Introducing the Walker Hotel Tribeca

The conversion of 396 Broadway to a hotel has been in the works for a long time now. Back in May of 2014, developer Bridgeton Holdings went before Community Board 1 with a liquor-license application that included a roof deck; it met with a resounding rejection, even when the company returned a month later and tried just for brunchtime rooftop liquor.

Judging from the note Bridgeton has posted in the area, it plans on operating the property, which will be called Walker Hotel—a name that makes sense, not only because the building fronts Walker, but because Bridgeton already has a Walker Hotel on W. 13th Street. The company had previously said it would have 171 relatively small rooms, with rates around $200. That and the renderings on Bridgeton’s site—two are below—might lead one to assume the clientele will be on the young side, rather than, say, business travelers or families.

While Bridgeton deserves credit for being upfront about its plans, the note is likely to exacerbate concerns rather than alleviate them: The hotel is seeking a 4 a.m. liquor license, and there will be a roof deck and, in the below-ground levels, “a DJ or amplified live music.” Moreover, according to the floor plans submitted in the past, the entrance to the hotel is on Walker (a side street) and the entrance to the ground-floor restaurant and subcellar bar is on Cortlandt Alley (less than a side street, with another hotspot restaurant, Au Cheval, opening right across the way). There’s no indication yet as to when CB1 will discuss the application; the next meeting of the Licensing Committee is probably January 9.

The note doesn’t mention the Blue Bottle café that has been set to open off the lobby, possibly because it won’t serve alcohol. I reached out to Bridgeton and Blue Bottle for confirmation, but I haven’t heard back. UPDATE: A staffer at another Blue Bottle café said this one is still on; they’re just waiting for construction to be completed.


  1. I believe CB1 NEVER approves 4:00 AM Liquor Licenses off the bat. The latest they will do is 2:00 AM. If others in the area already have 4:00 AM licenses they will consider a later time only after the business has been open at least a year and they have had NO complaints.

    • It’s rare, but CB1 has approved 4am liquor licenses in the past—including for Haus (W. Broadway and Canal) and Morimoto’s restaurant on Church. It tends to be more easily swayed when it thinks the surrounding area isn’t residential—something that gets harder and harder to claim about the northeast corner of Tribeca. I predict that CB1 will be fine with 4am for in-room alcohol (minibars, room service), but it’ll chafe at 4am for anywhere public.

      • Agreed. They will approve in room, but not the 4:00 AM. In the Financial District meetings I don’t believe we ever approved a 4:00 AM in the four years that liquor license approvals came before us, even if the immediate area was full of them (as on Stone Street). They had to earn it.

  2. The hotel itself seems a fine addition to the street (although that lobby looks painfully uncomfortable, what with those hard barstools etc….certainly does not encourage leisurely lingering).

    As for the nightlife side, that is a concern. We already have the drunken inanities all along Walker Street on weekends thanks to M1-5, not to mention drug dealers shopping and testing their wares in the doorways of the residential buildings.

    It if’s a mellow hotel lounge that’s one thing, but if it’s going to be more of a nightclub or rowdy bar crowd, that’s another. The problem is it’s impossible to tell in advance….

    (We finally left the East Village to escape the perpetual drunken vomitorium it has become; I hope this part of TriBeCa will not become a similar environment)