Beauty & Essex

Bar / Lounge / Restaurant
Beauty & Essex Straight out of a young girl's wildest dreams, Beauty & Essex is a downtown hotspot that attracts an upscale clientele of edgy downtown types, clubbers, and glam party girls looking for a magical night out. New York United States 40.720473 -73.987196
4.26 17
Beauty & Essex - Bar | Lounge | Restaurant in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Straight out of a young girl’s wildest dreams, Beauty & Essex is a downtown hotspot that attracts an upscale clientele of edgy downtown types, clubbers, and glam party girls looking for a magical night out. A tiny 50s... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    F: Essex Street; J, M, Z: Delancey Street

  • Phone:

    212-614-0146

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 5pm–2am, Sa–Su 11:30am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

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Party Earth Beauty & Essex Review

The Scene

Straight out of a young girl's wildest dreams, Beauty & Essex is a downtown hotspot that attracts an upscale clientele of edgy downtown types, clubbers, and glam party girls looking for a magical night out.

Straight out of a young girl’s wildest dreams, Beauty & Essex is a downtown hotspot that attracts an upscale clientele of edgy downtown types, clubbers, and glam party girls looking for a magical night out.

A tiny 50s-era pawnshop hawking antique radios and guitars out front gives way to a 10,000-square-foot bar, lounge, and restaurant whose pearl-draped chandelier, vintage lockets hanging on the walls and gold-beaded curtains make patrons feel they've landed in a giant jewelry box.

A towering bouncer ushers hip successful couples and in-the-know socialistas through the mod teal-painted shop and into the dreamy, hidden wonderland through the back door.

Conversational crowds of successful downtown artists and business types are clustered around tables in the main dining room, a vast chamber decked out in regal purples aglow in the light of bejeweled lamps and a cathedral-esque oval skylight.

A spiral staircase circling an intricate gold and crystal chandelier leads guests to the raw bar and smaller dining room on the second floor, where shadowboxes full of antique watches and gilded heirloom necklaces form the backdrop for the low-key groups of young professionals enjoying carpaccio.

Two lounges offer plenty of space for the chic clientele to mingle over Emerald gimlets or settle into black leather booths and baroque sofas for a bit of conversation.

Expansive and fantastical, Beauty & Essex may never erupt into full party mode, but its controlled sense of cool is undeniably alluring, giving anyone looking for a little bit of enchantment their diamond in the Lower East Side rough.

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Tip from Adriana:

Nothing like getting served a glass of rosé by a cute bartender while freshening up inside the ladies room!

  • Crowd

    Classy downtown entertainers, local art professionals, affluent party girls, downtown clubbers, and laid-back celebs, 20s to early 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Ambient chill music.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    International menu featuring Thai curry chicken wings, General Tso’s monkfish, oven-braised chicken meatballs, and “jewels on toast” – whipped ricotta, grilled pears, honey, basil, and chili on crostini.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $7+, raw bar $12+, entrées $16+. Beer $7+, wine $13+/glass or $46+/bottle, cocktails $13+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Downtown chic: suits, button-downs, dresses, stilettos, light bling.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for the biggest crowds and the occasional celeb.

  • Close By

    Hotel Chantelle / SGT (92 Ludlow Street) is a perfect post-Beauty & Essex spot for drinks after dinner.

Beauty & Essex User Reviews

Average rating:
One of NY's finest speakeasies: edgy yet enchanting
Sanam S. Oct 27, 2013
Like most, when we first arrived outside Beauty and Essex, we were a bit confused. The building's façade belies what lies in wait past the pawn shop's back door. As we walked through, we couldn't help but notice some of the novelty items available for purchase, and I highly recommend taking a quick look-see at what they have for sale. I couldn't help but smile when I walked through the grand door into the actual lounge - from the pawn shop's harsh fluorescent lights, into the restaurant's mood-lighting. Even though the noise level was through the roof, the grandeur of the place and it's stunning decor instantly give you an idea of B&E's 'exclusive' vibe that they like to emanate. Surprisingly, I managed to get a table for 14 the morning of our Thursday reservation - a first timer's luck I guess! We were a little early, so we waited at the bar and had some of their absolutely delicious cocktails (I personally loved the Sapphire Seventy-Five). It can get really crowded around the bar area, especially because the chairs there take up so much space, so I wouldn't advise spending too much time there. We were seated within 15 minutes and quickly started ordering. Since we had such a large group, we ordered one of almost everything on the menu (do yourself a massive favour and order the Whipped Ricotta Jewel on Toast). The service was speedy, our waitress was friendly, and the music was fantastic! We were seated on the second level where there's a more club-feel, but it wasn't so loud that we had to shout to hold a conversation. Since we ordered so much, dessert was on the house - which was a nice gesture. Though this place can attract its fair share of socialites and the occasional celebrity, have it on your must-do list - you won't regret it (though your wallet might!). Get dressed up and expect to be given a once-over by that attractive stranger on the next table. Oh, and though it can be a bit of a trek to the bathroom, ladies, take advantage of the free champagne while you go fix your makeup. I can't wait to be back here!
Want deception, dancing and sexy decor? Look no further
Kelly F. Sep 6, 2013
Beauty & Essex is an experience from the moment you walk in the front door. From the outside the place looks like it should be in Brooklyn among the many thrift stores. The first time I went I found myself very puzzled and wondering 'this is it?' But boy was I wrong. Passed the old, but awesome guitars hanging on the wall is a hidden gem waiting to be found. I felt like Alice opening the door into Wonderland for the first time. From the chandeliers on the ceiling, to the dark maroon couches to the grand staircase, I didn't know where to start! My friend and I were just going for late night drinks. The drinks are fairly priced and mind-blowing. Just after downing a drink called the "Beauty Elixir" I was ready to dance the night away. Upstairs is a fabulous club with very loud music and sexy people. Overall as a single gal trying to have my own little "Sex and the City" experience I put this place at the top of my list. From the decor, to the music, the people and the free champaign in the ladies room, what more could you ask for?
Free Champagne Anyone?
Jessie R. Jun 10, 2013
As annoying as they are, there's a reason you need a reservation for this place! Upon entering you may think you're in the wrong place, as when the door opens you are greeted by the stereotypical New York City pawn shop. But don't you fret! Just a few more steps and you'll be in the chic waiting area where the true Beauty and Essex experience begins. The dim lighting, elegant furnishings, and the many fabulously dressed New York socialites waiting to be seated. Want the waiting time to go by faster? Head over to the bar for one of the many cocktail varieties they have to offer, my personal favorite being the O.D.B "Old Dirty Bramble". Once brought to your table be ready for a night of amazing music, more delicious drinks (why not try a few?!) and incredible gourmet food made to perfection! The Tuna Poke Wonton Tacos? Yes, please! Don't mind if I do. And don't forget to make your way to the restrooms before leaving for a glass or two of free Champagne, just one of the many highlights of this swanky Lower East Side destination. At the end of the night just like any good thing, Beauty and Essex will leave you wanting more!
Exclusive Adventure to the 50s
Sarah B. Apr 3, 2013
At first glance you may pass the drab facade whose interior contrasts with the fabulous clientele. If you are lucky enough to score reservations on a busy weekend night you can discover an edgy affluent ambience typical to New York socialites. The 50s pawnshop acting as a disguise opens a hidden door to the restaurant, bar, and lounge filled with magnificently chic decor and gossiping beauties. The Beauty & the Essex is exclusive and up-scale. Don't be afraid to bring out your Black Card post meal because over indulgence is strongly advised. The drinks slide down your throat with ease and the food tingles your numbing taste buds. Your five senses are overwhelmed and everything screams "Posh, posh, posh". Don't be afraid to eye-flirt with someone at a table across the way because the restaurant attracts occasional celebrities ranging from exercise gurus to relatives of the Bacardi family. Dress to impress because we all know the result of a raised eyebrow after the infamous "New York Up-Down". So look sharp and play it cool because you never know what adventure might arise in this Lower East Side establishment; while you are at the bar sipping post-dinner cocktails and chatting it up with the sharp featured socialite.
The Upper Echelon of New York Dining
Ryan C. Feb 22, 2013
Upon arriving outside the establishment on Essex street, the first thing I noticed was the facade. The sign, which to me seemed like it would be a better fit in Reno than the posh lower east side, glows subtlety on the block. Once setting foot inside the "pawn shop" though, my perspective quickly changed. Unlike a sketchy pawn shop in Reno, the outer store is actually full of intriguing items of arguable worth. It is a great novel place to spend a few moments waiting for your table to be ready, which should not be an issue if effort is put forth to make a reservation for the desired dining time. It can get very busy on the weekends, so planning ahead is key. Once you and your guests are ready to be escorted through the second door, the restaurant has more surprises in store. The ambiance is mellow yet classy, with dim lighting and a great soundtrack that perfectly sets the mood. The main dining area is spacious, and the tables are suitable for parties of all sizes. The food, besides being incredibly delectable, is appropriately priced for an establishment such as this. The portions are small and meant to be shared, which creates a great opportunity to take a culinary adventure, especially if you are generally fickle in your eating habits. The chicken meatballs are especially choice. The overall experience is definitely unique and heavily recommended for those looking to dress up and spend a classy night in the city. None will be disappointed by the enticing atmosphere, swanky decor, and hospitable staff.
Great Place!
Jessica B. Dec 7, 2012
This is a definitely on the list of go to places with my friends! Once you get through the pawn shop in the front, the venue is beautiful. Beauty & Essex is very "sceney" - gorgeous people, trendy, loud music, and a beautiful decor. The staff is also extremely friendly. Do try and make reservation if you want to eat at a normal hour because this place is considered a hot spot and always has a crowd, especially near the weekends. Great for dinner & brunch, or just drinks upstairs in the lounge area. Ladies, dont forget the free champagne in the bathrooms!
On stop shop
Risa C. Dec 6, 2012
I've been here a few times and it's high on my list of recommendations for friends looking for a trendy place to get dinner and drinks. The wait for dinner even with a reservation can take a while, but if you keep your calm and nicely ask the hostess if you're table is ready you might get free drink tickets - I'm not guaranteeing that, but it was a nice touch on their end when I came by. The decor itself is pretty glamorous from the entrance through the "pawn shop" to the pony skin walls and sleek booths. The food is also surprisingly good for a trendy place - but it's also good for grabbing drinks in the upstairs lounge. And to top it all off they serve free champagne in the womens bathroom. In my book that's enough for a 4 star review!
Super cute and fun!
Sydnie S. Dec 2, 2012
Beauty and Essex is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Did you know that they will serve you drinks while you're in the bathroom? This downtown restaurant has gorgeous decorations and is appealing to everyone! The food is great, although there is always a very long wait to sit. Make sure to make a reservation early! This is a great place to go for a fun girls night out! You can occasionally find a celebrity in this upscale restaurant. My favorite item on the menu is the Thai chicken wings! I can't wait to go back and eat more!
Amazing ambiance and food!
Cera C. Dec 2, 2012
This place is one of my LES favorites. You enter through an old pawn shop filled with the most amazing old things -- more like a highend vintage store. The ambiance is very chic and upscale with an amazing skylight. Be sure to try the lobster salad and bolognese. The desserts are also to die for so be sure to save some space!
Classy and fun experience
Lexi H. Nov 29, 2012
This is a really cool restaurant downtown, that definitely has some unique aspects! How many bars/ restaurants can say that they serve champagne in the bathroom? I think this is a great idea and keeps clientele coming back for more. This hotspot is beautifully decorated along with the people at the tables nearby you. The food and drinks are worth the long reservation wait, as is the experience of the restaurant! I recommend trying out this classy restaurant if you're down for a fun night!!
Weird, cool, vast
Chris K. Nov 15, 2012
The novelty of Beauty & Essex--the tiny second-hand music shop in front that gives way to a massive bar, restaurant, and lounge within--never fades or goes dim. Every time you walk through that door and into this lavishly-decorated night spot, you feel like you've been transported into another world. Within, you'll enjoy delicious wine and cocktails, delicious food, and deliciosu people (it appears that you must be at least somewhat dishy to attend--maybe a door policy?) in an overdriven atmosphere of luxury. This isn't a walk-in spot, though--make your reservation as far in advance as you can. Then, enjoy the experience.
Free Champagne
Alicia B. Nov 4, 2012
It's always a good thing when a Manhattan bar/lounge can set itself apart from the crowd, and I think Beauty and Essex does a pretty good job of that. First, it has a gimmick that works-- the facade is elaborate, and once you get inside it's even better. Then there's the free champagne in the bathroom, which might sound of gross, but in this economy, even toilet bubbly tastes great when it's free. Plus, it's pretty much one of a kind in its location. I've definitely been here on a "private party" (read: Wear heels next time) night, so don't let the LES neighborhood fool you-- the door can be tight, depending on the night.
Great Atmosphere
Chelsea D. Oct 1, 2012
If you want to make a dinner reservation at Beauty & Essex, you'll want to call about a month in advance - well, if you want to eat at a normal hour. Though reservations are hard to come by, the atmosphere is worth going for at some point. You'll enter through what looks like a pawn shop and be lead into a huge, swanky restaurant. This place is a scene - loud music, huge chandeliers, trendy people, etc. It looks like something straight out of a "Sex and the City" episode. The only reason I didn't give Beauty & Essex 4 stars is because of the food. While it was good, I wasn't blown away like I expected to be. The cocktails, however, were great. The best part? Free champagne in the girl's restroom.
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