If tonight’s plans include hot new rooftop bar Broken Shaker, brace for long waits — the line at opening time today stretched around the block with up to an hour delay to get in. Tipsters also report that the line was two blocks long on opening night, full of New Yorkers literally thirsty for tropical drinks in the highly designed Gramercy space.
Open since Wednesday, Broken Shaker burst onto the rooftop bar scene with a decidedly against-the-norm NYC rooftop policy: Tables are first-come, first-serve, seated through a hostess and served by waiters, with a democratic wait list determining who sits next — bottle service and promises of high spends don’t work here.
Alas, people are already frustrated by the process of trying to check it out. One tipster started waiting in line at the 4 p.m. opening time, only to be told it wasn’t opening until 4:30. She ultimately got in around 5:30 p.m.
A Miami transplant, Broken Shaker has become a nationwide cocktail sensation, spreading to Chicago and Los Angeles, garnering two James Beard Award nominations, and landing as No. 14 on a list of the world’s best 50 bars. The drinks incorporate tropical ingredients such as pineapple and coconut, and the food blends Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavors.
But a huge draw here is the decor. The meticulous Freehand hotel space transports New Yorkers to a more vibey place with lots of color, and outside, an explosion of plants makes the space feel like a home rooftop garden — and clearly, New Yorkers are already clamoring to get in.