"We don't want people lying around in bed watching movies," explained Bernstein yesterday on a tour of the rooms and new cafe space. His plan, to create a vibrant community scene in the lobby itself, seems to be working.
The cafe would be quite appealing for its design alone (wood paneling on the walls transitions seamlessly into the ceiling; large white paper lanterns bob overhead like mini spaceships), but there is more to like about the Pod Cafe than just architecture. A quick look at the menu shows off some of the who's-who of New York artisan foods: Balthazar pastries, H&H bagels, Murray's cheese, Guss' pickles, and La Colombe coffee. What's more, the Pod team has craftily converted an old luggage storage window into the cafe's new storefront. So even though you feel like you're ordering from a bus station concession stand, the food is delicious.
Concierge Bryan says that due to the cafe's "extremely powerful" WiFi, the space has become a haven for locals who come in for an extended lunch break. This also adds to the lobby's contagious feeling of sociability—nevermind if the "hotel guest" you're talking to has an apartment of their own, two doors down.