The Ace Hotel Lobby Bar in Midtown Manhattan (20 W.29th Street bet. 5th Ave & Broadway) pulls of a rare feat; an oasis of cool in what can often be a very mundane, commercial, staid midtown nightlife scene that is almost always consistently fun and enjoyable.
Accentuated by cool types, (hey QuestLove of the Roots just spinned in the downstairs on Friday the 18th and Q-Tip the solo artist and member of Tribe Called Quest spins records on a Friday night infrequently) Its just refined enough for the sleek and sheikh, and has just enough grit and character for the more “walk to your own beat” type.
Just entering the doors is a charmingly bewildering experiece. It look part library/study with books on the wall and u shaped bar in the back!! Comfy chairs induce a laid back mood yet there’s always a small buzz a chatter that something fun is about to happen. I saw people on laptops busy typing away at work and play across from people talking about their impending night of pleasure seeking. Its a place of converging styles and reasonably priced cocktails and decent but not a great beer menu.
Just as good is the downstairs area, (If forget the name) where they usually have a DJ spinning. It looks like an old college dorm rec room!! There’s a bunch of strewn around used coaches straight from that time you passed out drunk sophmore year and old speakers that are not longer useuable not being used as decoration. Its vintage “My first apartment on my own”, its simply a brilliant concept.
Being that the lobby bar is open to 4 its has a consistent crowd enough to be considered cool and enjoyable from about happy hour to the wee hours of the morning. Actually the Ace has such a good scene with the Breslin next door that is a scene in itself. It looks like an debonair hunter’s trophy room that features a pub and antique bench tables for eating as a restaurant. The food is pretty good at the Breslin and it helps its open until 2am.
The Lobby bar and the Breslin are such fun that you could make a night out of the hotel without actually staying there, and many people do!!
The Ace is at a very interesting point. Its not really ‘secret” or hidden but the really annoying types haven’t highlighted it as a their spot yet. So you still have maybe a season or two to enjoy this bar in midtown of all places as a consistent spot to enjoy when backup plans become dry.