The best martinis at JFK are just three months away. Gerber Group — owner-operator of 11 innovative cocktail bars and restaurants in New York, Atlanta and Santiago, Chile — will operate The Sunken Lounge, the premier bar at the landmark 512-room TWA Hotel, opening on May 15, 2019.
Located in the heart of the hotel, The Sunken Lounge is undergoing a faithful restoration by MCR/MORSE Development — the nation’s sixth-largest hotel owner-operator — to its original 1962 Eero Saarinen design. When The Sunken Lounge welcomes the hotel’s first guests in May, travelers will clink glasses in a space unlike any other. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide views of the hotel’s 1958 Lockheed Constellation “Connie” airplane (parked on the tarmac just outside) while overhead a split flap departures board manufactured by Solari di Udine displays custom messages. Looking to relax post-flight? Recline on the lounge’s upholstered benches and admire the authentic sparkling white penny tile and original Chili Pepper Red carpet.
Naturally, Gerber Group will stock The Sunken Lounge menu with 1960s cocktail favorites, including the Old Fashioned (whiskey and bitters) and the Aviation (Crème de violette, Maraschino liqueur, gin and lemon juice). To honor TWA, Gerber Group will offer the official TWA Martini and put its own modern twist on the Royal Ambassador Cocktail (Champagne, orange juice and Grand Marnier), which was once served in gold-flecked glassware to Trans World Airlines’ elite passengers.
Also in the mix: Original signature cocktails — including the Come Fly With Me, inspired by Frank Sinatra’s 1958 album cover — garnished with a rainbow of swizzle sticks. The stirrers are modeled after TWA’s original sets highlighting its travel destinations (Africa, Greece, England) and its own fleet (propellers!).
Guests can also order from an expansive collection of small-batch spirits, carefully-curated wines and regionally brewed craft beers, all complemented by elevated bar fare.
“Following the successful restoration of another New York institution, The Campbell at Grand Central Terminal, this project makes perfect sense for us,” says Scott Gerber, Principal and CEO of Gerber Group. “We are extremely excited to work with our partners to preserve the integrity of The Sunken Lounge, while creating an exceptional experience for the millions of guests from around the world that will visit us.”
“So much history has been made in The Sunken Lounge — crowds gathered to watch the Beatles arrive in the United States in 1965, and visitors saw the Tin Goose break a transcontinental record right outside the window in June 1962,” says Tyler Morse, CEO and Managing Partner of MCR and MORSE Development. “Having a cocktail on these grounds will be like stepping back into 1962 — without the cigarette smoke.”
The TWA Hotel, JFK Airport’s only on-airport hotel, will feature:
- 512 ultra-quiet guestrooms
- Six restaurants
- High-end retail outlets
- 50,000 square feet of event space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom
- A rooftop pool and observation deck
- A 10,000-square-foot fitness center
- A Lockheed Constellation L-1649A transformed into a cocktail lounge
For more information on the TWA Hotel, please visit twahotel.com.