The James Hotel on Grand Street in SoHo is pretty stylin'; one lobby wall is covered with old computer keyboard letters, the walls are hung with work from local artists, and the pet-friendly concierge will give you doggy beds and food bowls if you bring Muffy along for a stay in one of the $460 a night rooms. And up on the roof there's now a swish lounge called Jimmy, where you can sip specialty cocktails while enjoying the special view and contemplate doggy paddling in the dainty, shallow pool.
Opening Saturday, Jimmy's designed by Thomas Schlesser (DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Bar Boulud), who's going for a swinging '70s upscale lounge vibe. Tall and elegant 60’s Arco lamps litter the 1,200 square foot room, which is furnished with blue modular furniture that would make Jackie Treehorn feel right at home. The only thing missing is a shag rug and a fireplace, but the latter element will be added next month. Doors open out onto the roof deck, where fresh air and lounge chairs await.
Johnny Swet (Balthazar, Freeman's, Hotel Griffou) did the cocktail menu, which is both excellent and expensive ($16-$18). Of course every ingredient—the syrups, the bitters, the fresh-squeeze juice—is made in house, and the garnishes and herbs come from chef's garden on premises. The menu changes seasonally, but right now you really can't go wrong with the Legal in Vermont: Knob Creek Bourbon and organic Vermont maple syrup served over a cinnamon ice block, red shiso garnish. It's as close to a work of art as something you drink can get, and as the cinnamon ice melts, the autumnal flavor deepens into something kind of mellow and addictive. Or maybe that was just the alcohol.
Jimmy also offers a selection of wine, champagne and beer if complex cocktails aren't your thing, and once the hotel's subterranean basement opens, small plates will inexorably join the menu. So check Jimmy out! Jimmy's got some new moves!
Jimmy at The James // 15 Thompson Street near Grand St // (212) 465-2000