When popular “hipster hostel” company Freehand opens its first New York location, it will come with one of the hotel’s most acclaimed partners — hit Miami cocktail bar Broken Shaker.
At the new Freehand in the former George Washington Hotel building in Gramercy, the cocktail bar from partners Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta of Bar Lab will take over about 2,500-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space on the rooftop. Another part of the roof of the building, located on Lexington between 23rd and 24th Street, will be dedicated to private events. The hotel run by parent company Sydell Group, the team behind The Nomad Hotel, is projected to open next year.
A menu is not yet set for the location, but it will be partly inspired by restaurants in the city, Zvi and Orta tell Eater. Other sections of the menu will draw from the top selling cocktails at other locations of Broken Shaker in Miami, Chicago, and LA.
Broken Shaker first opened as a pop-up in Miami’s location of Freehand in 2012, and after its quick success, Sydell Group kept it at the hotel permanently. It’s known for making fantastic seasonal craft cocktails in a lush, tropical setting, and since its debut, Broken Shaker been named a semi-finalist for the bar program by the James Beard awards twice. Last year, it was also number 14 on a list of the world’s best 50 bars.
The current menu in Miami has drinks like the farang colada (two kinds of rum, peanuts, lemongrass, Chinese Five Spice, potato, and coconut cream), sunflower old fashioned (Bulleit rye infused with toasted sunflower seeds, sunflower syrup, and bolivar bitters), and queen anne’s lace (gin, blanc vermouth, white tea, lavender, LaCroix coconut soda.)
The bars also offers food, though it’s not a full out restaurant. Similarly, New York’s Broken Shaker will serve small bites to accompany the cocktails.
Zvi and Orta say that the bar, which will fit about 200 people, is just as much about the “low key” vibe as it is about the drinks. “It’s very, very simple. And very straightforward in a way,” Orta says. “We don’t have a doorman. We don’t have big DJs. It’s very chill.”
It’s not a total surprise that the New York location of Freehand will also be home to a Broken Shaker. When the trendy hostel/hotel hybrid announced locations in Chicago and LA, an outpost of the acclaimed bar opened in those hotels as well. But back in November, it wasn’t yet a sure thing. It will likely be a huge draw for both hotel guests, who tend to skew young, and citywide cocktail devotees.
“For me, it’s kind of an emotional project,” says Zvi, who immigrated to New York from Israel. “That’s when I fell in love with the food and beverage industry. It’s where I met my wife; it’s where I have a lot of friends. The man that I am is because of New York City. It’s a big, big project for us.”
Freehand New York is shaping up to be a project to watch. Besides Broken Shaker, it will also be home to a ground floor restaurant run by West Village neighborhood hitmaker Gabe Stulman. The project is currently scheduled to open in January 2018.