Anna Delvey Almost Bought A Church-Bar Because Of Course She Did

Before she was throwing lavish birthday parties while under house arrest, Anna Sorokin (aka Anna Delvey) had other plans in mind for her base of operations. In fact, the con artist had her sights set on an iconic building. The Netflix show "Inventing Anna" showed the exploits of Sorokin, who led a double life by pretending to be one of New York's wealthiest socialites. Sorokin used the ruse to try to convince investors to fund the Anna Delvey Foundation. She hoped to use the iconic 281 Park Avenue building as the headquarters. 

Built in the 1800s, the Church Missions House is a breathtaking site with Romanesque architecture, so much so that New York City designated it a landmark in 1979. Sorokin was arrested before she could proceed with her plan of purchasing the $56 million property. 

The building is currently owned by Aby Rosen who has leased it to the photography society Fotografiska. The society created Chapel Bar, one of New York City's most stylish watering holes (via Vogue). Members of the photography society can visit for a drink surrounded by the bar's impressive 19th-century architecture, something Sorokin herself won't be able to do until she is released from house arrest sometime in the future. 

281 Park Avenue is a center for photography

Even though Chapel Bar's location will forever be associated with Anna Sorokin, its impressive menu and decor allow it to stand completely on its own. Those wishing to experience Chapel Bar will need to have a bit more going for them than just a love of Anna Delvey and cocktails, however. The bar has a members-only policy, and prospective patrons need to fulfill specific criteria for the privilege of purchasing a membership. There are three separate tiers of membership with Fotografiska patrons, the highest level, getting special priority for events and reservations.

Chapel Bar co-owner and Fotografiska CEO Josh Wyatt is reported looking for members who are "culturally curious and passionate about art", per the New York Post. While not exactly inclusive, Wyatt's membership criteria make the speakeasy an ideal location for those who are looking to network with members of New York City's art scene. Once admitted, members can expect to pay up to $2,000 per year to visit the bar, making Chapel Bar an exclusive oasis that Sorokin herself would probably appreciate.