Brooklyn Heights

Is the Hotel Bossert’s reopening imminent?

July 5, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
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After several delays, there are signs that the long-closed and once-elegant Hotel Bossert on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights will be reopening at last. A video posted on Twitter, per Brownstoner, appears to show a nighttime party in progress on the hotel’s rooftop bar, which is decked out in multicolored lights.

Contacted by the Eagle, David Bistricer of Clipper Equity, who, with Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group, bought the hotel from the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2012, said, “We plan to make a major announcement soon.”

The hotel, built in 1909, was for decades one of the most glamorous of the many upscale hotels that dotted Brooklyn Heights in those days. Until the late 1940s, its Marine Roof (the same rooftop bar mentioned above) was the scene of many swanky parties with entertainment by several swing bands, one of which was called the Bossert Hotel Orchestra. In 1955, when the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World Series, the team celebrated at the Bossert. Dodgers players Duke Snider and Johnny Podres and their wives led a conga line as crowds celebrated outside.

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Later, with the downturn of the neighborhood as a tourist destination in the 1960s, the hotel deteriorated until it was bought in 1988 by the Witnesses. The religious group, which used it to house members who were visiting its nearby headquarters, undertook an extensive renovation, restoring its elegance.

After Bistricer and his group purchased the hotel, they started a restoration of their own, remodeling it into a boutique hotel, according to Brownstoner. However, its opening was delayed several times.

In 2016, the Eagle reported that the hotel could reopen soon. Eagle reporter Lore Croghan found that extensive renovation work had been done: “Light from elaborate chandeliers illuminates its beautiful coffered ceilings. A back wall is decorated with a mural showing the Brooklyn waterfront of yesteryear,” Croghan wrote. She also mentioned that Fen Hotels, an Argentinian company, had been hired to operate the hotel, which was to have been renamed the Esplendor Bossert Brooklyn.

However, in March of this year, the Eagle reported that the reopening of the hotel was delayed again. The article said the opening date was pushed back to this summer because Fen Hotels had reportedly backed out of the project and because the redevelopment entailed more time-consuming work than was previously expected.

Stephen Allen, the supervisor of the restoration work, told the Brooklyn Paper that the group was in the process of picking a new operator.


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