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Even Lauded Death & Co. Team Couldn’t Sell Esoteric Cocktails to Midtown

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The team is converting the space into a whiskey bar

An interior shot of the bar and seating area at Lost Hours
Lost Hours is pivoting
Eric Medsker for Lost Hours [Official Photo]
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Lost Hours, the ambitious and esoteric Midtown cocktail bar from the team behind renowned East Village bar Death & Co, has shut down after one year of operation — with plans to replace it with a whiskey-focused bar called the 86 that serves a more mainstream drink menu, parent company Proprietors LLC confirmed to Eater. Lost Hours’s last night of service was Saturday, February 15, while the 86 is due to open in mid-March.

The bar — a partnership with hospitality group Simple Venue and located inside Hotel 3232, at 32 E. 32nd Street, between Madison and Park Avenues — received favorable press coverage, but the inventive cocktail menu didn’t necessarily target a Midtown crowd looking for a casual after-work hangout, or hotel guests looking for a familiar drink. The 16 cocktails on the list were categorized under the four elements — earth, fire, water, and air — and the drinks used ingredients that aren’t typically found in mainstream cocktails, like aquavit, a traditional Scandinavian spirit flavored with caraway or dill.

“Lost Hours was aspirational, and in that vein it was quite niche,” a representative for Proprietors LLC tells Eater in an email. While Midtown is home to a range of upscale cocktail bars, even the most popular spots, like the Rum House, pad the menu with accessible daiquiris and mojitos.

At the 86, the partners are going all-in on the whiskey theme, envisioning a bar stocked with an extensive array of rare versions of the liquor. Beverage director Alejandro Echeverria will be leading the drinks program, which will include the option for bar goers to pick their own spirits, bitters, sugar, and garnishes and create a customized Old Fashioned. While Lost Hours featured a food menu of izakaya-like small plates, the team confirmed that there are no plans for the 86 to serve food.

“In order to complement the business demands and culture of the neighborhood and the hotel itself, we needed to cast a bit of a wider net in terms of offerings,” the representative says. “That’s what we’re looking to accomplish with the 86.”

Lost Hours

32 East 32nd St., New York, NY 10016