The Chelsea Room is set to open in the basement space there that previously was home to Star Lounge. Rather than offering a modern drinking spot, Marcus Bifaro and his crew have styled The Chelsea Room as an early 20th Century place. The ambiance in the 2,700 square foot space is set by rustic wood salvaged from an Upstate barn as well as classic cocktails. The signature drink will be The Chelsea (gin, lemon juice and honey) at $13.
The hotel itself is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been famous for its short- and long-term tenants — the writers Tennessee Williams, O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur C. Clarke and Allen Ginsburg; musicians Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead; the artists Jasper Johns and Willem de Kooning — as for its bizarre happenings. Punk rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols was suspected of murdering his girlfriend there.
The hotel was the first building to be listed by the city as a cultural preservation site and historic building of note. The 12-story red-brick building that now houses the Hotel Chelsea was built in 1883 as a private apartment cooperative that opened in 1884. Until 1899 it was the city’s tallest building. At the time Chelsea, and particularly the street on which the hotel was located, was the center of New York’s Theater District. The cooperative went bankrupt and the building was purchased and converted to a hotel in 1905.
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