Kendra Rogers , Baker Street Irregulars

By Adam Morgan | Photos by Mark Grguich

At the heart of New York’s Upper East Side, a remarkable transformation is taking place at Baker Street Irregulars, a venue steeped in history and lore, famously known as the original TGI Fridays and a filming location for the iconic Tom Cruise movie, Cocktail. New owners reopened the vaunted bar after the pandemic’s worst days, and their savvy in embracing its history while writing something new has attracted patrons from UES and beyond.

One of the most important decisions came in hiring Kendra Rogers, a local who lives on the same street, as its new manager. The experienced and loving 40-something has a lengthy career in hospitality, and she’s brought that expertise and energy to the popular pub where the only thing irregular is how much fun you’ll have.

With her loud, funny, and outrageous personality, Rogers has quickly become a jolt of Red Bull to Baker Street Irregulars, or as locals affectionately know it, “Irregulars Baker Street.” The pronunciation may vary as the day progresses, but what remains constant is the sense of community and warmth that Rogers fosters within its walls. Dubbing herself the “bar mom,” she oversees the daily operations with a mix of humor, dedication, and a keen sense of what makes a pub feel like home. “I run the big top,” she declares, a testament to her role as a lively and loving circus conductor.

In a neighborhood where competition is fierce and expectations are high, Rogers has managed to maintain the bar’s legacy and elevate it. She’s brought a new perspective and attitude to a bar steeped in tradition, getting a “woman’s touch and a breath of fresh air” to rejuvenate its spirit. This transformation has not gone unnoticed by the locals, who continue to return to Baker Street Irregulars, much as they did when it reopened. “Every night is a dinner party with all my closest friends,” she says. “I love making an evening special for people.

Rogers’s management approach is rooted in the belief that ambiance is everything. “People are paying for the environment,” she explains, emphasizing the importance of making patrons feel unique and valued. There’s live music, bingo, themed drinking nights, and even a performance by Shorty Long, the little person known for big covers of classic rock hits. Most recently, Baker Street Irregulars hosted an “After Met, Get Wet” party for worker bees behind the famous Met Ball, also known as the Oscars of the East. Yet, managing a bustling New York bar has its challenges, particularly when dealing with extra-spirited patrons. Rogers approaches these situations with a deft hand, employing a combination of empathy, humor, and firmness to diffuse potential conflicts. Her ability to “sweet talk into a drama-free solution” is a skill honed from years of experience.

Rogers’s journey to Baker Street Irregulars is as colorful and varied as her personality. From her early days as a broke 18-year-old seeking a job at Bull’s Head Tavern to adventures in the Caribbean and owning a bar, her career has been driven by a love for the service industry and an unquenchable energy that she attributes to being a New Yorker. “If you’re not on the go, go, go, then don’t live here,” she quips, embodying the city’s relentless pace and vibrancy.  

Despite the demands of her role, Rogers finds a unique joy in being so closely intertwined with her work and neighborhood. Living so close to her place of employment, she embraces the convenience and the sense of community it brings. Her philosophy extends beyond the walls of Baker Street Irregulars, seeing her role as part therapist, best friend, and marriage counselor to those who walk through its doors.  

Under the guidance of its owners and seen through by Rogers, Baker Street Irregulars remains a cherished landmark on the Upper East Side, a testament to the enduring power of community, history, and revelry.  

Here, everyone knows your name. And they’re delighted you came.  

For more information on Baker Street Irregulars, visit