Food + Drink

Hotelier Jason Pomeranc’s Favorite Drinking Dens

Who better to weigh in on the world’s finest nightspots than a hotelier whose own bars are HQs of hip in their respective cities? Thompson Hotels’ Jason Pomeranc, self-professed tequila lover and “very social person," told Charlotte Steinway where to pull up a bar stool in the five cities he knows best

See recent posts by Charlotte Steinway

1

New York City

“I’m from New York, and I’m fascinated by the spectrum of nightlife here. I like to mix high and low venues: For a luxe, old school night out I go to Bemelmans Bar [above] at the Carlyle Hotel — it dates from 1930, has murals by children’s book illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans, a unique, only-in-New York elegance, and the kind of attention to detail we strive for at Thompson venues. If I can motivate myself to head over the bridge to Williamsburg, I hit Hotel Delmano — it’s a speakeasy bar that’s at the forefront of the cocktail scene (try the Rattlesnake, with absinthe, rye and egg white), with a great shabby chic look and a cool Brooklyn clientele.”

2

London

“I lived in London for a year when I was studying for my postgraduate degree, and much of the inspiration for the Thompson brand came from the city. I love going to Claridge’s Bar [above] and ordering a Pimm’s Cup — like London itself, the hotel has never gone out of style. My other regular haunt is The Groucho, the original and much-imitated members’ club, where I like to have a regal scotch. In London, you’re not a bartender, you’re a barman; bartending is a trade, often passed down from father to son, and the level of attention you get is one of the reasons I really enjoy drinking there.”

3

Miami

“The hotels more or less own the social scene in Miami, and my favorites are LIV at the Fontainebleau, a megalithic neon playground hosting world-famous DJs nightly, and the W’s petite, recently renovated The Wall — I always have fun seeing my old industry friends there. When I’m not hotel-hopping, I sneak off to Yardbird [above], a bar-restaurant that has a bootlegger vibe — something of a departure from what’s happening on South Beach, even though it’s just eight blocks east of Collins. It has a southern, honky-tonk-style decor, and it feels local and authentic — the perfect place to kick back with a whiskey.”

4

Toronto

“Sure, I’m biased, but I do think that the Thompson Toronto [above] is one of the nicest spots in the city — the rooftop bar has a view of the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, and Lake Ontario — that very few people had seen before we opened in 2010, and the swimming pool at the roof edge is a real luxury in chilly Toronto. When I’m not at the hotel, I hang out at The Drake Hotel, just down the road on Queen Street. I like the old-fashioned aesthetic — exposed brick, vintage wallpaper, woodsy rooftop — and I always have a good time there.”

5

Los Angeles

“Los Angeles is my second home. For a throwback night out, I go to the pink-and-green institution that is The Polo Lounge [above] at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and I’m instantly transported to Old Hollywood. I’m also proud of my own addition to Hollywood, The Spare Room at the Roosevelt. I think it’s a real innovation in LA nightlife, a high quality cocktail-driven bar using gaming as its base—the leather and mahogany-laden lounge boasts two vintage bowling lanes, chess boards and in-table backgammon—and it feels established even though it’s only two years old. It’s cool without being overly trendy. Try their signature Moscow Mule; a mid-century classic made with vodka, lime, and fresh ginger.”

All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.