First look inside the American Express Platinum House coming to NYC this weekend
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If you’re an American Express Platinum or Centurion cardholder and you find yourself by Union Square this weekend, you and three guests can take a break, sip cocktails and eat gourmet food from critically acclaimed chefs free of charge. As we wrote about two weeks ago, American Express is opening its latest Platinum House pop-up — its first in Manhattan — at 5 East 17th Street, a mere block from New York’s buzzing Union Square for just two days:
Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1 from noon to 5 p.m.
This isn’t the first “Platinum House.” The pop-up has emerged at popular events like Coachella and Art Basel to give Platinum and Centurion cardholders an upscale retreat from the action. This year, American Express celebrates the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, a Saturday-after-Thanksgiving tradition meant to remind holiday shoppers to patronize smaller local vendors. Consequently, Amex has integrated its emphasis on local businesses with the usual chic that we’ve come to expect at Platinum House.
Indeed, this is the first Platinum House geared toward educating Platinum and Centurion cardholders about the benefits of “shopping small,” and, of course, being a part of the Amex Business Card network. As production crews applied the finishing touching the evening before launch, we got a peek inside to share what was already finished before the crowds start pouring in.
The large pop-up lounge lives in what used to be popular contemporary American restaurant Union Fare, and it’s big for New York City. It’s a smart-looking blend of lounge, library and coworking space, with complimentary cocktails and bites from a mix of critically acclaimed chefs whose restaurants, each a part of the American Express Global Dining collection, offer stations that showcase their locally sourced and inspired signature dishes.
These include Legacy, with its Italian coastal cuisine from Chef Ryan Hardy, Cote, the world’s only Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse with Simon Kim and Chef David Shim and Wayan, offering Indonesian fare from husband and wife duo Chef Cédric and Ochi Vongerichten. Each of their stations have been designed with their restaurants in mind, and each brings distinct characteristics from their respective brick-and-mortar locations.
The space is broken up into two large rooms.
Neither food nor drinks were quite ready at the time of this visit. Still, everything, including the chefs themselves, will be on hand to provide a complimentary taste of some of the best food in the city. And yes — I asked, there’s no cap on how many samples you can have. *Wink*
The bars still had tarps and ladders around them, but once open Saturday afternoon, they’ll serve up specialty cocktails created by Undercote, select wines curated by Parcelle and coffee will be available and complimentary to all cardmembers and their guests.
Plush couches and chairs, wooden tables and padded stools fill the space nicely and should offer abundant seating for those interested in stopping by (seriously, how did they set this up in just a couple of days?!).
Guests will also be able to take part in complimentary gift wrapping; meet former Teen Vogue chief editor and author of More Than Enough, Elaine Welteroth; enjoy a local NYC shopping guide curated by Ms. Welteroth, Kirsty Godso and Zanna Roberts Rassi; and take part in other yet-to-be-announced surprises.
With a nearby “Shop Small NYC” board, guests can learn about the benefits of shopping with smaller businesses. An Amex “Concierge Desk” will also be available to purchase gift cards to the restaurants featured in the pop-up, and learn about what else is on offer through one of Amex’s signature amenities.
Even though it wasn’t quite ready yet, the latest Platinum House looked good, and well worth a visit if you’re in the Union Square area. Complimentary food and drink aside, the space aims to be a comfortable and appreciated respite from the hectic shopping streets outside — kind of like a Centurion Lounge, and in a good way.
And with no cap on time spent or admissions, feel free to come and go as you please. Available only this Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1 from noon to 5 p.m.
Featured image and all images above by Wallace Cotton/The Points Guy
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