Openings: Highbar & the Pooldeck

imageDespite summer in NYC being akin to taking up residence in a (really expensive) frying pan, there is the glorious consolation of being able to light up a fag while imbibing your frozen whateverberry margarita. So we welcome new outdoor partying spaces with the religious fervor of a Catholic welcoming the Pope (more, actually). Highbar, the super-fab new nightspot opening in May from Greg Brier of Aspen and Amalia, looks set to draw a flash crowd to the distinctly unflashy environs of Hell’s Kitchen (which, despite noble attempts, never actually became the new LES).

A small indoor lounge will complement the space for 200 alfresco revelers, who get to enjoy Hudson River views, bespoke cocktails and chic-BBQ munchies under the stars. Even further afield from the magic sparkle of downtown hipsterism is the Empire Hotel’s new and really quite spectacular Pooldeck, which debuted in April. A majestic split-level space, the upper is for swimming, the lower for cocktailing. There are also high-tech cabanas and available rooftop massages. The catch? You have to be a guest — or perhaps a master of the bribery arts. We know you can do it.

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