“Mix me up one of those Condo Kool-Aids, barkeep!”
To woo thirsty buyers, luxe resi towers are investing in swanky bar lounges.
Fasano Fifth Avenue (No. 815) is one of the latest buildings to make a residents-only bar the center of its social scene when it opened this month.
Designed by the celebrated architect Thierry W. Despont, the building located between 62nd and 63rd streets has five duplex apartments, all rentals, asking $100,000 a month. All of them are currently rented.
Its eponymous bar is in a chic sliver of a space, with a gold-leaf motif on the ceiling, leather and black-and-white vintage pictures of mid-century New York artists. A long terrace welcomes guests on pleasant days.
The development’s managing director, Danilo Magrini, says that the Fasano Fifth Avenue club prides itself on its cocktails — that’s why it tapped mixologist Jose Aranda, of Porter House Bar and Grill, to run the show. Given Fasano’s Brazilian roots, the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, is the specialty of the house.
Tata Harper, 46, the founder of a high-end skincare line, lives full-time in New Canaan, Conn., but rents a residence in Fasano when she’s in New York. Fasano Fifth Avenue, she says, has become her uptown hangout.
“It’s cozy with great décor, and I felt welcome and at home from the minute I walked in,” she said. “Normally I would leave to meet friends downtown, but this place is so fabulous that I invite friends here, and they love it too.
Quay Tower, on Brooklyn Bridge Park, is a condominium that’s bringing the cocktail experience to homeowners with a just-launched pop-up bar and restaurant in one of its model apartments. The program is a collaboration with Resident, a company that partners with luxury buildings to host dining events.
Resident’s owner Brian Mommsen says that the plan is to host these events at Quay several times a month and that homeowners need to reserve a spot in advance.
“The idea is to keep the gatherings small and have a venue where people feel comfortable and safe socializing,” he said.
Christina Galbato, 28, the founder of an online education business, attended a Resident preview event in September and says that she enjoyed it so much that she’s sold on the concept of getting her entertainment fix in the building where she lives.
“It’s a perfect spot for me to hang out with my friends since we’re avoiding crowded bars,” said Galbato.
The signature cocktail during the preview was a “Quayside,” made with gin, lime, tomato and herbs. Resident’s director of hospitality Jessica Abate, who is also a sommelier and bartender, created the drink and was the general manager of the Michelin-starred Rezdôra before her current gig.
“Being there was comparable to being at a hip bar but with better service,” she said. “And it’s hard to beat the views.”
Other examples of buildings with drinking venues abound.
One Manhattan Square, on the Lower East Side, has a wine tasting room and plans to use it to host tastings and wine workshops in a new partnership with the wine store Somm Cellars Wine & Spirits.
On the Upper East Side, 20 East End has a handsome bar in its billiards room. Residents supply their own alcohol but are encouraged to use the space and the crystal glassware that the building provides for a variety of tipples from wine to whisky to cordials.
Looking to the future, residents of the Leyton, opening this fall on the Upper East Side, can partake in brandy-based cocktails in The Brandy Room. Located on the 24th floor, the room features a spacious terrace, fireplace and views of Central Park and the East River.
In-building bars and events centered around alcohol give residents a feeling of security, says Corcoran real estate agent Beth Benalloul.
“After COVID, people want to spend time with their friends in more intimate spaces,” she said. “You want to get out of your house and have a drink, but you don’t want to go to a public bar with lots of people. A fantastic setting in your building is happy medium. It’s almost like being at a private club.”