It’s no small feat for a non-fashion-related establishment to throw an opening night party on one of the busiest nights of New York Fashion Week, and draw the starriest turnout of the week.
Yet Friday night inside The Mulberry it was packed wall to wall with A-listers. Inside the hidden Whisper Room, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio and Taika Waititi mingled, while out in the main room the likes of Alexander Skarsgård, Sebastian Stan, Annabelle Wallis, BJ Novak, Tati Gabrielle, Camila Mendes, David Harbour and Paul Wesley partied.
So just what is this newcomer? The Mulberry, located in a subterranean space at 240 Mulberry Street in SoHo, is the brainchild of Phil Meynell, vice president of creative at TSX Entertainment; Leo Jacob, director of marketing for The Bowery Hotel and The Hotel Chelsea, and Justin Sievers, managing partner at Bar Primi. Together the three of them set out to open a place in New York that would be a “destination,” rather than a convenience.
“The Mulberry was born out of necessity really,” Meynell says. “There have become less and less places to go where we can take ‘notable people’ where they can feel at home, left alone and have a great time.”
The decision to open their own space was made in a single night: they saw the space, reached out to friends throughout the industry and a lease was signed the following week.
“The first thing is that we are not just a cocktail bar,” Meynell explains. “We are a safe haven for like-minded individuals located right in the middle of SoHo, heavily influenced by places like the Chiltern Firehouse with the vibe of The Beatrice mixed with Rose Bar, a hint of the Waverley and then born at the Bowery. There is a clear renaissance happening in New York City, especially in the bar and nightlife sector, and we created The Mulberry to fill a much-needed void of a scene that has been missing in New York City for a while.”
The three partners each come from different sides of New York’s scene. Sievers opened Locanda Verde at The Greenwich Hotel before turning to Bar Primi, where he is now managing partner. In addition to his roles at The Bowery Hotel and The Hotel Chelsea, Jacob is a photographer who published a book of photos called “New York is Dead? Long Live New York.” Meynell started in nightlight at the London club Trash before taking a break to tour with close friend Amy Winehouse and drum with Pete Doherty and Babyshambles. He returned to the hospitality scene and cites Ian Schrager as a mentor.
For The Mulberry, they tapped Ateljé Nordöst to handle the design and decor.
“We started with a completely raw space tucked into the heart of the Five Points area in downtown New York, which was one of the very few spots that earned a liquor license in 1895 in an era when the area was quite rough,” Meynell explains. “The intention was to stay true to the rather unique story of the space while creating a new chapter for it in a reborn New York, and also reflecting our vision and curating it into one.”
Come summer, the bar will unveil its garden, which opens up into the middle of SoHo. But for now, it’s already proven itself to be the space to be — if you can get in.