Boutique pioneer Ian Schrager is expanding his PUBLIC Hotels brand from Chicago to New York with the debut of a 367-key property in the Bowery. Slated to open next month on Chrystie Street, PUBLIC New York will feature an edited, simplistic look designed by Herzog & de Meuron that Schrager describes as “universally appealing.”
“I recognized that there are things people just don’t need or want any more at a hotel … services and amenities that are pointless and no longer matter,” says Schrager, who founded such high-profile boutique hotel brands as EDITION, Morgans, Royalton and Paramount. “We live in a modern world. The services should reflect our modern way of living. People want a really comfortable bed, but they could care less about sheet thread count. They want great coffee, but delivered fast and hot, not in fine bone china.”
That meant putting functional details at the NY hotel’s forefront, such as 12 easy-to-reach outlets and USB ports in each guest room, and adding communal workspaces within the public spaces.
In terms of the hotel’s aesthetic, Schrager says, “It’s not shabby chic, retro, industrial, reclaimed or the ubiquitous Brooklyn look … it’s simplicity as the ultimate sophistication.” Project participants describe the vibe as “cozy radical chic,” appealing to a multigenerational clientele. Accommodations were designed for efficiency similar to the cabins on a yacht, and while the property showcases eclectic finishes and furniture, project participants say there was no impulse to fill up the spaces, but rather a to edit, eliminate and strike a balance of elements.
The hotel’s main restaurant, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s PUBLIC Kitchen, will feature a smoker, wood burning oven and wood burning grill as a focal point. Casual eatery LOUIS was designed as a part grocery, part luncheonette, part coffee shop and part market concept.
PUBLIC New York will also be home to three bars: Diego, The Roof and Lobby Bar. The building’s rooftop shows off landscaped gardens, as well as indoor/outdoor communal workspaces and private event rooms overlooking the city.
The property will also house Public Arts, a multimedia performance space designed for film screenings, theatrical and dance productions, musical performances, art exhibitions, lectures, talks, readings, product launches and comedy and amateur nights.
Last year, Schrager sold PUBLIC Chicago, the brand’s first outpost, to Gaw Capital Partners, Crain’s Chicago Business reported at that time. Gaw recently announced it will rebrand that property under its Journals Hotel flag, with plans to renovate the hotel under the leadership of the brand’s new ceo, Stephen Brandman.