The place: Macchiato
The space: Espresso is pressed to a Euro beat at
The place: The Ace Hotel
The space: If a tech start-up and Zooey Deschanel got together to design their perfect hotel lobby, it would probably look like the Ace. The enormous space is low-lit and artfully messy, but also hyper-wired. Amid the thrift-store sofas are multi-prong outlets and people sitting at their glowing Macs. The 18-foot ceilings and wooden communal tables are reminiscent of the NYPL, while a wall of salvaged graffiti brings the grit of the streets into the room. Plus, there’s a glass case of taxidermied badgers, and shelves that hold obscure scientific texts embossed with molecules and atoms. The Ace lobby is not quiet (the soundtrack favors techno-grunge from the hotel chain’s Portland home base), but it’s good for the kind of creative meetings where ideas are scribbled out on napkins, over a Brooklyn Lager. For more weighty talks, gather in a corner booth at the adjoining Breslin, over a whiskey.
The beans: Stumptown will also get you hyper-wired. The cult coffee chain from Portland, which opened its first East Coast branch in a corner of the Ace, hand-selects its beans from organic farms in El Salvador and Indonesia. The small café is standing-only at a brass-topped bar – very European. And our barista was wearing suspenders and a newsboy cap – very Portland.
The complement: The lobby gets crowded; best time to find a quiet seat is Tuesday afternoons. If the wait is too long for a table at the Breslin (they don’t take reservations), order the crispy pork scratchings at the lobby bar. It’s the quickest way to sample something meaty by chef April Bloomfield, the Princess of Pork. Top it off with the oddly delicious cocktail of mezcal, tomato juice, and beer. The name? Bitches Brew.
18 West 29th St., 212-679-1939, acehotel.com
(Photo courtesy of Ace Hotel)