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'80s-Inspired Boutique Hotel Opening New Location Near World Trade Center

By Irene Plagianos | January 14, 2015 10:34am
 This is the second location for Riff Hotels. They opened a Chelsea location in September.
Riff Downtown Opening Near WTC
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FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A 1980s-inspired boutique hotel will soon open its second New York City location, a few blocks from the World Trade Center.

Riff Hotels, billed as budget, boutique lodging, is slated to open Riff Downtown at 102 Greenwich St. in March, its owners said at a recent Community Board 1 Financial District committee meeting.

The four-story hotel will join the company's Riff Chelsea at 300 W. 30th St., which opened in September in the former location of the Chelsea Star hotel.

The Chelsea spot, which has rooms decorated with a black-and-white color scheme and complimentary Atari and retro board games, is heavy on '80s rock memorabilia, including vintage Madonna photos. It’s said that the '80s pop icon stayed at the former Chelsea Star more than 30 years ago.

The new location will have a slightly different feel, said general manager Stephen Westman, but details haven’t been finalized.

New to the Downtown location will be what Westman called “a speakeasy-like” bar in the basement of the building, featuring cocktails and light bites.

“In the bar, we’re trying to offer a speakeasy vibe that the area really doesn’t have,” Westman said. “It’ll be something you’d be more likely to find in the West Village.”

Some items on the menu include $8 PB&J Maki, made with whole-wheat bread, organic peanut butter and raspberry jam served in sushi-like pinwheels, complete with chopsticks. There’s also an $8 Pickle-Me-Elmo, a selection of pickles, and the $14 Where’s the Beef, an assortment of jerkies.

Hotel pricing wasn’t available for the new location, but Chelsea rooms start at $225 a night.

The community board committee gave its advisory support for the new hotel’s liquor license. The basement bar will be open from 3 p.m. to midnight from Sunday to Thursday, and 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.