Room with a view: Lounge with jaw-dropping vista opens in Brooklyn Bridge Park

The one and only: The Brooklyn Heights Social Club, on the 10th floor of 1 Hotel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, offers panoramic views of downtown Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

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A new waterfront bar and lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows and jaw-dropping views of the East River and the glittering city lights across the river is now welcoming guests, high above Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier One. One of the two restaurateurs behind the Brooklyn Heights Social Club, located on the 10th floor of the 1 Hotel, said that the stunning views make it a distinctly different spot from the nightclubs and hotspots the pair have opened before.

“One of the guiding principles of nightlife is to make sure there are no windows, so it’s really different to have such a dramatic view,” said Matt Abramcyk, who opened the space with partner Eddie Bilowich. “You notice you’re completely wrapped in water views, with a view framed by the Brooklyn Bridge, which feels like it’s so close you can touch it. We really tried to develop that as opposed to being in a dark room with blaring music. It’s a really transportive thing.”

The Club features a cocktail program focused on drinks infused with fruity and herbal flavors — including an herb-infused take on the gin and tonic ($18) and the Yellow Cab ($22), a rum drink that combines fresh pineapple with Madagascan vanilla — concocted by barman Albert Trummer.

“We wanted to offer this contemporary view of cocktail culture,” Abramcyk said.

Visitors can also enjoy a menu of small plates — including fries, chicken liver and avocado spreads, and a charcuterie board — on the tufted leather and velvet banquettes and sofas, or at a long stone bar.

But the real draw is the wall of eight-foot-tall windows, which offers views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the distant isle’s lower neighborhood, and the Statue of Liberty. Abramcyk said the view allows visitors and New Yorkers alike to get a taste of the city’s magic without trekking to the dreaded distant isle.

“The view that we have is so photogenic, it’s so fundamentally New York, it’s almost like the most New York thing I’ve ever done is actually not in Manhattan, it’s in Brooklyn,” he said. “It’s like this testament to the power of New York.”

Among the first visitors to christen the Club were the music power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who hosted an after-party at the Social Club in November, a few days before its official opening, following Jay-Z’s concert at Barclays Center.

Abramcyk and Bilowich also run the hotel’s rooftop bar, which is currently closed for the winter, as well as its ground floor restaurant Osprey. Abramcyk hopes the three spaces will becomes social spots for locals and visitors alike.

“It’s all about making these spaces really warm spaces, these places where people in the neighborhood can sort of feel and be inspired by this history of great creativity and exploration,” he said. “There’s sort of a feeling of developing a community within a community.”

Brooklyn Heights Social Club at the 1 Hotel (60 Furman St. at Doughty Street in Dumbo, www.bhsocialclub.com). Open daily, 5 pm-close.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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