New rooftop pop-up bar Lemon’s offers stunning views of Manhattan
This summer, a new Brooklyn pop-up bar called Lemon’s could be your new go-to spot for an after work cocktail or to take in the beautiful Manhattan skyline. Located atop the stylish Wythe Hotel, the bar will offer a space for New Yorkers to unwind with fresh libations under oversized umbrellas on a bright garden terrace
Think of this new Williamsburg establishment as an alfresco dinner party on the Italian Coast- except here a view of the Mediterranean is replaced with the glittering Manhattan skyline, while food and beverage offerings are provided by some of the city’s best culinary creators.
Jon Neidich and Golden Age Hospitality (Acme, The Happiest Hour, Slowly Shirley) conceived the concept with acclaimed chefs Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber (Chez Ma Tante) along with beverage gurus Jim Kearns (Happiest Hour, Slowly Shirley) and Christine Kang (Soho House) to create the ideal warm-weather haunt. Neidich has brought in local Williamsburg cult DJ legends, Chances with Wolves to handle all music and programming ensuring that the space will have an old school vibe primarily from vinyl and 45s.
Kearns and Kang adds some sparkle to the roof with a cocktail menu that focuses on light, refreshing beverages, many topped with bubbles, while the duo of Brooklyn chefs, who have honed their European-style ethos at their popular Greenpoint restaurant, will create a menu of weather-appropriate eats. “There’s an intoxication around the weather getting nice here in NYC,” says Neidich. “Those first days of springtime into summer, the vibe becomes more relaxed, everyone is out on the street, New Yorker’s really start wanting to enjoy their leisure time. And that’s why we looked to Italy, a country that takes its leisure time — specifically around food and drink — very seriously.”
The premise and design of Lemon’s pays homage to the fictional character of Senora Lemon, a widowed Italian who was married to an avid home bartender named Luciano. After he passed in 60’s, she carried on a tradition of mixing cocktails and socializing at her house on Emilio Romagna. Her day long lunches turned parties became the pastime of legends; attracting luminaries from the creative and hospitality world alike. On recent trips to Italy, Neidich came up with the idea of his elegant hostess, and visitors can plan to encounter a vibe inspired by her spirit at this new summer-chic bar.
The food and beverage also seek to capture a taste of socializing in 1960’s Italy. “The offerings are a nod to the european aperitivo culture, where people are enjoying themselves around friends, causally imbibing while enjoying some light bites,” says Neidich. Snacks like salumi, raw oysters, and stracciatella with olive oil and bread will look familiar to anyone who has lazed away a summer afternoon in the cafes of Italy. Options like grilled calamari, sugar snap peas and tuna carpaccio on cracker crisps run with the light-eating coastal vibe, while a selection of Italian-style toasted sandwiches, topped with ingredients like ham and tomato, offer a few heartier nibbles.
The design builds off of the vibrant colors found in coastal Italy. Vintage Nectarine-hued damask wallpaper adorns the venue’s interior walls, complemented by sunset colored cushions on walnut wooden banquettes. An outdoor bar is nestled under a 40-foot retractable awning, and the entire party will take place underneath colorful umbrellas and strings of fairy lights.
The aim is to keep things focused on the communal aspect of the socializing scene — Lemon’s wants people to scope out its view, but really to camp out and enjoy the vibe. “We want to be more than just a rooftop,” says Neidich. “Sure, we have an amazing view, but at Lemon’s it’s all about the product and people. We want people to come for the food and drinks and enjoy themselves with friends new and old, all day long.”