Travel >The Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar And Lounge New York Hotels
44 West 63rd Street, New York, NY | Directions 1002340.771397 -73.982838
SunûMon 5pm - 12am
TueûWed 5pm - 2am
ThuûSat 5pm - 4am
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square, Midtown
great place for an after party... – My company had an event at Lincoln Center the other night. After it was over, we stumbled upon Empire Rooftop (across the street). We thought it would be cool to spend the rest of the night on a rooftop so we decided to come up. We wanted a table so we got 2 bottles of vodka. DJ was spinning great mix of music so we spent most of our night on the dance floor. Definitely a great place for an after party!
Great place if you're looking to dance and drink all night! – My (now) husband and i got married friday night. no crazy ceremony, just us and some of our closest friends. We decided to go to Empire for our after party. I was a little worried because we didnt have a reservation and from reading some of the reviews, i wasnt sure if we would be able to get in. When we got to Empire, there were two lines, one for reservations and one for general admission. we eneded up waiting about 20 min but got in fine. once we were up there, it was pretty crowded. I was hopping to find a table to hang out at but it looked like they were all taken. So i asked a security guard to help me. He called over a manager, tall bald guy with glasses. He explained to us that we would have to buy a bottle to get a table. We agreed. They gave us a table right in front of the DJ booth (which was awsome since i love to dance and that area was pretty much the dance floor) and a lovely server took care of us for the rest of the night. She always checked in on us and made sure we had plenty of juices and ice. i dont know how but she found out that we were just married (i guess my friend told her). next thing i know my husband and i get a glass of champagne each and the rest of our party gets a round of shots. And to top that, same manager came up to us and shook our hands and told us congratulations. I felt so special! I couldnt have picked a better place to celebrate and i will never forget this experience. This place is def one of my favorites now!
Simply Awesome. – I helped plan my friend's bachelorette party here in April, and it was an amazing night. The Empire Hotel rooftop bar is basically just a classy place thats a lot of fun. There were about 15 of us, and we got great service the entire night. I planned the party through AccessGotham, so granted it might have been a bit easier ( and free) for me to get in the door than for some of the people who are complaining about getting turned away, but if you can get in it's worth the wait!!!!
WORST DOORMAN OF ALL TIME. AVOID. – I had a 31st birthday party at the Rooftop Lounge last night (Thursday, September 2nd). We arrived around 730 and for the most part all of the staff was fantastic. Gary, the manager, was nice, as were the women running the entrance and the waitstaff. Had the night ended as it started, this would be a very good review. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
Around 10 PM, two of my friends showed up. There was some bouncer at the door who thinks he is god's gift to the club scene in New York City. I think his name was J.P., but I'm not sure. He's a bald guy, looks like he came from the Jersey Shore, and really does think he is the most important person in the world. You can tell he loves turning people away and making decisions at the door. So here's what happened...
First off, it was relatively empty in the Lounge. Tons of space and not many people there. My two friends show up, there is no line, and they say they are there for my party. They are dressed appropriately and should have had zero trouble getting in. Bouncer denies them entry. My wife goes downstairs and talks very nicely to the bouncer, explains to him that I'm having about 30 ppl upstairs and if he could just let these two guys in that would be great. He says NO. Doesn't give a reason, just says "can't do it. they're not gettin in."
Then I come downstairs, and I try to reason with him. He refuses to talk to me at first, pretending he's on the phone the whole time. Then when I finally speak with him, I'm calm and nice the entire time and ask him if he can just let my two friends in, especially since it's my birthday party and all. He says "nope." Then he tells the bouncer to "get this guy away from him." Then when I try and reason with him some more, he says "you look at me one more time and I'm gonna shut down your entire party and kick you all out."
I'm telling you -- I've been out to a lot of place in New York City. A lot. And I've encountered my fair share of bouncers. And when bouncers don't let you in or say you don't have enough girls in your party or whatever it is, I generally understand and while it sucks I'm not trying to say that they should just let everyone in all the time. BUT this guy takes it to a whole new level. He should not be deciding who gets in anywhere. He should have zero decision-making power. He is the epitome of the guy who thinks he is much cooler than he really is. And he is by far the worst person I have ever encountered in new york city's nightlife scene. And that's saying a lot.
After this, I went upstairs and talked to the manager on duty, whose name is Eric Lee. I explained everything to him, and he was very nice about everything. But he told me that the doorman has complete discretion. And he left it at that. I took the 20 people that were there for my party, and we all left immediately.
Oh, and you know what's funny? I talked to about five employees at the club. I'm not making this up -- they all told me, every one of them, that they hate this bouncer. They know he's a jackass. They know he's mean. They can't stand the guy. They told me that some "f*cked up sh*t" had happened to me and that they felt really bad about everything.
I don't know who he knows, or how he keeps his job. But if there is any form of justice in the world, he will not have it for long. I would say that even though the lounge itself is very nice and the staff upstairs is generally nice, you should avoid this place. Because places that employ folks like this bouncer do not deserve your business. There are plenty of other places to go. Plenty.
PLACE SUCKS....ALMOST KICKED THE DOORMAN'S ASS – i'm from jersey and hate clubbing in nyc because of all the hastle associated with it. however, decided to go on 8/13 because it was my birthday. had a group of 5 including myself.....2 girls 3 guys. got to the club around 2am because the place we intended on going to was closed down. a short fat guy pulled me to the side and was real honest and said we weren't getting in unless our group buys a bottle ($250)....which isn't bad considering there's 5 of us plus we don't pay a cover. however, the prick that was at the door was so arrogant and cocky i didn't have it in me to dig in my bottle and give him my money. he was even more of a prick when he told us to leave the line. i started to walk away with my group then said screw this.............i went back to that yuppy prick (who had beaver teeth and looked like he was wearing a wig) and asked him again how much it would be to get in. of course he was nice all of a sudden and would "love to help me".....then i told him if he wasn't so cocky and arrogant we would be in the place partying, instead they're $250 poorer. i said this in front of all his "bouncer buddies" and all the people waiting on line, so of course he has to retaliate. threatened to "kick my teeth in" as i was walking away (funny coming from a guy with f*cked up teeth). when i turned back and told him to cross that velvet line and say it to my face he turned into a b#tch. bouncers never said anything to me and everybody on the line was laughing.
long story short went to another place in meat packing and had a great time......glad i got the last laugh.
Nasty stressful! – I got invited out by my friend who came into the city from Jersey last night (August 21, 2010). I live in Chelsea and arrived 30 mins after my friend and his group at about 12:40. There were five of them altogether and they got in with no problem. As I am standing on line, I see a man in a white and blue button down shirt w an ear piece in. He walked up to a black guy behind me and told him to get off the line or he's gonna throw him across the street. I guess they had refused him entry before or something. Nevertheless, I thought that was incredibly RUDE and aggressive to threaten violence! Considering the way the guy on line was acting-speaking passively and calmly, I think these doormen were overreacting! He asked "why are you guys giving me a hard time?" I glanced at the three women in front of me-who were wearing flip flops and casual wear. I was wearing a gorgeous strapless dress with cute black heels make up done well, Tiffany's jewelry. Most importantly, friendly, happy demeanor. After 10 mins, they yelled out we're full to capacity people! . So, I call my friend who said he'd come down to see if they'd let me in once they see I'm definitely with his group. He said are they being racist? I said no they AREN'T being racist, they said they're full to capacity. At which point the door men all looked at me. THEN, as I was speaking on the phone they let the three (white) women in front of me in. I was telling my friend I see people leaving and they're letting others in so I don't know why they're saying they are full to capacity. While waiting I tried to tell the guy with the blue and white shirt that my friends are upstairs and it's just me, if he could let me in. BUT he cut me off after two words, put his hand up over his face like he didn't want to look at me and told me in a nasty way to move from the entrance, let the hotel guests in. I said you don't have to be an a*****e about it. He goes "if your friends step out we won't let them back in." When he realized a Marine and my friend arrived and hugged me, he disappeared inside. Another guy in a black button down said you guys won't get back in bc you left. I explained to my friends what happened, the Marine went to speak to the main guy with the blue and white shirt in the lobby where I couldn't see or hear what was going on. I found out later the manager in the blue and white shirt told him that I have an attitude and I called him racist so he won't let me in! While I was waiting they had called the police on the black guy that they had threatened on the line earlier. They had the police questioning the guy across the street meanwhile they wouldn't let me in with the group of 5 (whites) that was already upstairs and he was lying about me in the lobby to the Marine. Then he told the Marine that him and my friend could go back up (after he said earlier they wouldn't let them back in). It made no sense why he wouldn't let me in considering I was part of a group that was let in and he continued to let people in. People go out to have a good time not deal with drama. If they think that is the way to run a door, they're gonna be surprised when word goes out that they are nasty c*nts! They need to put the lines down and take some xanax. My friend stayed w me and we went to dream hotel while the Marine gathered the other people to leave Empire. The door man at Dream was so LOVELY. He opened the cabbie door (and shut the door for the cab when we left). Said welcome, the manager said goodnight. Told us which floor to press on the elevator. Smiled! It was like night and day. THE VIEW AT DREAM IS WAY BETTER! I really feel like going to find out that guys name who was running things at Empire last night and writing an official letter of complaint.
TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE – A friend of mine had a birthday party here on a Friday night. She made reservations and she told everyone to get there before 11. I made it there 10ish and there was a line that wasn't moving. As it did move I befriended some people on the line. Once they found out that bottles were required to get inside they stepped off the line. The bouncer held the velvet rope open for me and I told him I wasn't with the people who had just left. He said "it doesn't matter, you're not getting in.". So I stepped off, texted my friend, and her and her entire party left with me and we went to another lounge that let us right in and we had a BLAST. Don't go to this spot that's so high-ciddity with rude staff members that won't let you in unless you're a celeb. TRUST ME DON'T DO IT TO YOURSELF!!!
Great Place – The only real downside to this place is the line outside on a Saturday night. I read the other reviews and it seems like a lot of people didn't enjoy their experiences due to the staff, but the staff was very courteous to my friends and I on the evening we went.
The view from the rooftop isn't as nice as the one on 230 Fifth, but the DJ is much better so if you are looking to dance I think Empire is a much better option.
Boorish and Uncivil – Two bad stories:
1. My good friend had a birthday there, he reserved a table with bottle service, and gave his friend's names to the doorman. It was very crowded at the entrance to the hotel, and NONE of us were able to get up to the roof. My friend had his party alone. Even though the doorman acknowledged that our names were on the list, he just shrugged and said, 'too bad.' Completely unthinkable to me - the birthday gentleman reserved a table! And bottles! And we were a small group! He was, of course, still charged. Naturally.
2. After attending performance of American Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House, our fashionably dressed party, consisting of three ballet dancers (including myself), my mother and my brother thought we would have a few cocktails on the roof. We were denied entrance, however, based on my brother's Ferregamo sneakers. Is a Ferregamo sneaker really a sneaker? They complemented his outfit so nicely, he was really rocking out the upscale hipster look....
So I've had it with the Empire Hotel in general and will no longer patronize this establishment in any form.
RUDE RUDE RUDE – All the doormen are RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS. THEY ALSO THINK THEY OWN THE SIDEWALK. Get off the $10/hour high horse and realize that you're nothing but doormen. That means you open and close the door. Got it? You DO NOT own the sidewalk and CANNOT tell me to get off of it. One guy said, "This is for pedestrians, get off the sidewalk or get in the back of the line" LISTEN YOU IDIOT I CAN BE STANDING ON THE SIDEWALK, I'M A PEDESTRIAN. LOOK THAT UP.
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