Gallow Green Is Still a bit...green

Since seeing Sleep No More a year ago, I’ve been a huge fan of the rich, immersive experience put together by Punchdrunk.  I loved the dreamy feeling of walking through an entire other world, inhabited by scared, angry, jealous shadows running, fighting and going insane. The Manderley bar, within the hotel, was an amazing experience, no less detailed than the rest of the hotel. The absinthe punch, in particular, is a fantastic drink, dark and complex, that perfectly compliments the experience.

Upon hearing that they were opening a rooftop bar at the McKittrick Hotel called Gallow Green, I instantly bought tickets and eagerly awaited the night. The entrance was similar to that of Sleep No More. After a short wait, you’re ushered into a small elevator that opens into a open floor with a coat check and a set of stairs to the roof. The rooftop garden is spacious, romantically lit, and beautifully decorated. Somehow or other, they also managed to get old rail car up there, too.

My night at Gallow Green didn’t quite have the same magic as my previous visits to the McKittrick. While I did not try any of the punches, the cocktails were disappointing. The Third Degree, a gin cocktail, tasted so strongly of warm Tanqueray that it was close to undrinkable. The Pimms Other Cup, a murky mixture of Pimms, dark rum, lemonade and a cucumber slice was potable, but only as a result of the lemonade. I’m not sure if this was the result of a bartender having an off night, or that the cocktails are just poorly conceived.

While the space was beautiful, it seems the night I was there, a private party had booked an event. My wait at the door was plagued by demands of a very entitled gentlemen, who claimed he was very important to the party. After getting cocktails, we sat down at a table marked reserved, assuming our reservation entitled us to a ‘Reserved’ table. A waitress, after asking if we were part of the party, shooed us after a few minutes, leaving Jessica and I scurrying to find a place to sit. Luckily, we found a somewhat hidden swing a few steps away from the bar, which we camped out on all night.

While the right elements are there for Gallow Green to be a fantastic experience, my night did not reflect that. However, I'm likely to go back, given the incredible quality of everything else in the hotel. Hopefully, my next reservation at the McKittrick will occur on a better night.

Jul 28th, 2012