Brooklyn Heights

The Bossert’s rooftop bar moves a step closer to reopening

February 4, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This is the rooftop terrace lounge planned for Brooklyn Heights' Hotel Bossert. Rendering courtesy of Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects
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Party on the roof!

As long as it’s a nice, quiet party with no music outdoors — and tunes inside a rooftop restaurant no louder than a quiet hair dryer one meter away from the human ear.

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A rooftop bar that was popular back when the Dodgers played baseball in Brooklyn has moved a step closer to reopening at the Hotel Bossert, AKA the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn.

Community Board 2’s Health, Environment and Social Services Committee decided Wednesday night to recommend that the New York State Liquor Authority grant the landmarked Brooklyn Heights hotel a liquor license for its 14th-floor rooftop terrace and restaurant, a first-floor restaurant and a lobby café.

The iconic inn at 98 Montague St. has been closed for a looong time while undergoing a gut renovation. Now that its pursuit of a liquor license is moving forward, when is the hotel finally going to reopen?

“We have no idea,” Carlos Gareis told the Brooklyn Eagle after the CB2 committee’s vote about the liquor license, which took place at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in Fort Greene.

Gareis, who presented the liquor license application to the committee, works for the Bossert’s new operator, Fën Hoteles, which is based in Argentina. The company’s English-language name is Fën Hotel Management.

He’s the general manager of Fën’s first New York City property, Dazzler Brooklyn, at 85 Flatbush Ave. Extension. The Downtown Brooklyn hotel opened this past summer.

Gareis told the Eagle that it hasn’t yet been decided whether he will serve as the Bossert’s general manager or someone else will be chosen for the job.

During his presentation to the community board, he said 180 people will be hired to work at the hotel.

Fën was selected to run the Bossert by developers David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit, who bought the century-old hotel from the Watchtower for $81 million in 2012. The Jehovah’s Witnesses had used it as lodging for visiting members.

Fen’s name for the hotel is the Esplendor Bossert Brooklyn — Esplendor is one of its brands.  

The company operates more than 30 hotels in Latin America and the United States, from Buenos Aires to Miami’s South Beach, where it runs an Art Deco property called the Tides.


Chateaubriand for dinner

The Bossert’s restaurants will serve “American classic food,” Gareis said in his presentation to the community board.

No kidding.

According to menus in the hotel’s liquor license application materials, dinner selections will include old-fashioned faves like 25-ounce T-bone steaks and Oysters Rockefeller.

There will be Chateaubriand for two. If you’re too young to know what that means, it’s a thick, center-cut beef tenderloin, usually served with Béarnaise sauce.

The Sunday brunch menu will include pancakes and a half-dozen versions of eggs Benedict.

The Bossert’s first-floor restaurant will be 1,997 square feet in size and seat 132 customers, liquor license application materials indicate. The lobby café will be 2,995 square feet in size and seat 46.

The size of the indoor restaurant on the 14th floor will be 2,300 square feet.

The rooftop terrace will be 1,922 square feet in size, laid out in a skinny strip of space on the Hicks Street side of the building. All 20 tables on the terrace will be two-seaters.

BHA ‘has no objection’ to liquor license

In a letter included in the Bossert’s liquor license application materials, Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) Executive Director Peter Bray said his organization “has no objection” to the granting of the liquor license.

But the BHA would like CB2 to ask the State Liquor Authority to incorporate into its ruling on the Bossert a list of noise restrictions the city Board of Standards and Appeals imposed in 2013.

The board mandated these restrictions when it gave the Bossert a zoning variance.  

* They include the prohibition of music on the rooftop terrace, a 69-decibel limit to music inside the 14th-floor restaurant and “sound attenuation measures” for both terrace and restaurant, the letter says.

A quiet hair dryer that’s one meter from the human ear makes a 70-decibel sound. Music played at a bar is typically 90 decibels and up.

* No more than 40 patrons are allowed on the rooftop terrace at any given time.

* The maximum combined number of patrons occupying the rooftop restaurant and terrace is 120.

* The 14th-floor terrace will close at 10 p.m. every night except New Year’s Eve, when it can stay open later.

* The 14th-floor restaurant will close by 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.


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