TGI Friday's. Heartland Brewery, Walgreen's. The Empire State Building, Art Deco symbol of all that is New York City, has had to put up with a lot of low-rent tenants in recent years. But now, with the opening of the Empire Room, the skyscraper finally has a drinking and eating destination as classy as itself.
The new bar is run by Mark Grossich, the same guy behind Grand Central's Campbell Apartment (Grossich has a thing for Gotham landmarks, it would seem). It officially opened yesterday. The space, all 3,500 square feet of it, was formerly a postal substation. Now it's filled with brushed stainless steel, a curved marble bar, equally curbed leather stools and circular chandeliers.
The cocktail menu, created by Jonathan Pogash (who also did the menu at Campbell Apartment, Library Bar and others), includes some classics created before the Empire State was built (Clover Club, Ramos Gin Fizz) and some created after (Moscow Mule). There's a Prohibition Punch, featuring Appleton Rum Estate VX, Gran Gala VSOP, passion fruit juice, and Moet & Chandon Champagne. And the signature cocktail, the Empire, includes Bluecoat Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Royal Combier Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, raspberry-orange marmalade and Moet. The latter will run with $16. The punch $15. The others $13.50.
Below is the list of "House Specialty Cocktails."
Laird’s Applejack, Yellow Chartreuse, Punt e Mes and fresh lemon juice
Blueberry and raspberry puree, maraschino liqueur and sparkling wine
Sombra mezcal, dry vermouth, Combier orange liqueur, white crème de cacao, aromatic and mole bitters
Berry tea-infused Plymouth gin, lemon juice, honey syrup and fresh muddled blackberries
Old Overholt Rye whiskey, peach puree, Mathilde peach liqueur and fresh mint