PUBLIC is a perpetual work in progress. It is in a constant state of improvement and will never be finished. The founding principle behind the brand and hotel is to offer the best, most original and exciting experience imaginable.
PUBLIC re-opened in June having been closed for a year and a half during the pandemic. However, it was not just business as usual. PUBLIC went all out and debuted a reinvented and rethought hotel complete with various exciting offerings and amenities including a new restaurant, Popular, as well as a Cantina, Pisco Bar, Ceviche Bar and an improved LOUIS (the hotel’s global, fast gourmet food bazaar)—all by award-winning Peruvian chef Diego Munoz who helmed The World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s #1 rated Latin American restaurant.
Now, in addition, to continuing pushing the envelope and raising the bar, PUBLIC introduces BAR CHRYSTIE, a new, sexy, moody, updated “Modern Classic Cocktail Bar”; HOUSE OF X, a progressive, avant-garde, multimedia, new experiential nightlife performance space like no other, by House of Yes creators; a WELLNESS PROGRAM focused not only on beauty, but on health, fitness, peak performance, diet, medical treatment and overall wellbeing; and new food and cocktail SEASONAL MENUS from Chef Diego, along with a newly conceived, special exclusive Chef’s TASTING TABLE.
The five bars at PUBLIC are diverse in mood, vibe and spirit as well as offerings. Each with its own personality and DNA, you can experience any one or all of them in one night depending on what suits your mood. All together in one night, they are an all-encompassing and immersive holistic experience. BAR CHRYSTIE offers something completely different and complementary to the other bars at PUBLIC, which was not available before. A thoughtful, conversational refuge, it celebrates the Lower East Side’s verve with state-of-the-art takes on classic drinks that are confident, elegant and fun, an extensive Champagne program, and cocktails made with rare and fine spirits. This is a bar for “adults in spirit”, yet ironically situated in the Lower East Side—it’s a dichotomy and contradiction in terms Schrager always seeks out with his projects. According to Schrager, when disparate elements come together in an unexpected way, that is when the sparks fly and magic happens.
BAR CHRYSTIE is elegant, refined and focused on intimacy, personal contact, human connection and conversation—a place to go for a tete a tete. It’s a “piano bar without the piano” celebrating the famed NYC cocktail culture and that of Hollywood’s glamourous Golden Age of the 1920s. It pays homage to classics such as The Bar Hemingway at The Ritz in Paris and Harry’s Bar in Venice. BAR CHRYSTIE will offer theatrical, fun, inventive, bespoke cocktails from Chef John Fraser and Chef Diego Munoz in collaboration with visionary mixologist, Rob Krueger; delectable internationally inspired tapas and ambient snacks by Chef Diego; and sexy, soulful music inspired by Aaliyah, D’Angelo and Maxwell as well as live vinyl-spinning DJs. Expect the unexpected with do-it-yourself ice cream sodas and floats done in an edgy, modern way. The bar will also host a schedule of cultural events, including talks, art shows, comedy nights, and cocktail masterclasses.
HOUSE OF X by visionary House of Yes team Anya Sapozhnikova, Kae Burke, Ilan Telmont and Justin Ahiyon is the next generation nightlife venue and performance space by the next generation of nightlife empresarios. According to Schrager, this team is grabbing the mantle and bringing experiential nightlife to a whole new level and like nothing else before it. In the same way that Cirque du Soleil reinvented the circus and Burning Man rethought outdoor gatherings, campfires and individual self-expression, HOUSE OF X and its creators will change everything and have the same profound impact on nightlife.
“For me, what the HOUSE OF X team has created is reminiscent of seminal cultural eras such as French and German cabaret of the 20s and 30s, as well as the underground NYC clubs of the 60s and 70s starting with Andy Warhol’s The Dom and culminating in Studio 54,” says Schrager.
HOUSE OF X is a multimedia, theatrical, interactive, immersive, multifaceted, sensory explosive experience. It is a non-stop carnival filled with fun and surprises complete with performance art and beyond. It is the first time in his career, Ian Schrager has given over complete design control of one of his hotel spaces. The edgy and provocative House of X features a dimly-lit, sultry design that serves as the backdrop for this unparalleled new nightlife experience.
The new one-of-a-kind WELLNESS PROGRAM at PUBLIC was created to counter this new age of anxiety brought on by the pandemic. It gives both guests and locals a restorative sanctuary—a refuge— and holistic wellness experience right in the middle of New York City. The program includes fitness classes such as Pilates, Yoga, Boxing, HIIT, Sculpt, Stretch, Rehabilitation, Pre-natal and Meditation from the world’s best trainers; personal training options either on-site at PUBLIC’s state-of-the-art gym, outside or off-site at the trainer’s home gym; a Nike Run Club; priority access to the city’s most sought after spa treatments including an extensive array of massages (Swedish, shiatsu, hot stone, Thai, acupressure, among others) movement therapy, floatation, acupuncture, IV vitamin infusions, cryotherapy and more, both in room and at the spas; on-call medical experts for tests and treatments, metabolic analysis, nutrition and holistic wellbeing; and healthy, delicious menus including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free from both Chef Diego and Chef John Fraser—healthy food that actually tastes good.
“It’s amazing what we were able to put together to offer a program that promotes overall wellbeing. Imagine: Come to New York for the Cure and actually go home feeling better than when you came’,” says Schrager.
For Fall at Popular and Cantina & Pisco Bar, Chef Diego Muñoz, in collaboration with Chef John Fraser, celebrates the season with an autumnal cornucopia. He reimagines Peru’s iconic and regional dishes, as well as the global influences including Incan, Spanish, Moorish, African, Italian, Chinese and Japanese that have enriched the Andean nation for centuries. Chef Diego treats his ingredients reverentially, employing techniques such as grilling, wok-frying and roasting, with some left raw to complement Peru’s truly multicultural flavors.
Chef Diego’s Confit Duck Leg is an ode to Peru’s coastal cuisine and with Aji de Gallina Tortellini saluting Spanish, Moorish and Italian influences. For dessert, a decadent Pumpkin & Vanilla Tres Leches Cake is adorned with toasted pumpkin seeds. Chef Diego’s best in class cocktails, made with Peru’s noble spirit, Pisco, along with seasonal produce, are an extension of his bold culinary vision.
“We were privileged to open Popular this past summer when New York City was roaring back to life,” says Chef Diego. “Now, we are celebrating beautiful fall ingredients to grill, wok-fry, roast or simply serve raw, all imbued with our authentic Peruvian flavors. We are also excited to introduce iconic and regional dishes, from Peru’s coast all the way to the Andes, with influences on our cuisine that span the world, from Europe to Asia.”
LUXURY FOR ALL
When PUBLIC premiered in 2017, its revolutionary idea and Schrager’s most important to date was LUXURY FOR ALL…because it made luxury available to everyone. The traditional idea of luxury from a bygone era is outdated and culturally irrelevant now. That notion of luxury is thought of as being something within the exclusive provenance of the rich. It’s based upon extravagance, a price point, status symbols, exclusivity and other superfluous things. These notions are completely meaningless today. People have moved on. If you come to PUBLIC expecting traditional luxury, you will not find it there.
“At the end of the day, luxury isn’t about materiality. It’s about spirituality. It’s not about how much something costs. It’s about how it makes you feel,” explains Schrager
There is a new notion of luxury. It’s about elevating the experience. It’s about making service incredibly efficient…making everything convenient, fast, free from hassles and comfortable. It’s about making you feel safe, protected, feel at home, and free to be what you want to be and do what you want—allowing you freedom and free time to pursue other more important things—the things that matter to you most and make you happy. That for PUBLIC, is true luxury. And all that really matters.
Every innovation enhances an experience and gives you the freedom of time. This new notion of luxury at PUBLIC is the same thing. Leonardo di Vinci said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” We say, “Freedom of time is the ultimate luxury”, says Schrager.
PUBLIC SERVICE is a completely new and dedicated department whose only job is to ensure the faithful execution of the LUXURY FOR ALL promise. A carefully trained team will make certain guests are comfortable as well as to assure the convenience, speed and ease of everything PUBLIC is trying to accomplish. The integration of thoughtful technology allows for frictionless and hassle-free stays making every transaction and communication at the hotel as easy and enjoyable as possible.
THE PUBLIC EXPERIENCE
The PUBLIC EXPERIENCE is the culmination of Schrager’s 40+ years in the business. After introducing the Lifestyle Hotel to the world, the idea is now finally complete. FIRST, there was the rethinking of what a hotel could and should be—The next generation of hotel for a new generation, and one that manifested popular culture and was more than a place to sleep. It was a visceral, emotional experience. It was a HOTEL AS THEATER and introduced exciting new visuals and design to an otherwise monotonously boring hotel landscape.
The SECOND aspect was the introduction of the most exciting food, beverage, nightlife and entertainment options that were geared towards visitors and residents of the city the hotels were located in. Now, the THIRD and final element is LUXURY FOR ALL and great service in a new and modern way combined with state-of-the-art, thoughtful, cutting-edge technology designed only to make things easier, convenient and cheaper – not technology for the sake of it.
With great visuals, great food, beverage and entertainment, and great luxury service together with thoughtful, useful technology at an affordable price, the PUBLIC EXPERIENCE is complete and totally unique in the world.
“If the measure of a great hotel is to make everybody comfortable, safe, happy, content, free from hassles, and to promote wellbeing, having fun and the freedom of time to do whatever you choose, then PUBLIC is truly a great hotel!” says Schrager.