed.

However, the impact of the COVID pandemic decimated the nightlife and hospitality industry, with 26,000 businesses overall closing their doors.

Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams released "Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City's Economic Recovery."

The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo said: "Arts, entertainment, and nightlife are the heart and soul of New York City. They are the pulse that sustains the most passionate, innovative creators of our time, drawing people from around the world.

"Strengthening these cultural and creative sectors is at the forefront of Mayor Adams' economic recovery plan, because New York City's future depends on them."

Newsweek reached out to The Garrett Bars and Mortillaro for comment.

Update 3/15/22, 9:10 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment and photos from Jason.