Having just returned from two weeks in India, I definitely don’t miss the honking: it’s enough to make Rudy Giuliani rip out the rest of his hair and run crying into the bosom of Daddy Trump. But I do miss the cute little tuk tuks, bobbing and weaving through traffic Mario-Go-Kart-style. So, you can imagine my delight when I passed by the newly soft-opened Williamsburg Hotel and saw this gleaming new ride outside.
Amazing! Not only is this hotel going to have a water-tower bar (still under construction and due to open in the spring, along with the rooftop pool) but now that the first couple of floors are open, they’re driving their guests to the L and G trains in a custom-made auto rickshaw. And far from the sputtering, spewing autoricks of Delhi, this thing looks like it could maybe even win a race against the Henry Norman Hotel’s checker cab.
Sorry, unless you’re a paying guest (rooms for a recent night are going from $250 to $600) you won’t be able to hop on the tuk tuk (unless you maybe slip the driver a couple of rupees), but you can stop into the newly opened lobby bar. Here’s a look at that. The string installation above the bar is courtesy of Eric Reiger, aka HOTTEA, the Minneapolis artist who yarn-bombed the Williamsburg Bridge.
As for the hotel’s restaurant, Harvey, it should open in late February or March, according to a rep. It’ll be helmed by Adam Leonti, a vet of Philadelphia’s Vetri who offered a preview of sorts via his Brooklyn Bread Lab pop-up.