One perfect potty: Cobble Hill bar’s commode in the running for ‘America’s Best Restroom’

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It’s in the game of thrones!

A Cobble Hill bar’s tiny but terrific bathroom is competing for the title of “America’s Best Restroom,” an honor one of its owners said exceeds even her wildest expectations.

“It’s something I never even dreamed of,” said Natalka Burian, a co-owner of Elsa, which opened earlier this year at 136 Atlantic Ave. between Henry and Clinton streets.

The cocktail bar’s loo was nominated as part of business-supply company Cintas Corporation’s annual contest, which awards the title and $2,500 in bathroom supplies to the washroom that collects the most votes.

Elsa’s powder room — roughly the size of a broom closet — contains two walls covered in mirrored slats that form an arch above the space and lights that cast an angelic glow on users, creating a sleek chamber ideal for snapping selfies in the oval mirror hanging on the back of its door.

In fact, so many people snap and share photos from inside the water closet that Elsa’s owners started publishing select shots on the bar’s Instagram account because they see the pictures as a noteworthy achievement, according to Burian.

“It’s an accomplishment to make people so comfortable in a space as private as a bathroom that they want to take pictures and share,” she said.

One of the contest’s organizers also recognized the trend, hailing the lavatory as prime selfie-taking territory.

“With its bright light and mirrors, it’s pretty much a prime hot spot for it,” said Sean Mulcahey, a Cintas marketing manager.

Owners did not always intend for Elsa’s potty palace to be its star attraction, according to Burian, who said its design is modeled after the commode in the bar’s original location in Manhattan, which closed in 2014. She tried to make that bathroom as welcoming as possible on the modest budget she had, and when the watering hole moved to Brooklyn, her designers from Home Studios — the firm that created the look for Greenpoint pizzeria Paulie Gee’s — recreated the original room using more luxurious materials, including reflective surfaces to make the closet-like space seem less claustrophobic, the owner said.

The tiny toilet chamber is up against some stiff competition, including restrooms at an aquarium in Arizona and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but Burian hopes her bar’s fans will cast enough ballots to beat its more established competitors.

And no matter the outcome, it’s a thrill that her washroom is even being considered for the prestigious prize, she said.

“We were totally surprised,” Burian said. “It’s definitely a good surprise.”

Vote for your favorite in the “America’s Best Restroom” contest through Oct. 27 at

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:54 pm, July 9, 2018: An earlier version of this story was updated to include the name of Elsa's design firm, Home Studios.
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Reasonable discourse

Holly from Williamsburg says:
I've pooped there - they'll never win. The toilet paper is rough and cheap, and the seat is cold. It has a faint smell of urine. They have no hand sanitizer, and someone knocked on the door while I was pooping.
Oct. 2, 2017, 1:08 pm
Toonie from Staten Island says:
The best toilet is at scores, here in staten Island! They put velvet warmers on the seats, and have honey-lemon-vanilla potpourrí!
This place looks cheap and ugly. It's just a bunch of mirrors, like a porn theater or something.
Oct. 3, 2017, 3:19 am
Humpington Pooter says:
I like this bathroom. You could have a glass of wine there. Or take a bubble bath. Really naughty like.
Oct. 4, 2017, 3:12 pm

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