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I have waited to comment on The Edition Hotel’s lobby bar until the upstairs Clocktower restaurant got its reviews. I am saddened to report that this hotel lobby bar had a good run of only one month. It has been downhill ever since.
On Memorial Day weekend, I first ate at the Clocktower, then greatly enjoyed the downstairs lounge. The Marriott company and partner Ian Schrager had instructed the staff to “Give the guests an unforgettable experience.”. The hospitality was so good that I felt guilty at times. All of the waitresses would talk my head off for 20-minutes or more making we wonder whether they had other people to serve.
It turns out that this was all an opening PR stunt, complete with parties in the lobby that had A-list actors attend. Since then, the place has turned into a normal unionized Marriott corporate place for tourists traveling through.
Much like the transition of the W Hotel lounges last decade, that went from hip to crap as the unions allowed bad-attitude “You can’t fire me” employees to ruin the places, this is happening already at The Edition. The good staff I saw at The Edition in May are gone. The remaining ones mope around in flats and ugly outfits.
On one occasion, I witnessed delicious food made by The Clocktower chefs delivered to lobby guests. But the delivery took so long that the guests had left. The clueless waitress decided to leave the food at the empty table anyway. To me, it was like watching child abuse or something. It was sacrilegious.
The bartenders are also now exhibiting that classic “I have great benefits. Screw you.” attitude. They will disappear for 30-minutes leaving the lone bartender to count money with her back to the bar for 10-minutes.
One reason this decline of The Edition has been so fast is that Ian Schrager is no longer a presence. We have been told that he flipped this property and sold out. Employees had heard this same rumor, and no one is refuting it to me. Even if he is still part of the company, he is long gone.
Like almost all Ian Schrager properties, he has opened a nice place, then sold it to corporate schmucks like Marriott or Aby Rosen, and moved on.
If I were Stephen Starr, I too would flip this asset and sell The Clocktower to Marriott.