Matthew Green has been breathing some new life into Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Hired late last year as creative director, Green has begun applying his rock ‘n’ roll vision to the venue, which is frequented by the young creative crowd in the city. He has so far booked a mix of musicians to perform during Rose Bar Sessions, including Børns and Ra Ra Riot. Chairlift performed there last night. WWD caught up with Green about the venue’s programming, music residency program, and new menu crafted in the kitchens of nearby restaurant Maialino.
WWD: What specifically are the changes that you have made to Rose Bar?
Matthew Green: There weren’t any physical changes that had to be made to Rose Bar, this is an institution and the room speaks for itself. There were amazing people before me and they made this place what it is, and I’m here to make sure that Rose Bar continues that success and gets better than before. As the years go by you have to realize that capturing the new generation of creative, positive, like-minded individuals is the goal of the business. Over the course of this year so far we have achieved just that, and we cherish everyone and everything that helped us get here. We do this for those individuals, those who love the Rose Bar brand and celebrate it, that is what inspires us to keep getting better in every decision we make. We are unique in this industry, not just New York, but nationally and internationally combined. It’s amazing being part of a brand, where as a collective unit, we have so much success in all aspects of culture, art, music, fashion, and cuisine.
WWD: How do you think the vibe/atmosphere/target audience of Rose Bar has changed?
M.G.: The atmosphere/vibe changed recently because of what we do with our activations and collaborations with like-minded brands, that’s the strategy. We always knew the Rose Bar brand had to stay young and fresh, it’s the only way to make sure this culture continues. We target an audience that’s young, mature, creative and loves to socialize. It’s great to see guests from different industries come together under our roof and inspire each other. I’ve seen fashion designers and artists meet each other here and before I knew it they are working on a brand new clothing line that incorporates incredible elements of art, and those situations happen quite frequently here. I would say that it is the room and vibe that inspires these people, it’s a magical space.
WWD: What sort of musical acts do you seek out for the venue, and why?
M.G.: The Rose Bar Sessions are becoming a staple in this city, and it has to do with the fact we only seek out the best talent. There are no guidelines or rules to follow when looking for artists, to be honest I just apply my own taste in music and go from there. We’ve been lucky to work with bands such as Børns, Dandy Warhols, Ra Ra Riot, and now Chairlift, with these Sessions. Rose Bar Residencies: The Residency program is taking off and turning into a really fantastic program. We work only with local artists, spanning different genres of the music spectrum, and give them a three-month residency. Each night of the week we then have different music ranging from; jazz, soul, funk, rock, gospel, folk and R&B. The purpose of the residency is to offer music and entertainment to guests that no other venue in the area is doing, we’re always staying ahead of the trend.
WWD: What are the changes that have been made to the menu?
M.G.: We completely reworked the entire food and drink menu — it had to be as unique and flavorful as the room. The drink menu changes every three months to make sure the cocktails are seasonal with fresh ingredients. We had our executive chef from Maialino create a seasonal food menu with items that you can’t get in the restaurant, and we all agreed that a little cross-pollination between Rose Bar and Maialino was great for Gramercy Park Hotel.