Is Hell’s Kitchen becoming a tropical paradise? Hold my piña colada! A new rooftop watering hole could be about to join underground speakeasy The Friki Tiki in the landmark Film Center Building, cementing 9th Avenue and W44th as a multi-level beachy bar crawl destination.
The team behind the well-established 230 Fifth Rooftop bar is creating the as-of-yet unnamed indoor/outdoor restaurant and lounge that will occupy the rooftop of the famous Art Deco design Film Center building. Built in 1928, it once housed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures and Lowes Cineplex Entertainment. Today, the 13-story office building hosts 5 Napkin Burger, Schmackary’s, Marseille and Nizza at street level — and was previously home to fabled New York soul food restaurant, Jezebel.
The eatery “will be a tropical oasis in the heart of Manhattan, decorated with many different trees and plantings,” read a public letter from a 230 Fifth team’s representative to Manhattan Community Board 4’s Business Licenses and Permits Committee. “It will be a place where people can escape the busy and loud streets of the city, and relax while dining in a beautiful setting perched above the streets of New York.”
Serving shareable bites and entrees sourced with local ingredients — guacamole and chips, sliders, Margherita flatbreads, meat-based and “Impossible-style” burgers, steak frites and salmon, plus desserts like fancy doughnuts, tiramisu and sorbet — the lounge will also feature bespoke cocktails that according to the group’s application, “will be infused with fresh grown mint from the rooftop, among other herbs grown on the rooftop space.”
The team is led by Sal Rozenberg, a longtime restaurateur who managed the popular Gansevoort Rooftop in Chelsea and has served as a managing partner at 230 Fifth Rooftop since 2006. “With our team and 25+ years of experience in the outdoor dining and food and beverage industry, we believe that this restaurant will be a positive impact on the city as a new business,” read the application.
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The team has filed a proposal to operate the indoor space with a capacity of 45 from Monday to Saturday 12pm to 2am and Sunday 11am to 2am with background music as well as selected live music and DJ. The outdoor space with a capacity of 250 would open from Monday to Friday 12pm to 12am and Saturday/Sunday 11am to 12am with recorded background music only. The application included an extensive rooftop audio audit and recommendation from sound engineering firm Acoustilog on their soundproofing designs.
Representatives from 230 Fifth will present their case to the Business Licenses and Permits Committee later this spring for approval to proceed. Slated to present this evening is the team at Try Alpha, the operators of proposed club Magnitude on 11th Avenue that was previously rejected over capacity and noise concerns on their rooftop space. The public can attend the meeting at 6:30-9:30pm this evening via Zoom using this link.
The 230 Fifth team weren’t ready to make a formal announcement about the space, but told W42ST that they were looking forward to sharing more details about the 9th Avenue concept soon.