New LES rooftop bar Above Allen is above all access

On the subject of freshly inaugurated designer hotels, The Thompson LES (Lower East Side) opened it’s rooftop bar a couple of weeks ago. “Opened” is a relative term in this case, since “Above Allen” follows its sister’s A60 (at the original Thompson hotel in Soho) members-only policy. And strict it is. To gain access to the so coveted superior action on the 7th floor you need to be on the list guarded by the elevator key master in the hotel lobby.
If you are not on the list, accordi
ng to the elevator sentinel himself “try to come by another day, say Wednesday or Thursday, that would be perfect”.
But it was a Saturday night, and I really, really wanted to check it out right then and there. “You are welcome to have a drink at the bar on the second floor.” While we were trying to decide, Mr. Key & List Owner started arguing with a rather pushy lady “Do not touch me, I will call security.” The commotion was our cue to jump into the opening elevator and try our luck. Well, obviously, without a key, we had no access to the desirable 7th floor.
We could only get to the second floor, and while walking around the highly modern bar and Shang’s beautifully designed restaurant I had time to strategize. My friends and I sneaked through the fire escape door, walked up the five flights, took a deep breath to disguise the puffing before checking if the door wasn’t locked. Relief! Looking into a typically long hotel corridor the four of us followed the thumping music sound to come across another list master… what else did we expect? Honestly, at this point, we look at each other and just blurt it right out “we are not on your list”.
Big bouncer takes a good look at my beautiful 6 feet tall friend and makes his no-brainer decision: “ok ladies, have fun.” Pheew. All this for that? Above Allen is a suspended smallish glass garden filled with plants and comfy sofas that allow an impressive view all around Manhattan. The décor is fine, a bit timelessly démodé. However, they need to polish their door policy and acknowledge the “babe factor”. The gender ratio was completely off: five guys per woman. It’s a simple formula: no girls equals a weird dynamic. There was no love, as my friend pointed out, in that testosterone loaded booze-greenhouse. So, in reality, the intimidating list-keeper actually should have thanked us for crashing the party, haha.
In the spring they will open the retractable glass roof and the doors to the large deck outside. I’m glad we got in, even if we resorted to illicit, well, even pretty desperate measures. We got to take a peek before the summer masses desperately fight over the upstairs impossible access or get lost in the backs of the fire staircase. Because by then I’m sure they’ll have placed another fierce doorkeeper on the 7th floor fire escape just to humiliate you even more when you emerge flustered-faced from the staircase (in case YOU have this absolutely insane idea to illegitimately sneak in like that. Are you crazy or what?)

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