It’s a pop-up plaza in a vacant parking lot. It’s a food-truck food-court. It’s an al fresco taproom. It’s an art installation. It’s a community event space. And oh, yes – it’s a destination for hordes of future visitors to the High Line whose strolls northward on the elevated public promenade would otherwise have deposited them pretty much nowhere.
A Manhattan parking lot is being transformed into a new public gathering space called the Lot at 30th Street, appropriately located at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue. It is but 10 steps from the northerly entrance to the High Line, which will open as early as the second week in June along with a new, half-mile section of the elevated park running from 20th Street to 30th Street.
The Lot will offer a new outdoor 350-seat bar under the High Line, to be called The Lot on Tap, operated by Colicchio & Sons, chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurant. Mr. Colicchio will also be the curator of a rotating collection of five or more food trucks, including lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound, ice cream sandwiches from CoolHaus, tacos from The Taco Truck, falafel and smoothies from Taim Mobile and cold drinks from Kelvin Natural Slush Company.
The High Line’s support girders and eight-inch concrete slab will be the roof of The Lot on Tap. Mr. Colicchio’s taproom will offer domestic wines, non-alcoholic sodas and local beers; one offering will be a rotation of seasonal brews including Brooklyn High Line Elevated Wheat (that’s a new beer made by The Brooklyn Brewery to be exclusively sold at The Lot on Tap).
“We’ll be offering food that is sustainable, and local, and that goes well with beer and wine — and that isn’t terribly expensive,” Mr. Colicchio said, adding that “we’ll be setting up our own outdoor raw bar, too, and, eventually, a grill for simple things like steak sandwiches.”
Although “this is my first bar under a defunct railway,” Mr. Colicchio said, he predicts some 1,200 to 2,000 customers per day. He was eager to create the new bar “not just because it’s important to add revenues in the summer, when things slow down in New York, but also, to do a large outdoor space like this at the High Line — it’s just fun.”
Mr. Colicchio has rained on New York’s food-truck parade by saying publicly that that street trucks should pay rent. But, he pointed out with a laugh, “the trucks in this project are paying rent — to the High Line.” “Look, I am not opposed to food trucks, and we’ll have some really good ones.”
To create a synthetic destination in this no-man’s-land, the lot at 30th Street has been donated by its owners, the Related Companies and Abington Properties, to the High Line for the summer (construction to build a new residential tower is planned for next fall on the property).
In its 20,000-square-foot eastern section, The Lot will also offer a public art exhibition – Rainbow City, a collection of large, bulbous, parti-colored inflatable sculptures by Friends With You, a Miami-based art-and-design collective.
The Lot will be open seven days a week; food and beverage will be available from 11 am to 10 pm Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 am to 11 pm from Thursday through Saturday.