Walker Hotel roof bar tormenting neighbors

The Walker Hotel’s rooftop bar, which has been run by an outside company for the past two years as “Happy Be” (Dream Logic Hospitality, which runs the restaurant downstairs, Mostrador, and the basement speakeasy, Saint Tuesday) had a lot of opposition at the April meeting of CB1’s Licensing Committee meeting and even though that’s ages ago, I wanted to follow up since it was just so frustrating how the hotel’s representatives — their lawyer Joe MacLellan and general manager Peter Yeung — were being deliberately deceptive throughout the meeting.

They said at the top of the meeting that the bar was now being operated by the hotel, and taken away from Dream Logic, but it was clearly Dream Logic on the application that the committee had in its hands. MacLellan and Yeung said there had been no complaints about noise or anything else from neighbors over the two years, but a quick search on the 311 portal shows 10 service complaints. You would think a business would search its own address if they honestly wanted to be good neighbors.

It’s operators like this that give outdoor dining — and rooftop drinking — a bad name. Not only can they not acknowledge or accommodate their neighbors, but they then lie about it. Plus, I was confused by the photos they had of the space — they looked nothing like what was there last season. But in fact the place is exactly the same just with the addition of cascading fake flowers. Clearly the hotel representatives were trying to make it look less like a bar and more like an outdoor café — I think those pictures must have been taken before the bar was even built.

They came before the committee to ask an extension of their hours, but naturally CB1 did not grant it. The capacity is 74 and they said it is mostly event-driven with events for — of all people — lawyers.

The bar now is called the Flower Shop Rooftop, a partnership with a restaurant on the LES, and is open Monday to Friday, 4p to 11p, Friday from 4p to midnight; Saturday 1p to midnight; Sunday 1p to 11p. It’s open May until the end of October. They wanted to go till midnight during the week and 1a on weekends.

Neighbors said the crowd is rarely sedate, and that they can hear the music clearly. (I also don’t get why music is permitted: CB1’s own rules consider “background music” as music you cannot hear on the street; of course with no walls you can hear this anywhere.) They also have a second space up a flight of stairs behind the bar — that might be causing more of the problem then the main area of the bar. I’ve been twice and it seemed mellow — it is a long narrow space, so the biggest group you can really have there is about eight. The hotel is also on Broadway — not exactly a quiet street. So they really must be cranking the music at some times to offend people.

“Their hours should be the same as other outdoor spaces, closing at 10 pm,” said one resident at the meeting. “I have filed complaints over the years and have the complaint numbers. We can hear their music. Patrons get loud and boisterous and they don’t seem to be able to control the sound.”

CB1 said they would never be able to roll back the hours with the SLA, but I’d like to think they will be watching for the renewal. It’s really a shame. Rooftops are fun! If they could be more neighborly, we could all enjoy it.



  1. we live in a city and this area is mixed use. “the city that never sleeps” was a known risk going in

  2. The Walker Hotel Bar is a bad neighbor. They circumvented Community Board 1 to get music & later hours. They ignored neighbors’ complaints until the police were brought in. Patrick’s comment “The city that never sleeps”, was a known risk going in” clearly demonstrates the hotel’s arrogance towards their neighbors.