Bar of the Week: The Bar at the Bowery Hotel

There is a certain hubris in calling your new posh hotel the Bowery. For about the past 400 years, the street has primarily been associated with lowlife, heavy drinking, homelessness and Joey Ramone. Now, Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode have set up shop, and if anyone can change the Bowery's reputation, it's them. The two are the media-blitz sophisticates behind the Waverly Inn, the Park and the Maritime Hotel, Chelsea's converted Covenant House. The latter's nautical-themed and opium den-decorated basement has made it incredibly popular over the years. Like the Maritime, the Bowery is rumored to feature an Italian restaurant, but this time the overall theme is 19th-century Black Forest hunting lodge. It's beautiful. And, by the way, it makes Freemans seem minimalist by com-parison. (Freemans honcho Taavo Somer is an architect of the restaurant, and it looks like he's really indulged himself here.) If you like taxidermy, deep woodsy colors, smoky oil paintings and a real live fireplace, look no further. As of press time, the hotel is still under construction, although it is definitely open for business. On a recent visit, even the waitstaff seemed impressed. “If you like this, you should see the bar upstairs,” my waitress said breathlessly. “It's gorgeous." 335 Bowery, (212) 505-9100. Jonathan Durbin

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