Beautique’s back lounge is accessed through a secret entrance.
Dubbed everything from “a playpen for millionaires” by the New York Post to “a local watering hole for oil tycoons” by the Wall Street Journal, Beautique is famous for its luxe crowd.
The lavish NYC bar, restaurant and lounge draws in everyone from business moguls to celebrity regulars.
It took the title of the best new restaurant at the Concierge Choice Awards the same year it opened in 2014, and has remained an NYC hotspot ever since.
We recently visited the venue and spoke to owner, Jon Bakhshi, to learn how he created a space that is beloved by the rich and famous.
From the variety of exclusive events it hosts to the luxurious details guests are treated to, here’s what makes Beautique one of the hottest spots in town.
It took Bakhshi more than a year to secure the spot on 58th and 5th, where Beautique opened in 2014, he told us. Though finding the space was not easy, it was crucial for Bakhshi, who wanted to create a neighborhood spot where locals and tourists frequenting iconic NYC spots like The Plaza Hotel and The Paris Theater could come to.
“I wanted to create a space catering specifically to adults that feels high-end while still being cozy” Bakhshi said of the sleek venue. That’s why he included details like plush seating and candles to add a sense of warmth. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s home in Paris, Beautique features romantic touches like walls lined with rose petals and Vera Wang plating that have made it a popular spot for dates as well.
“I like to carry things that you can’t get in other places,” Bakhshi told us of the rare alcohol selections available at Beautique. Besides its cocktail menu created by acclaimed mixologist, Charlotte Voisey, Beautique offers pricey and hard-to-find liquors like Macallan “M” whisky, Balvenie 40, and Papá Andrés rum (of which only 75 are available in the US).
Cocktails include everything from The Beautique Apple Pie, made with Belvedere, spiced cider, and vanilla-cinnamon sugar, to the $ 80 off-the-menu Beautique Balmoral, which is made with a base of Macallan Rare Cask single malt Scotch Whisky stirred with a touch of sweet and dry vermouth.
Bakshi, who originally wanted to be a lawyer, began promoting for NYC clubs during his time at NYU. One of the venues he came across at the time was Au Bar, which used to be located in the same area and was one of the first clubs to offer bottle service in the city. Today, several clients will say that the space reminds him of the venue thanks to its mix of locals, celebrities, and international visitors.
Bakhshi spared no expense for the central dining room (pictured here), which is adorned in Jean Paul Gautier fabrics, a gold leaf ceiling, Bisazza tiles, and custom chandeliers. “What’s nice about the back room is that you can still see the main space, but feel as though you have your own privacy,” Bakhshi told us about the design.
The central dining room also includes a private dining space where screenings can be arranged for business meetings and events, which often take place here. The main area of the central dining room and the lounge are often adorned in artwork that is available for sale and frequently purchased by collectors. The space has even hung original Andy Warhol works on its walls.
The back lounge, which only holds 75 people, is accessed through a secret entrance in the kitchen and is often a spot for celebrity sightings. “You want to make the guest feel as though they have insider knowledge,” Bakhshi said about the lounge entrance. “That in itself is an experience, because you feel as though you’ve discovered something.”
The dinner menu at Beautique changes seasonally and is prepared by chef Alain Allegretti, who has worked at various Michelin-starred restaurants in France and New York and has appeared on the Food Network series “Beat Bobby Flay.” Dinner will typically cost anywhere from $ 85-100 per person (excluding tax and tip).
Expect dishes like rack of lamb with riviera style roasted red peppers, fennel, and a mustard lamb jus. There are also specialty items like truffles, which might not be listed on the menu but customers can ask for, when they’re in season.
They also recently launched a new dessert menu, inspired by the rich and famous regulars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson, and Jennifer Lopez, that they host. The menu consists of playful dishes like the Millionaire’s playpen, which includes chocolate fondant, caramelized popcorn, and popcorn ice cream.
Beautique hosts live music throughout the week, as well as various events that range from celebrity birthday celebrations, gala after parties, fashion shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, exhibits, and unveilings of rare, high-end products like the LOUIS XIII Cognac Magnum.
“Part of why it attracts such an upscale crowd is because they still feel as though they have their privacy here,” Bakhshi told us regarding his celebrity clientele. You won’t find people snapping photographs of the celebrities, and the space’s high-end appeal adds to this. “We make it a point not to just get them to come in, but to have them coming back because they feel safe here,” Bakhshi told us.
Bakhshi’s customers often tell him they enjoy Beautique because its a prime networking spot. The scene isn’t always quiet at Beautique though, as people will often start dancing and even engage in champagne wars, with the price of bottles sent to tables getting higher and higher each time.
With celebrity regulars that include Kevin Spacey, Joaquin Phoenix, Mick Jagger, Pamela Anderson, Sarah Silverman, and many others, Beautique continues to host its array of luxurious events and service for a high-end crowd. Bakhshi is currently in the process of negotiating the opening another restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
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