Earlier this year the folks behind the Ace Hotel chain announced that they were converting a former Salvation Army shelter on the Bowery into a minimalist “micro hotel” inspired by ““the functional perfection of Finnish saunas, Japanese bento boxes, rock-cut cliff dwellings of prehistory and John Cage’s 4’33.” Now we’re told Sister City, as the new hotel chain will be branded, will open in January with a restaurant, Floret, helmed by the owner of Carroll Gardens’ acclaimed Battersby.
The “experiment in essentialism,” as the 200-room hotel is dubbed on its website, is now taking reservations starting in February. A 120-130 sq. ft. room outfitted with a double bed will cost you $199, with a discount if you sign up at the website. Another room offers bunk beds and a “cozy living room area” for $299. A terrace room with a king bed is $399.
Ok, we New Yorkers know exactly what “cozy” means. Unless you’ve always dreamed of camping in the corner of a Muji store, this probably won’t be staycation material. Even if, per the press release, “a circle motif is carried throughout the guest rooms and corridors, a subtle nod to the universality of its form.”
So, what about the restaurant? The menu by Joe Ogrodnek– a Gramercy Tavern alum who “made history with a new type of kale salad”— will focus on seasonal vegetables and combine Mediterranean, North African, and East Asian flavors. (Nick Morgenstern, who had been involved in the pre-opening, will no longer be involved.) Josh Hanover, formerly of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s abc kitchen and abc cocina, will oversee a drink program focused on fruits, vegetables and herbs. There’ll be an outdoor patio as well as a rooftop bar.
The building at 225 Bowery had been a Salvation Army shelter for over a century until it was sold for $30 million in 2014. WNYC summed it up with a headline: “On the Bowery, Homeless to Hipsters Almost Overnight.”