By Abraham Tejeda
New York City is world class in its nightlife attractions; rooftop lounges and bars are often among the most upscale settings, usually offering amazing views of the city and unique cocktails. My latest encounter with a rooftop venue was at The Attic, where I was attending a fashion show. The Attic is a bi-level penthouse lounge located on the 15th and 16th floors atop the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. The Attic produces a vibe that is upscale and fun. Creative lighting, neutral color schemes for the couches and other furniture, and carefully placed greenery create a cozy, classy, and relaxed aura.
The entrance to The Attic belies the vibe it cultivates upstairs in the rooftop penthouse and imparts more of a rugged, industrial feel. A carpet lines the floor framed by concrete walls that lead to an elevator bringing you to the 16th floor.
Most upscale style venues offer ample security at the door and throughout the space. I was surprised to find that security at The Attic was minimal during my last visit. No one was available downstairs at the door. On previous visits, the entrance to the hallway leading to the elevators was manned by security conducting the usual identification checks and scanning the line for troublemakers. On this date, however, the outer door was closed and I had to ring a nondescript bell and wait a few minutes for someone to come down to open the door. I arrived about an hour after the doors were slated to open – which makes it particularly noteworthy that there was no security. I also didn’t see any security upstairs until a couple of hours after my arrival. This was the only time this happened at The Attic, so I can assume it was an isolated incident, but it’s certainly something to look out for.
As soon as you get upstairs, any thoughts of an industrial warehouse disappear. In the rooftop lounge area, I was highly impressed by the design and lighting and by the sleek furniture and other decorative touches. After scanning the room and greeting a few acquaintances, I approached the bar. I observed a pair of employees (bar backs, I assume, based on their uniform) loitering behind the bar area. One of them told me that the bar wasn’t open yet. Like I mentioned earlier, I had arrived after the club was open for at least an hour, so I was disappointed to find that the bar wasn’t ready.
After the bar opened, things came together with regard to the service. The bartenders were responsive, and the drinks were mixed well — definitely not watered down. Like any higher scale location, the drinks at The Attic are not inexpensive, but given its location, ambiance, and high quality of the drinks, the prices were reasonable. I’ve paid more for watered down, uninspired drinks at places that did not impress me nearly as much as The Attic.
Whereas the drinks were well-made and a good value, I do have to point out that there was no Jack Daniels on tap. Nor was there Remy. Both of those drinks are popular and should be a staple at every bar (especially Jack). So for them to be lacking is surprising and certainly disappointed some attendees. I personally drink vodka, and their vodka selection is vast, but for those of you who need your Jack or Remy, you may want to steer clear of The Attic.
The Attic also offers a menu that includes seafood, salads, flatbreads, and small plates.
Before this visit, I had been to The Attic during the summer for a Brazilian themed party followed by a DJ playing a mix of current and classic pop, R&B, and hip-hop tracks. On all of my visits, the space was energized by its great sound system. The sounds were crisp, clear, and lacking the muffled quality or…