Brooklyn Heights

CB2 approves Pierhouse hotel’s rooftop bar liquor license

October 14, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Community Board 2 approved a liquor license for the hotel bar atop the Pierhouse complex on Oct. 7. The rooftop bar can be seen in this rendering at the top left of what will be called 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Rendering courtesy of 1 Hotels

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge to open in 2016

Guests at the Starwood’s 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge will likely be able to quaff their martinis and Dark and Stormies – next to fire pits and accompanied by piped in music – out on the rooftop bar when the hotel opens in 2016 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Community Board 2 (CB2) approved a liquor license for the hotel bar at the Pierhouse complex on Oct. 7. The vote was 5 to 2.

Members of the preservationist group Save The View Now (STVN) had opposed the license on the grounds that the Starwood, as a partner with developer Toll Brothers, “ignored the promises” made to the community in 2005 to protect the views of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade.

A representative from STVN “spoke quite passionately in opposition” to the license, said CB2’s District Manager Robert Perris. But the board members decided that the issue of the hotel’s height was not germane to the question of the liquor license.

The applicant’s offer to put sound limiters on the audio system, including on the roof, was accepted and made a part of their license, Perris said. 

The board also limited the hours of the bar’s operation. The applicant asked to be able to operate until 4 a.m., seven days a week on the roof of the hotel. A compromise was made, however, resulting in a 2 a.m. closing time on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and a midnight closing time Sunday through Thursday.

According to the 1 Hotels website, “The Roof” at 1 Hotel features a bar and lounge “where guests can sit in rocking chairs and sip a cocktail while gazing out at the Statue of Liberty, or snuggle up beside our fire pits with a glass of wine. A plunge pool with daybeds for lounging makes the rooftop a go-to daytime spot as well.”

STVN, which has been fighting in court to preserve the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, maintains that the structures atop the Pierhouse are illegal. These include an enclosed kitchen, food service and preparation areas, plus an outdoor shower, pool equipment room and more.

The extra floors exceed height limits negotiated by the Brooklyn Heights Association and preservationist Otis Pearsall, among others, in 2005, the group says.

The park says that the developers have complied with all New York City zoning laws and have been transparent about the height of the development since it was planned in 2005.

The applicant is a tripartite venture made up of Brooklyn Pier 1 Hotel Tenant, LLP; Starwood Hotel Group Hotels and Residences U.S., LLC; and Colmena Management Co. LLC.