and loving it!  Empire Bar, (atop of the posh Empire Hotel) is the place to be when you’re hanging with friends.  If you are somebody or know somebody you’ll have no problem getting in at any time of the night.  The first visit I accompanied a girl who knew someone so our group was able to roll up later in the evening.  And when I say group, I think it was larger than her pal expected.  This was when I was a principal.  Two other administrators and I brought teachers to study at Columbia University for the week so after a couple of days filled with intense instruction we needed to let loose.

The person she knew was a club owner himself and wanted to celebrate his birthday at Empire Bar.  It was a perfect night to do so because the weather was perfect, the music was thumping and the dance floor was packed.  I couldn’t tell you what I was having as far as libations but it probably had Grey Goose as a base.

Loving the Empire Bar Scene!

Loving the Empire Bar Scene!

The second time I took in the beautiful view at the bar of the Empire Hotel was just last summer.  The group consisted of my two good friends, also administrators.  We put on our finest so we could enjoy the rooftop experience before taking in Wicked.  The show was at 8:00 so we had a great excuse to make our appearance at the Empire early.  I’m sure the doormen were just stroking our egos but they made us feel like celebrities.

Pre-dinner photog moment

Pre-dinner Photog Moment

The hotel/bar is fairly close to the theater district so we walked.  The feeling of celebrity continued as we made our way to Wicked.  There were several people hanging out on the street that filled our heads too.  When you got it, you got it.  This is my male companion’s favorite musical.  His birthday approaching and my female companion’s as well as mine recently passed so I purchased the tickets to celebrate.  We quickly reverted back to the everyday tourists once we arrived at the theater taking pictures of ourselves in front of the marquee.  I love the theater!

I'm ready for an evening at the theatre!

I’m ready for an evening at the theatre!

As we stood in the lobby waiting to hand our ticket to the usher I realized I didn’t have my credit card at Empire.  Oh no!  One thing about this particular theater is that you can bring your refreshments to your seats.  I’m talking libations!  You never saw a woman in heels run so fast to catch a cab.

I must have been looking exceptionally good that evening because even the cabbie was gracious and accommodating.  He drove me back to the club in true New York cab fashion and was really nice.  When I arrived to get my card, the doormen remembered me and were again most complimentary. Now the think they’re playing for a fool but I know better.  They know I’m just common Jane but I don’t care.  It’s my night and I take in all in stride.

I arrive at the theater once again and my friends are waiting for me with adult sippy cups in their hands that adorn the wicked moniker.  I eagerly approach the concession stand and purchase my own cup containing Cabernet Sauvignon.  We’re looking hot, spent time at a great spot and we’re about to see one our favorite musicals while having wine in our souvenir adult sippy cups.  What an awesome night.

After asking my buddies to reflect on the events I planned during their stay in New York with me Hotel Empire was their favorite.  Even though the doormen and we knew we were no celebrities it was amazing to be treated as such even if just for one night.

Though the price of a night’s stay at Empire Hotel isn’t in my budget, I could afford to stay at The Lucerne, one of several hotels within the Empire Hotel Group.  Both times I stayed there I booked my room on and bunked with other educators to save money.  The suite was nice but small.  I loved how close I was to Central Park, the subway, Shake Shack and Crumbs.  If you really think about it, the size didn’t really matter when you’re in the city that never sleeps.


  • There’s actually a posh hotel if it’s in your price range
  • Location, location, location
  • Spectacular views on the rooftop
  • Celebrity sightings
  • Backdrop for several episodes of Gossip Girl
  • Bar has tasty bites
  • Great club music for dancing

Visit Empire Hotel’s website at  Another site to visit is if you’re interested in the variety of hotels Empire Hotel Group has to offer.  Then visit your favorite online booking site to find the best deal!


About ksimonewilson

I'm looking forward to sharing my New York experiences that have been highlighted on television and in movies.

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