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7 Players in the Hyper-Specific, Nostalgic Bar Boom


Nostalgic and old-timey concepts have worked well for new bars and restaurants in the past few years, as we've seen a rise in the popularity of suspenders, brown liquors, antique bars, and such from Williamsburg to Carroll Gardens, Manhattan, and Long Island City. But what happens when restaurateurs and bar owners take the idea of tapping into a certain time period—a time most clients never experienced, of course—and run with it? You get the below operations, all opened or announced in 2010:

1) Hotel Chantelle: an LES "French Colonial" bar named after a 1910's restaurant but aged to look like it did in 1940. An exclusive lounge is accessed only by skeleton key.
2) Maison Premiere: a Williamsburg oyster bar meant to evoke 1890's French Quarter New Orleans.
3) Ninth Ward: Another bar meant to evoke "1890's New Orleans"

4) Theater Bar: Albert Trummer's Tribeca bar, complete with a stage behind the bar and a VIP room accessed by secret tunnel, is "inspired by Vienna and the nightlife of the 1930s and ’40s.'"
5) District 36: a club meant to revive the tradition of classic New York dance clubs a la the 1990's
6) Hurricane Club: Trader Vic's meets a nightclub with a rum fountain and a shoe shine in the basement.
7) An owner of a nameless bar in Greenpoint explains of her space, "I wanted this to look like a tavern you could find in an ancient Chinese trading village at the end of the Silk Road."

Beauty & Essex

146 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002 (212) 614-0146 Visit Website

Hurricane Club

360 Park Avenue S, New York, NY 10010

Maison Premiere

298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249 (347) 889-5710 Visit Website