Inside Amex’s Hidden Centurion Speakeasy at the US Open

Aug 30, 2019

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Following a very successful launch in 2018, American Express brought its popular Centurion Suite back to this year’s US Open in New York City, accessible to customers with The Centurion Card, in addition to The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

This time around, the issuer has a surprise for guests, however — a pop-up “speakeasy,” giving visitors a taste of a similar space planned for the company’s upcoming location at New York-JFK.

TPG’s Zach Griff and I swung by to check out the Centurion Suite this week.

Most of the lounge area is identical to Amex’s 2018 offering, with a large bar, tables and other dining areas.

A second room offers additional seating — a must given that the lounge can accommodate up to 120 guests.

The Centurion Suite is open from 12pm until 8pm through September 4, though guests tend to line up before the official opening time, given that only 120 visitors are allowed in the lounge at one time. Once the space is at capacity, customers can join a waitlist, and are welcomed back once there’s enough space. Cardmembers with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can enter for up to two hours once each day, while customers with The Centurion Card get unlimited entry.

As with last year, the space can feel pretty crowded, even with occupancy capped at 120.

All guests get a ticket for one free drink, which can be used for anything at the bar, including the US Open’s official cocktail, the Honey Deuce.

The speakeasy is easily this year’s highlight, though — guests can get access by pulling a book on the shelf near the lounge’s main entrance.

A staffer then slides open the door, revealing a cozy room, filled with tennis-themed artwork and memorabilia.

It’s definitely a fun space — while the JFK version won’t be tennis-themed, of course, it should have a similar feel.

The bartender will whip you up The Centurionside, a gin-based cocktail designed by Please Don’t Tell’s Jim Meehan, who will also be heading up the beverage program at the JFK lounge.

Amex’s usual Centurion Lounge access restrictions apply here, but you don’t need The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express to get special perks at the Open.

In addition to getting access to the American Express Card Member Lounge, available to all cardmembers, customers with most personal and business cards issued in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are eligible for a one-time $20 statement credit after spending $100 at US Open merchants, including restaurants, bars and more, giving you an extra incentive to use your Amex card throughout the venue as well.

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