Bars, Serves /

The Flatiron Room, New York

Tommy Tardie, The Flatiron roomOpened a little over two years ago, the Flatiron Room is a stylish bar-restaurant, with an upscale 1920s supper-club feel offering a wide selection of quality spirits and cocktails and nightly entertainment of live jazz and blues music.

From the outset, the philosophy was to create a relaxing atmosphere without the usual crowding, affording customers an opportunity to engage in conversation, talk about the drink selection, enjoy dinner in comfort and all the while be entertained by subtle but mood-inspiring music. To this end the bar limits the number of patrons, often turning away customers. Is this a risky strategy? Perhaps, but it’s one that promotes an air of exclusivity while maintaining the comfort balance inside.

The décor is at once timeless and yet, seems to transport you to a more fashionable age (yours to decide), with lots of wood, booths and a trim of whisky bottles encased behind glass doors along the walls accessible only by a librarian’s ladder. This is truly where private club meets modern New York sophistication.

But don’t be fooled, the Flatiron Room isn’t all about its spirits range, they serve outstanding food here as well; with their chef recognised by the respected James Beard awards. Blend this accolade with their industry-acclaimed mixologists and cocktail list, and the package is complete.

For a brown-spirits bar, gin could be seen as a hard sell – but, the Flatiron Room only has a limited gin selection, and Brockmans is their most popular. Since our launch, we’ve featured in two cocktails and the venue is one of our top American accounts as a result. This is a relationship that we certainly hope to build upon and foster through 2015.

Brockmans BrambleI asked Tommy which of the gin cocktails they offered he personally enjoyed the most, and without hesitation he plumped for the Brockmans Bramble, created by resident mixologist Hemant Pathak. This is a take on a traditional bramble, with the addition of cinnamon syrup to the recipe.

It’s certainly very more-ish. While Brockmans has been a definite hit, and the gin category one that is growing in New York, I asked him if there were any other trends he was seeing. There was, he suggested, a definite move towards luxury brands and unique finishes and flavours; which is something that we in the business have been noticing in a number of accounts across the city. Perhaps, the customer base now has more disposable income that in recent years, or there is a greater sophistication and understanding of the product by the client base; or more likely a combination of both. Brockmans is in a good position to capitalize on this development.

The Flatiron roomThere’s an old saying that there’s “nowt as queer as folk” meaning that weird and wonderful is part of the human condition; and with this in mind, I finished up my interview by asking Tommy what the funniest or most ‘head-shaking’ thing he’d heard at the bar was. Two ladies sitting, enjoying their drinks and gossiping generally, one comments on how great the venue was – prompting the other to say that she chose the place because she was good friends with the owner. Completely unaware that he was sitting next to her, or who he even was!