Pawn Shop Lounge? Only in NY

Posted on February 25, 2011

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Courtesy of Beauty & Essex

Pawn Shop Lounge
by AnneLise Sorensen

In a city where space is at a premium, the new Beauty & Essex stands apart. Ten thousand square feet apart, in fact. From the owners of the ridiculously popular Stanton Social comes this glittering restaurant, built in a former furniture store. From a distance, it still looks like a utilitarian storefront, but swing open the doors and the fun begins: The entrance is a pawn shop, complete with vintage guitars and a “returned” engagement ring. The sexy, retro theme continues inside with a chandelier the weight of a small car, gals showing off curves like Kim Kardashian (who hosted the opening night gala), and a global small-plates menu that plays off the jewelry store theme, with Jewels on Toast (whipped ricotta, bone barrow) and Accessories (duck-fat fries). The best part of the night? I ducked into the ladies’ room, and there was a party going on. A bartendress poured us free bubbly as we reclined on a couch. You know the old joke of men wondering what women do for so long in the bathroom? At Beauty & Essex, they’re getting sauced.

Beauty & Essex: Lower East Side, NYC; http://www.beautyandessex.com

Travel Transforms: This one’s simple: Duck-fat fries.

My review originally featured on MSN (Microsoft Network).

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