In search of a foothold in the New York City market, Warner Hospitality—better known for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino projects—sent executives Michael Fuller and Christopher Najbicz to explore potential opportunities. After a search that took them up and down the island of Manhattan, the duo stumbled upon a construction site at 24 East 39th Street.
“Being the curious individuals we are, we walked up the stairs and knocked on the door,” Mr. Najbicz, executive vice president of hotel operations, told The Commercial Observer.
From the BAM Cultural District to Williamsburg, Brooklyn is undergoing a hotel boom. And pretty soon, all of those workers—or at least, the unionized ones—will have a new place to go for check-ups.
The New York Hotel Trades Council & Hotel Association of New York City, the city’s leading hotel workers’ union, and its Employee Benefit Funds just picked up a $19 million parking lot at 620 Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn, on an irregularly-shaped lot bounded by Fulton Street, Ashland Place and St. Felix Street.
Toshi just wants everyone to have a good time. That’s one of the first things the 38-year-old entrepreneur told The Observer as we sat on the bench outside his Flatiron Hotel. It was only 5:30 p.m., and inside the hotel’s groovy restaurant, brightly colored drinks were passed around as a woman in a sparkly white dress covered a Beyoncé song in a smoky, lounge-y growl.
Through the crowd, you could see into the Flatiron’s lobby, with its two-story cylindrical aquarium filled with exotic undersea creatures, including a remora, a type of suckerfish that resembles a shark and gets around by attaching itself to bigger fish.
The first floor is called Toshi’s Playground. “I just made these signs, look!” said Toshi (real name Robert Chan), pointing to an anime rendition of his dog, Ponzu. Ponzu is a Morkie, we were informed: half Maltese, half Yorkie.
Graphics of Toshi and Ponzu are everywhere: above a red velvet throne that greets customers when they walk in, and almost subliminally painted around the white-on-white minimalist penthouse where Toshi throws his parties.
Unfortunately for non-Ponzus, the Flatiron does not allow other dogs inside.
Ponzu’s ubiquity is more than just a cute gimmick. It’s part of a strategic rebranding of his master as a fun-loving nightlife figure, after Toshi’s last such effort backfired.
Thought New York had put that sad bed-bug chapter to rest? Think again. The pestersome critters who have tormented the city with their medieval blood-leeching have expensive taste, it seems. The Cimex lectularius has struck again, this time at the Ritz, the New York Times reports.
Evidently, room 1005 is the Read More
The hipster-approved Ace Hotel has long been a place for the unlikely trifecta of New York’s tech, media, and music scenes to congregate around. A partnership with one of the most recognizable names in technology shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, then.
The Ace’s lobby has traditionally provided the un-, self-, and vaguely-employed a chic place to plant themselves for the day with complimentary-if-not-spotty WiFi, along with the town’s coffee roaster of the moment, Stumptown, and two Ken Friedman restaurants right in the building (whether or not they find themselves tempted to shop at uber-hip Opening Ceremony boutique is another story altogether). Even last week, The Observer‘s tech blog BetaBeat found themselves spying on the mastermind behind the (literally) rockstar-driven startup du jour Turntable.FM at the Ace.
Now comes the ultimate validation of that through corporate partnering:
The Standard Hotel reached out to Salman Rushdie ahead of the PEN World Voices festival next week and asked him to select a number of books to be placed on guests’ bedside tables. The Guardian has the scoop on his selections:
The Booker prize-winning author has come up with a wide-ranging line-up Read More
Jay-Z’s boom-time dream of constructing a Hova-worthy hotel on the High Line officially ended today. A deed filed in New York transferred the property at 511 West 21st Street from the rapper-mogul to a company held by his original lenders. The hotel — conceived of in 2007, when even Jay-Z could afford to Read More