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Milford Plaza Hotel Plans New Rooftop Lounge Overlooking Times Square

By Jill Colvin | December 5, 2011 1:02pm
The Milford Plaza Hotel.
The Milford Plaza Hotel.
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MIDTOWN — The after-theater crowd will soon have a new place to sip cocktails high above the Great White Way.

Eighth Avenue's Milford Plaza Hotel, whose famous jingle still has many singing the "lullaby of Broadway," is planning a new 34,000-square-foot rooftop lounge on its 29th floor, with views overlooking Times Square.

"We'd like to be able to attract the after-theater crowd so they can come and get a cocktail," said Donald Bernstein, a lawyer representing the hotel, who presented the plans to Community Board 5's liquor license committee last week.

The new lounge, which would transform a space that used to house the hotel's gym, would feature an enclosed section in the center as well as two outdoor wings. The south side would offer a full-service bar with tables and chairs, while the north section would be used mainly by smokers.

Owners are hoping to open by the end of December 2012.

While community board members raised some concerns about potential noise due to growing problems with rooftop bars in the neighborhood, Bernstein noted that the closest residential building is a full block away, with residents unlikely to be bothered by the music the bar hopes to play, considering the din of traffic outside.

"I don't think there's any way the ambient music is going to exceed [the existing outside sound level]," Bernstein said.

While the board has set strict rooftop guidelines that require bars to turn off their music an hour ahead of closing time, the committee agreed to make an exception, in part because no residents showed up to voice concerns.

Under the agreement, the new bar would be allowed to open every day until midnight and continue playing music until closing time, except on the smoking wing of the patio, which would be required to shut off its speakers at 11 p.m.

"We didn't think it was going to be an issue," board member James "Buzz" Beitchman said.