Gossip Girls Bar Facing Closure

If you love “Gossip Girls” then you probably love The Empire Hotel. Too bad that everyone doesn’t seem to love it. The hotel is embroiled at the moment in a battle with its neighbors over the noise that comes from its very popular rooftop bar. The Empire Hotel, which is both a real NYC property and part of the fictional empire on CW’s “Gossip Girl” is not sitting pretty today.

Appellate Decision

Last week, in a decision by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, the co-op located at 61 W. 62nd Street has the right to issue a temporary injunction with a stipulation about the amount of noise that the bar can make.

The co-op in question overlooks the hotel at 44 W. 63rd Street and has to endure a good deal of noise from the hip bar. The conflict all began in 2009 when the co-op residents complained that loud noises and music were keeping them up as late as 3:00 am and they asked that bar patrons not be allowed to use the outdoor areas.

Here is a picture of the Empire Hotel rooftop bar shown in September 2010 (Pearl Gabel/News)

Appeal Going Nowhere

While the Supreme Court denied the co-op’s request, the appellate court has now sided with the co-op board. Jeffrey Chodorow’s China Grill Management, which operates the bar, has tried to appeal that decision, but the appellate court has upheld its decision with the residents.

Civilized Arrangements

At the moment, in a sign of civility in NYC, the co-op and the bar are trying to reach a settlement together so that the co-op doesn’t have to activate its injunction. So far, the bar has reduced its noise level and the co-op board has asked them to soundproof the space and to put up the retractable roof as a set time each night.

The sticky point at the moment is those outdoor events that the bar sometimes holds — they aren’t willing to give those up just yet.

Time will tell how civilized these New Yorkers will continue to be with each other…and for how long.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)gowanuslounge.com.