Moxy Williamsburg makes its debut as the brand’s first hotel in Brooklyn, featuring interiors by BASILE Studio in collaboration with Lightstone Design Studio and four new dining and drinking venues from Bar Lab Hospitality, the creative force behind Broken Shaker. The heart of New York’s creative class, Williamsburg is a fitting location for Lightstone’s growing collection of boundary-pushing Moxy Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands.
The new property’s inventive design plays on the neighbourhood’s history as a magnet for mavericks, immigrants, and creators, while becoming a new center for Brooklyn’s contemporary social scene.
“Moxy embraces being bold through authentic self-expression and Moxy Williamsburg is the perfect place for free-spirited travelers to live in the moment and do just that,” said Matthew Boettcher, Vice President and Global Brand Leader of Moxy Hotels.
Moxy Williamsburg is a 216-room boutique hotel located in the heart of Williamsburg on Bedford Avenue, near the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge and easily accessible from Manhattan. The hotel’s timeless architecture, light-filled interiors, space-saving design solutions, flexible co-working and meeting studios, and range of restaurants and bars reflect the easygoing spirit of its trendsetting surroundings to attract discerning locals and cool-hunting guests with a playful and young-at-heart attitude.
The four new dining and drinking venues conceived and operated by Bar Lab Hospitality reflect the wide-ranging tastes of in-the-know Brooklynites. This includes Mesiba, a festive, Tel Aviv-inspired restaurant serving Levantine cuisine; Bar Bedford, a destination cocktail bar and all-day café; Jolene; a high-energy sound room with a state-of-the-art audio and light system; and opening this spring, LilliStar, an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar whose vast terrace will feature breathtaking views of the Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan skyline.
“Williamsburg is a flourishing hub for all the creativity and innovation for which New York is known. As its international reputation has blossomed, it has become the place to visit and stay,” said developer Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. “Our ambition with Moxy Williamsburg is to create a hotel that welcomes visitors with an authentic experience-one that Brooklynites themselves will embrace with open arms.”
The 11-storey building, designed by the eminent New York architecture firm Stonehill Taylor, has a clean, industrial-inspired look that recalls the neighbourhood’s warehouse lofts. The glass front façade opens completely onto the sidewalk and Bedford Avenue, merging indoors and outdoors, putting the energy of the lobby and Bar Bedford on display. The building’s southern façade is distinguished by a massive Pop Art-style mural by acclaimed British street artist D*Face; visible from the Williamsburg Bridge, it depicts a woman in a car, stuck in traffic, crying out: “GET ME TO THE MOXY!!”
The lobby’s 20-foot exposed ceilings and natural materials capture the open, airy feel of a converted warehouse. Foliage hangs from the ceiling and spills from planters, creating a biophilic feel that offsets the room’s clean lines and industrial proportions. An art installation by Rare Culture rises behind two blackened steel check-in pods and spreads across the ceiling. Made of thousands of coloured crayons, it’s a pointillist depiction of the underbelly of the Williamsburg Bridge at sunrise, looking from Brooklyn toward the Manhattan skyline. Hanging on the wall behind the self-check-in pods is a series of hand-painted skateboards by local artists.
Bar Bedford, Moxy Williamsburg’s cocktail bar and all-day café, is a comfortable living space that reflects Brooklyn’s forward-thinking, creative vibe. Its showpiece is the bar itself: motorized liquor risers made of blackened metal rise 20 feet behind glass and white oak panels, holding 1,500 bottles of wine and liquor. The shelves move up and down like dumbwaiters, giving bartenders access to special bottles and providing patrons with a show. This custom-fabricated system was inspired by New York’s old Automats, fast food restaurants popular in the first half of the 20th century where customers would pick up their food from a wall of glass-fronted cubbies.
As found in Lightstone’s other Moxy hotels, Moxy Williamsburg features three Meeting Studios, breakaway spaces designed to be used for private events and co-working. The Studios feature modular sofas and worktables that fold down to become credenzas – all designed to be easily rearranged, transforming the spaces as day turns into night. The rooms can be combined to accommodate larger groups, and open onto Bar Bedford Garden, an adaptable alfresco space in the rear of the hotel. Inspired by the backyard gardens tucked behind many Williamsburg apartment buildings, it has a lively, residential vibe that feels like an oasis in the urban jungle.
Flooded with daylight through floor-to-ceiling windows, the 216 bedrooms at Moxy Williamsburg are smartly designed to strip away the superfluous and focus on comfort and functionality. Streamlined shapes and organic materials such as birch and steel feel warm and welcoming, while moments of surprise lend a distinctively Moxy sensibility. Rooms range from 165-210 square feet and include Kings, Executive Kings, Double Queens, and Quad Bunks. Ingenious storage solutions include wall-mounted pegs that guests can fold open or close as needed, an open closet and under-bed cubbies. A desk folds down from the wall to provide a workspace.
Conceptualized by Bar Lab Hospitality, the creative force behind the popular Broken Shaker bars in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, the restaurants and bars at Moxy Williamsburg are as worldly and welcoming as the neighbourhood they call home. Founded by Elad Zvi and Gabe Orta, Bar Lab creates venues that are unpretentious and laid-back, yet still fashionable and sophisticated.
“For Moxy Williamsburg, we envisioned an eclectic grab-bag of experiences that mirrors Williamsburg’s diversity. Once you enter, you don’t want to leave,” said Zvi and Orta. “You can start with a drink at Bar Bedford, meet some friends for dinner at Mesiba, head up to the rooftop for a drink with a view, and finish up the night dancing at Jolene. Moxy Williamsburg offers a multitude of narratives that create a sense of discovery and anticipation.”
Mesiba is a festive space that pays homage to Tel Aviv’s lively energy and Bauhaus architecture, animated by the flavorful cuisine and celebratory “breaking bread” culture of the Levant region and Israel. Taking inspiration from Bar Lab founding partner Elad Zvi’s memories of growing up in Tel Aviv, Israeli chef Eli Buli designed the menu as a modern play on traditional dishes from the area, which encompasses Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine and the rest of the Eastern Mediterranean. Creative cocktails with a culinary flair complement the fresh, seasonal cuisine. The warm, verdant dining room centers around a curved marble bar, with plants hanging from the double-height ceiling lending a bohemian vibe, while Hollywood-style booths ensure a spirited atmosphere.
“”Inspired by the retro leisure lifestyle, Jolene is a high-energy sound room with a state-of-the-art audio and light system that draws top talent from Brooklyn’s thriving nightlife scene – the ideal spot to dance to the sounds of local and global DJs. Jolene is inspired by Dolly Parton – not just her signature song “Jolene” but her image as a powerful, self-assured woman and impact on the music industry and the culture at large. Miami-based nightlife impresarios David Sinopoli, Davide Danese, and Coloma Kaboomsky – collectively known as the Space Invaders and best known for their seminal Club Space – are Bar Lab’s partners in Jolene.
Opening this spring, LilliStar, Moxy Williamsburg’s indoor/outdoor rooftop bar will blend contemporary Indo-Aussie beach culture with Brooklyn energy, creating a unique setting for tropical-inspired cocktails, Balinese beach barbecue, and dramatic views. Giant lotus flowers carved from copper, glass and leather form a dramatic ceiling sculpture in the lounge, where floor-to-ceiling windows open onto an expansive roof deck with show-stopping views of the Manhattan skyline and the iconic steel trusses of the Williamsburg Bridge. Playful cocktails, including large-format drinks for the whole table to share, incorporate tropical fruits and Southeast Asian spices.
Moxy Williamsburg follows on the success of Lightstone’s other award-winning Moxy hotels in New York – consistently named by Condé Nast Traveler as among the best in the city – including Moxy Times Square, Moxy Chelsea, Moxy East Village, and, most recently, Moxy Lower East Side.
“Williamsburg is a microcosm of everything that’s trendsetting about New York City: It has the edgiest boutiques, the most innovative restaurants, the most daring bars. That’s why more and more people are putting it on their must-visit lists – and it’s why we’ve opened Moxy Williamsburg,” says Hochberg. “Not only can Moxy guests stay in the heart of the neighbourhood, but by breaking bread at Mesiba, toasting the Manhattan skyline at LilliStar, and dancing the night away at Jolene with Brooklyn’s best DJs, they’ll get a strong dose of Williamsburg’s energy, all within the walls of the hotel.”