It’s not here yet, but you can almost taste it. The sun is on your face, there’s a drink in your hand, and when you look down you see an entire glorious city below. The people in it are ants and you … you are a KING.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is New York City rooftop season. And Viceroy New York, a hotel that recently opened on West 57th Street, has come into the ring as a heavyweight.
That means a fresh, simple menu, carefully constructed cocktails, and this view.
We’ll give you a moment.
The Viceroy is located right in the heart of hedge fund land, and the Masters of the Universe have already started reserving the space for private parties. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t enjoy the breathtaking view.
In fact, we’re all invited according to Scott Gerber. He’s the CEO of Gerber Group, a company whose glorious purpose is to turn hotel restaurants and bars into places everyone — not just guests — wants to be. That means no velvet ropes, no stuffy dress code.
“I don’t want to be the coolest kid on the block for two years,” Gerber told Business Insider. “I’m very much into thanking you for spending your money.”
Gerber has learned exactly how to say “thank you” over 20 years of experience turning the restaurants and bars inside hotels into destinations. He started out working for Ian Schrager, the legendary proprietor of Studio 54 in 1991. When Schrager needed someone to run The Whiskey at the Paramount Hotel, he asked Gerber.
Then came the partnership with Starwood Hotels. Starwood hired Gerber to develop The W Hotel brand at a time when hotel bars were more synonymous with lonely business travellers and tired parents after a day at Disney than they were with nightlife.
“Soon as we partnered with Starwood we realised the bar and restaurant was an amenity to the hotel guest,” Gerber said.
And the guests don’t just want to mingle with other guests, they want to feel like they’re a part of whatever city they’re in. That means attracting the locals.
In this case the locals will be attracted by Kingside Restaurant on the Viceroy’s ground floor. It’s spearheaded by Chef Marc Murphy, of Landmarc and Ditch Plains (and yes, TV show “Chopped“) fame. Think open space and simple, New American-style fare.
Upstairs you have The Roof, which looks and feels like a floating clubhouse.
Have at it.