Ian Schrager channeled his old Studio 54 days Tuesday night at an invite-only opening of his new Public Hotel at 215 Chrystie St. Here’s how the Associated Press reported the glitzy event:
(The hotel) throbbed Tuesday night with champagne-drinking models, waifs covered in tattoos and other beautiful people vamping for photos, draping themselves across long white sofas and riding the mirrored escalator, bathed in glowing red-and-yellow stripes of light. A worshipful mob prayed at the altar of punk goddess Patti Smith as she christened the hotel’s performance space. Drag queen Lady Bunny showed up, as did the Quann sisters, icons of street style.
W Magazine tagged along as Schrager held court inside his new nightlife multiplex:
“You have to have an opening, you have to mark the spot, and if you have to have a party, do a cool one,” Schrager said, a crew of videographers trailing behind him. Consider it done. It was a party that felt more 2007 than 2017, in all the best ways. Sure there were signs of the current era—a photo booth with the hotel’s logo overlaid on each snap; two Pretty Little Liars, Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell, roaming the rooftop; kale to satiate the palette—but overall, this was pure, New York debauchery of an earlier vintage, a return to when the Lower East Side was the coolest place to be at 2 a.m.
Paper offered more details:
The party started with cocktails in the hotel’s gorgeous bars Diego and Lobby Bar, followed by a dinner created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten who oversees the property’s two restaurants, PUBLIC Kitchen and Louis, and then an upstairs / downstairs party that brought out Patti Smith reading poetry and playing music in the basement venue PUBLIC Arts and dancing and drinks atop The Roof, their rooftop venue that now lays claim to having one of the most killer views of the city.
Remember the blowback from neighbors a few weeks ago when that illuminated sign appeared on the upper floors of the 28 story tower? The Public’s opening festivities featured that oh-so-understated signage, as seen on the hotel’s social media feeds.
The building, located in the former garden of 10 Stanton St., the neighboring Section 8 affordable complex, includes 370 hotel rooms, plus 11 luxury condominium apartments. Schrager, 70, invented the boutique hotel concept years ago. In opening the Public, he’s trying to refashion the hospitality industry for the Airbnb age. Rooms start at about $150 a night. As the New York Times put it in a profile published yesterday, “this avatar of stylish exclusivity is reinventing himself as a populist, hawking a ‘luxury for all’ concept.” The idea, as explained in the AP story, is to create a new community gathering space:
Schrager says he’s redefining what hotels do, thanks to quirky public spaces that are the key to the hotel’s identity. There’s a cozy park-like greenspace out front, rows of stadium-style steps inside where you could sit with a laptop or a latte, long white sofas that invoke a sophisticated Miami club and even a ’70s basement vibe, thanks to a pool table, plywood-finish cabinets and concrete pillars.
More on the restaurants from Jean-Georges. The menu at the “Public Kitchen,” Florence Fabricant explained in the Times, will offer, “a snapshot of New York” especially relevant to the “eclectic” Lower East Side. There will be pasta, potstickers and smoked fish for breakfast.
There’s an adjoining cafe called Louis, which is named for Scharger’s son. “A marble counter doubles as a bar,” noted the Times, “and (there’s) a market for cured meats, cheeses, fruit, pastries and other items, including knishes, pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs.”
The restaurants open on Saturday.