The Empire Hotel Rooftop

30s / Club Music / Collared Shirts / DJ / Dance / EDM / Dancing / Dinner / Dress Code / Expensive / Finger Food / Flirty / High Heels / Jazz / Latin / Live Music / Mid 20s / No cover charge / Occasional Celebrity / Occasional Live Jazz / Rooftop Bar / Rooftop Lounge / Seafood / Singles / Small Plates / Socialites / Sophisticated / Sunset / Swimming Pool / Tough Door / Twenty-somethings / Young Professionals
The Empire Hotel Rooftop Perched on the twelfth floor of the elegant Empire Hotel – home to one of the main characters on the TV show Gossip Girl – is the exclusive Rooftop Bar and Lounge, an upscale nightspot where pumping DJ music sets a sexy... New York United States 40.7714757 -73.9825197
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The Empire Hotel Rooftop - Rooftop Bar | Rooftop Lounge in New York.
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Party Earth Review Perched on the twelfth floor of the elegant Empire Hotel – home to one of the main characters on the TV show Gossip Girl – is the exclusive Rooftop Bar and Lounge, an upscale nightspot where pumping DJ music sets a sexy... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    1: 66th Street-Lincoln Center-Broadway

  • Phone:


  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Su–M 5pm–midnight, Tu–W 5pm–2am, Th–Sa 5pm–4am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Empire Hotel Rooftop Review

The Scene

Perched on the twelfth floor of the elegant Empire Hotel – home to one of the main characters on the TV show Gossip Girl – is the exclusive Rooftop Bar and Lounge, an upscale nightspot where pumping DJ music sets a sexy...

Perched on the twelfth floor of the elegant Empire Hotel – home to one of the main characters on the TV show Gossip Girl – is the exclusive Rooftop Bar and Lounge, an upscale nightspot where pumping DJ music sets a sexy tone for the stiletto-wearing cosmopolitan set sprawled on the leather banquettes.

Consisting of both indoor and outdoor spaces, the main penthouse area features a sleek décor of browns and blacks lit up just enough by the floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as eye-catching details like the row of unusual gold lighting fixtures and a stainless steel bar with a stenciled black bubble motif.

One of the coolest hangouts in town, weekdays see sophisticated young professionals stopping in to sip drinks by candlelight, while the weekends bring in a slightly more party-oriented crowd of twenty-something urbanites looking to mingle and dance.

For a relaxing break, guests can wander out to the West Terrace – one of the two outdoor spaces – whose retractable glass roof makes it a great year-round spot for lounging on beige banquettes to enjoy the views of Lincoln Center and the Upper West Side. A working fireplace, potted palms, and candlelit cocktail tables combine to create a seductive vibe for lovers lingering over cocktails.

The East Terrace offers yet another laid-back space, where ivied white trellises, flickering lanterns, and little loveseats – all bathed in the neon glow of the famous Hotel Empire sign – create a whimsical garden environment.

Inside or out, the Rooftop Bar is the perfect enclave for patrons looking to rub elbows with the socialites or simply savor the view and a bit of conversation with friends in a chic and sexy atmosphere.

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Tip from Adriana:

The outdoor tables are usually reserved after 9pm, so dress up nice and get there early – that way you won’t have to worry about the line, and you’ll catch the sunset over Lincoln Center. A beautiful start to the evening!

  • Crowd

    Stylish young professionals, corporate types, and socialites, mid-20s to 30s. Older crowd on Sundays and Mondays. Occasional celebs.

  • Entertainment / Music

    A DJ plays mostly club and popular dance music Wednesdays through Saturdays starting around 9pm. Live jazz on Mondays and Tuesdays 6:30–9:30pm.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Bar menu designed by chef Ed Brown includes fried calamari, coconut shrimp, and cheese plates and is available Su–W 5–11pm and Th–Sa 5pm–midnight.

    The Pool Deck and glass-enclosed pool with retractable roof is open to hotel guests only, but may be available for private events.

  • Prices

    Menu $11–$24. Beer $7–$8, wine $12–$18, cocktails $16, bottles $300+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Trendy/dressy. Collared shirts, stylish tops, dresses, heels. Dress code: no jeans, sneakers, or t-shirts.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for the biggest crowds, or any day of the week for the sunset.

  • Close By

    The well-reputed Bar Boulud (1900 Broadway) is a good choice for dinner before drinks at Empire.

The Empire Hotel Rooftop User Reviews

Average rating:
Waste of time
Love T. Jun 18, 2013
These guys try to fleece you at the door for a bottle, even on weekdays, then tell you don't fit the dress code. What does trendy mean? Since when are John Varvatos All Stars not trendy? Who wears shoes to a casual place?
Swank and with a view
Andre G. Apr 8, 2013
After having come here for an MTV event I'd love to say I'd only be visiting under an open-bar, networking, or ballin'-out-of-control framework but I'd be lying. The view is stunning. If nothing else, come for that. The situation at the entrance is very much like an Obama fundraiser at Anna Wintour's place though, so be prepared. But, hey, this is New York, right? If you haven't found the thrill of talking your way into a place yet, then you just aren't living right.
Fancy, stylish and friendly
Ionescu D. Mar 18, 2013
WOW would be the first impression! You would think "what am I doing here, this is a place for celebrs"...well, it looks like this, but it is a really nice and friendly bar, with a wonderful view..excuse me, astonishing view!! It all strats with a red carpet, VIP list (i was lucky!), fancy elevator that takes you to..heaven! Quite crowded, of course it was a Friday night, nice people dressed impecably- heels, sparkle and glamour everywhere , the music was ok, even if they could work on that a little more ( they should have more diversity, more music styles). They also have a wardrobe where you can leave your stuff, so that is a good if you don't have a reserved table. At the bar you find nice stuff, that try to serve you as quick as they can with well-made drinks, you can see they are pros! There is a large dancefloor, but if you want to see "la piece de resistence" you should go all way in the back, where a beautiful terrace opens! Oh, New York, New York! A confy sofa will do it if you want to enjoy the view, but there is also a bar with a friendly bartender and a dancefloor where you can show your best moves! Overall, that is definetly a place to visit if you are in NY and you wanna feel glamourous!
Good Bar to Visit Once
Jami L. Jan 3, 2013
When entering the Empire Hotel Rooftop, a friend and I felt as if we were famous waiting in a line on a red carpet. The Hotel downstairs lobby is beautiful, the bouncers are in dapper suits, and everyone is very well-dressed (girls - dresses/high-heels and guys - suits or suit pants and collared shirt) After going up the elevator, we walked into a very spacious environment with a huge dance floor, large bar, and area with comfy black couches. Great view of the outside NYC landscape and loved sitting outside on the rooftop outdoors -- a little crowded but nice to have the opportunity to step outside for a few minutes. Service & drinks are average - very expensive and waited ten minutes to buy a few shots for a group of friends. Interesting crowd though.. met recent college grads from a variety of schools and some young professionals working in the area. Good place to visit if you are living in the city for a summer or just moved there - might meet some new friends!
Drinks with a View
Risa C. Dec 11, 2012
Ascending to the Empire rooftop, you'll already get the taste of the class that the rooftop has to offer. Uniformed doormen press the elevator buttons for you as you head up to the 12th floor. Once inside there are a few different areas to hang out in, including a terrace that has a stunning view of the city. The DJ's play a good mix of music that's good to dance to and the guests always seem to be enjoying themselves whether sipping cocktails or dancing to the music. There are also quite a few hotel guests including foreigners as last time I got an adorable french man following me around all night trying to convince me to check out the view from his room. It was more cute than pushy though - so overall a nice spot!
Just charming
Chris K. Nov 15, 2012
Unlike many of the rooftop bars in New York, the Empire Hotel Rooftop is quite charming. The view of the Upper West Side and the Lincoln Center area that the bar provides has a classic urban feel to it. The patrons, though a little upper-crust, are rarely snobbish or hard to deal with; a good feeling runs beneath the night at this bar. The staff are helpful and kind, and they make one of the better martinis I've had at these kinds of establishments in the city (no ice floating on top, thank God). On top of all of this, having the ruddy glow of the Empire Hotel sign rain down on your provides an old-school Baz Lehrman thing that you just can't fake. Have a great night!
Amazing view and strong drinks!
Sridevi R. Aug 2, 2012
Serena van der Woodsen's home!! First off, girls got in free (this is one of the things I like best about being a girl). Second, the view is INCREDIBLE from the two outdoor areas- you can see the entire city! And third, the beloved 24 hour 'chicken and rice' cart is parked right outside of the hotel!!! (We of course made a pit stop there before grabbing a taxi.) We went on a Saturday night and the music was the perfect mix of house and top 40 for dancing. The people were beautiful, the drinks were strong, and the bathroom was FANCY. I don't really frequent such upscale bars/clubs as it's not really my scene, but I had an awesome time here!
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