When the High Line Hotel opened last year in Manhattan's Chelsea, even jaded New Yorkers sat up and took notice.
The immediate reason: The incredible landmarked building the developers rehabilitated, which was a General Theological Seminary building dating back to 1895 in crenelated brick, resembling nothing so much as an Ivy League college. That in itself would have won over the coolest clientele in town, but the pitch-perfect design and decor, filled with antiques and key contemporary pieces, has made it one of the most desirable spots in a city bursting with hip hangouts.
The vibe is "collegiate gothic," which means lots of Victorian and Edwardian antiques, period art, Tiffany-style lamps, rewired '20s dial telephones and oceans of authentic Oriental carpets.
In addition to the awe-inspiring architecture, the High Line has park-like grounds to match, which were once a 17th-century apple orchard. Truly an oasis of calm in the Big Apple. Nowadays, there's a gated Parisian-style courtyard with gas lamp-adorned gardens -- the perfect place, you might be thinking, to sip champagne. And so the High Line has just launched Champagne Charlie's, a cool new outdoor restaurant/lounge designed to be just that. Restaurateurs Nick Hatsatouris and Lincoln Pilcher, the duo behind the Kingswood in NYC and Eveleigh in L.A., are behind the venture.
Champagne Charlie's features a menu of small plates like fresh oysters from both coasts, salmon, scallops, black bass crudo, salads and burgers. Plus, there's a killer weekend brunch menu, along with spirits, beer, wines by the glass or bottle, and, of course, a selection of premium champagnes. The new space was named after the 1866 music hall hit "Champagne Charlie," with lyrics by George Leybourne -- era-appropriate to the surroundings. The name refers to Charles Heidsieck, one of the giants of champagne lore. The outdoor bistro-style seating and indoor banquettes are both sure to be crammed full of beautiful people. Just make sure you get there first.