By Gamal Hennessy
Traditionally, nightlife natives didn’t have a lot of options in the Times Square area beyond gaudy tourist traps, stuffy university clubs or generic Irish pubs. Now, Midtown is evolving as the next nightlife hub with spaces like Hudson Terrace, Empire Room, Gansevoort Park, District 36 and Sankey’s leading the exodus away from NIMBY saturated areas downtown. Although it’s been in development for a while, Lambs Club is going to be another step in this areas revival.
Nestled inside the Chatwal Hotel and connected to a restaurant headed by Geoffrey Zakarian, at first glance the door might seem just as tough as the Boom Boom Room to get in. Relax, it isn’t. The operators told me they want to create an environment that will draw people in all day long. The space will be opened from breakfast until 1 am, so you can get your mimosa fix as soon as you leave Grand Central. I can easily imagine creative industry types from nearby BMG, MTV and Conde Nast using Lambs as a hip alternative to Starbucks and moving straight from liquid lunch to after work drinks there. An upscale hustler could do well in these surroundings.
The deep reds and browns of the interior give the impression of understated class. The acoustics and the layout of the room lend themselves to conversation, but you could easily imagine a jazz band or a down tempo DJ filling the room and the downstairs lobby with a sound to match the atmosphere. The operation is run by some of the more well known names in nightlife. David Rabin of Lotus, Double Seven and Los Dados is overseeing the lounge and the restaurant. Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey, Little Branch and the East Side Company has designed the cocktail menu and trained all the bartenders. Jordan Lari and Celia Chen bring years of experience to the day to day operations and the staff is professional without the upscale attitude that can ruin a venue like this. If you are looking to impress someone, Lambs Club is a place to take them to.
But if making a good impression is your goal and bottle service isn’t exclusive enough for you, there is a perk of the lounge that is much more exclusive than the rest of the space. A private suite adjacent to the lounge called the Library is available for rental. Use of this area comes with its own bar, its own rooftop deck and its own elevator to the hotel suites. The Library will set you back quite a bit more than a couple of bottles, but true exclusivity isn’t cheap.
When the real estate between the Port Authority and Grand Central become a locus of activity for New York nightlife, Lambs Club will be the place where natives get their party started. While the tourists might pass it by and the commuters go home early, the rest of us will have this as a reason to go to Times Square.