Viva La Glam: The Paramount Bar

Just when you thought Times Square had officially succumbed to the neon-lit click of cameras and insipid entertainment for tourists, the Paramount Hotel launches a new eponymous bar in Midtown, offering a throwback vibe that channels New York City’s iconic heydays, where everyone is swilling a stiff martini in their Sunday best.

Designed by the vice president of branding for Highgate Hotels, Susan Jaques, the new bar and lounge are sleek, straightforward and downright sexy, offering a largely monochromatic palette of black and silver with lusty bursts of blood red—the oversized print of sloe-eyed Brigette Bardot kicks the sexiness right up through the roof.

Jaques has spearheaded various design projects across Highgate’s portfolio of properties, including the Paramount Hotel’s Entertainment and Couture Suites. Paramount Bar is her third project on property.

“The Paramount Hotel is home to the legendary Library Bar and we wanted to create a more intimate and exclusive venue within the property that would pay homage to the iconic patrons who have graced the hotel throughout its history,” she says.

Jacques explains that the vintage glamour is designed to cater to a trifecta of trendsetters, including New York notables, theatre patrons and, of course, global travelers. She created a complete FF&E package that highlights pockets of intimate space using banquettes and back-to-back couches, creating social “vignettes” for tête-à-têtes.

“Illuminated by sparkling crystal chandeliers, the Paramount Bar’s décor evokes the nostalgia of another era while plush banquettes draped in scarlet-hued velvet and mirrored bar add a touch of edgy sophistication to the modern-day bar,” says Jaques.

Lighting was also vital in Paramount Bar’s design—between the MR16’s, which illuminate the art, the glinting crystal chandeliers, and the hand-blown Murano glass pendant lights, the space seems to glow from within, casting a sultry glow across its patrons.

“I used crystal, mirror, thick velvets and silk contrasted by timeless staples like black leather and black wood flooring,” says Jaques.

The lipstick-red banquettes are offset by wall-size black and white photographs of tuxedo-clad carousers circa 1950, grinning madly over their cocktails.

Paramount serves up classic libations such as gimlets and old-fashioneds, but there is also a celebration of the here and now with new concoctions like the Red Velvet with muddled blackberries or the Crazy for Love with agave nectar.

Adding a sharp edge to the soft-focused past, the Paramount Bar is poised to take back Times Square, offering tourists and locals alike an authentic slice of New York nightlife.

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