The iconic TWA Flight Center will finally reopen its doors this year, after 18 years of languishing in abandonment like a mid-century time capsule. The good news is, the swank interior will be mostly intact, the bad news is it's 2019 and the humans who fill it will probably be wearing sweatpants and flip flops prior to boarding their flight.
Still, let's take a look at The Sunken Lounge, which will take over the most recognizable spot in the Eero Saarinen-designed building. As such, the bar will be something of a centerpiece at the landmark 512-room TWA Hotel (which opens on May 15th, the same day as the Sunken Lounge). The space offers floor-to-ceiling windows, which will "provide views of the hotel’s 1958 Lockheed Constellation 'Connie' airplane (parked on the tarmac just outside)," and the split flap departures board will also be on view and fully functional (though displaying custom messages instead of flight info).
The lounge will be operated by the Gerber Group (they took over the Campbell Apartment, as well), who promise a full-on throwback vibe. "Drink in the spirit of the glamorous Sixties with retro cocktails and swizzle sticks once enjoyed in-flight," they announced in a press release, also noting how steeped in history this place is. This is the spot where the Beatles arrived in the United States in 1965, after all. And as a nod to the past, and the effortless style this place oozed, they seem to be doing everything they can to keep this history alive.
Swizzle sticks based on TWA designs make every cocktail a conversation piece.
From the press release:
The hotel's collection of authentic TWA artifacts includes this Royal Ambassador menu. Naturally, Gerber Group will stock the menu with 1960s cocktail favorites, including the Old Fashioned (whiskey and bitters) and the Aviation (Crème de violette, Maraschino liqueur, gin and lemon juice). To honor TWA, Gerber Group will offer the official TWA Martini and put its own modern twist on the Royal Ambassador Cocktail (Champagne, orange juice and Grand Marnier), which was served in gold-flecked glassware to elite passengers.
*Whips vintage Hermes scarf over shoulder, adjusts glasses, leans in closer* Actually, The Aviation cocktail was not around in the 1960s, as they declare above—in fact it disappeared in the 1960s, when a major producer of Crème de violette shuttered, so who knows what we can believe from this press release, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. And thankfully the world has restocked on Crème de violette.
It's also worth noting that there were no prices offered in the press release, and when we asked if they could share prices we were told, "Sorry - not yet!" Considering a few blocks of cheese and a handful of grapes at the airport costs around $16, we'd say this is going to be a one-and-done kind of place. More like Sunken Paycheck, amirite?
They also seem quite excited about the Swizzle sticks they'll have on hand, which are "based on TWA designs, [and] make every cocktail a conversation piece... The stirrers are modeled after TWA’s original sets highlighting its travel destinations (Africa, Greece, England) and its own fleet (propellers!)."
Anyway, yes, we'll all soon be hanging out in the airport "for fun." Please don't fuck this up with sweatpants.