Blossoming atop the slender stalk that is Moxy Hotels recently opened Chelsea location, The Fleur Room honors the verdant strip of NYC down below, otherwise known as the Flower District. The Rockwell Group-designed restaurant, bar and nightlife destination channels the neighborhood through elegant botanical accents, from floral fabrics to a water droplet chandelier. But in this 35th-floor venue, which offers 360-degree views of Manhattan, one will find the glittering embodiment of another city icon. The item is a vintage disco ball that adorned LA’s infamous Vertigo club in the ’80s—and it quite accurately reflects the spirit of creative director Angelo Bianchi.
To understand the ethos of The Fleur Room requires stepping back to Bianchi’s visionary years at The Beatrice Inn, which discreetly hosted many of the stars behind NYC’s rock reemergence and more. Beatrice, as it was until 2009, lives among the rarefied list of decade-defining destinations. “I feel like a time and a place like that can’t exist anymore,” Bianchi shares with us. “It was a last hurrah where people could be themselves and there would be no repercussions from cellphone photography or social media,” he adds. As the gatekeeper of such a private venue, Bianchi saw crowds coalesce around the dance floor and strangers connect for the first time. “But the culture has shifted,” he says, “People do not go out every night. Health and wellness are of much greater concern. And with that, venues are different.”
Bianchi believes a new style of sophistication is key today—and that this has changed the substance of locations. “There have been an explosion of rooftop spaces,” he says. “Developers have realized the value of a rooftop lounge or something equivalent. This type of experience is far more welcoming to people who want an earlier night—who want to have a cocktail after work and relax.”
This is where The Fleur Room first excels. “The view here is unmatched in the city,” Bianchi says, with just cause. “We are so close to all the different skyscrapers that when you are up there, there is an immediate connection to the surroundings. You feel like you are right in the middle of the metropolis of the future.” Light adds dimension in a transformative manner, from when the venue opens at 5PM to when it closes late in the night. Erstwhile, the audience shifts from the after-work crowd to, around midnight, the late-night set. DJs, programmed by Bianchi, enhance the vibe—which in many ways is also overseen by the creator director himself.
Perhaps the height of The Fleur Room has helped lightning to strike where Bianchi stands once again. In NYC’s fickle bar scene, nothing is a given. But Bianchi has guidance on how to encourage a good environment. “People are thirsty for new experiences,” he says, “so if you create a jewel somewhere, they will come to see it—and if you are successful, they’ll come back. That’s not just true of The Fleur Room, but the whole property here. There are so many talented, diverse people in this city. It’s just a matter of welcoming them into a space where they feel comfortable and allowing them to thrive.”
People are thirsty for new experiences so if you create a jewel somewhere, they will come to see it—and if you are successful, they’ll come back
Right now, people may not consider the Flower District as a hospitality destination, but as Bianchi puts it, “It’s unlike any other block in the city. It’s a remnant of old New York and has been this way for over 100 years. Walking down it, you feel transported. It’s an enchanted walk and we play on that theme inside.” He also notes that part of what made Beatrice special was that it was in an area where there were not other clubs. Further, that’s what lead to the early success of the Meatpacking district.
Between the floor-to-ceiling windows (intercut with several retractable ones, too), the entire guest experience and nightly ambiance have been finessed by Bianchi. Chef Jason Hall’s elevated menu—and a thematic signature cocktail list—do not disappoint. And remarkably, it’s bright and comfortable—a far cry from the darker days of NYC nightlife’s yesteryears.
Images courtesy of The Fleur Room