The hotel dream team strikes again. Sean MacPherson (The Jane, The Bowery, The Marlton, The Maritime Hotel) along with hotelier duo Richard Born and Ira Drukier (Pod Hotels, The Greenwich Hotel, Mercer Hotel) are opening The Ludlow hotel in the Lower East Side in June 2014.
The hotel doesn’t just reflect the neighborhood’s evolving history — it’s a part of it. The solid brick building had been abandoned by its original owners after the financial downturn, and MacPherson, Drukier and Born stepped in to develop it.
The Lower East Side is a natural fit for MacPherson, whose hotels are inspired by a neighborhood’s history and traditions. MacPehrson first visited the LES in the 1980s: “Along with layers of history, there was a grittiness and nervous energy,” he says. “You had a sense something could break out any minute, whether it was street art or a riot. I’d come from L.A., and there was nothing like it.”
That LES “energy” is evident throughout the hotel. The handsome rooms — a total of 184, including 20 suites — have hardwood floors, Moroccan lamps and “tree-trunk” nightstands from Brooklyn’s Organic Modernism, plus the requisite upscale amenities, like high-thread-count sheets and designer bath products (in this case, by Red Flower).
The lobby atrium is the hotel centerpiece, with oak-paneled walls, marble floors and a limestone fireplace that is being marketed as “trustafarian meets Miss Havisham.” MacPherson says, “We’d like to function as a living room for the neighborhood.” Considering the hang-out popularity of his other hotels, this will probably happen quickly.
The same can be said for the hotel’s new restaurant, Dirty French, the first French restaurant from Major Food Group (helmed by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick), which operates lots of buzzy spots around NYC, including Torrisi, Carbone and Parm. Even so, there’s nothing like a smoked-fish bagel and a knish or two from Russ and Daughers and Yonah Schimmel, which are steps away.