These Democrats and Republicans Have Something in Common. It’s a Bar.

It was 10 p.m. on the eve of the governor’s State of the State address, and all of political New York, it seemed, was trying to jam into two adjoining brick townhouses within stumbling distance of the State Capitol.

One housed a restaurant where Letitia James, the attorney general in the midst of a splashy fraud trial with Donald J. Trump, was holding court at a table just steps from a group of Long Island Republicans toasting their recent electoral rout.

At the cigar lounge next door, Carolyn Maloney, the former Manhattan congresswoman, hosted a smoky reception to promote the Equal Rights Amendment.

And the barroom was crammed with lawmakers double-fisting cocktails and legislative leaflets. That is, until many took a pause in the revelry to watch former Gov. David A. Paterson strap on a Fender Strat and deliver earnest covers of Hendrix and John Lee Hooker.

“This place is a scene and a half,” marveled James E. McMahon, a veteran lobbyist known as Cadillac. “It’s like the House of Dracula. People come back you haven’t heard of in years.”

Attorney General Letitia James waves at other patrons in the cigar bar.Credit…Cindy Schultz for The New York Times

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