After ice skating with friends in Central Park the other day, we hit the Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien hotel for some much needed sustenance. This is one of those classic New York juxtapositions, a burgers-only greasy spoon (dinner: $8) in a midtown four-star hotel (rooms start at $300/night)…kinda like discovering an In-N-Out Burger in a Four Seasons hotel. Duck behind the curtain in the lobby and you’ll find good burgers, beer (Sam Adams only), and an eclectic music mix (Bobby McFerrin, Edwin Starr’s War, and some opera).
After we ate, JCN inquired at the counter how such an odd arrangement came to be. A hip bar previously occupied the space, but the bartender left and took a bunch of his clientele with him. The space lay fallow for a time while they figured out what to do with it, but renovating the space and building up a new clientele was too daunting for them. Someone had the idea of putting a burger place in there, so they put walls on the space and gave it a try. Judging by the full house in there and the terrific lines at lunchtime on weekdays, it’s succeeded pretty well.