The historic Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn Heights opened to the public for two hours only on June 8, offering curious locals a sneak peek inside the long-shuttered inn — and it didn’t disappoint, according to area gawkers.
“It’s hard to believe we’ve had this beautiful piece of real estate in our neighborhood but we’ve never been able to go inside of it,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Jean Ihrig. “It’s amazing.”
Business booster group the Montague Business Improvement District held its annual meeting in the lobby of the swanky hotel once known as Brooklyn’s “Waldorf-Astoria,” and the gathering — which was catered with a chocolate fountain and Chandon champagne — attracted a record crowd that included many locals who came to get a glimpse of the luxurious lodge, said a group board member.
The looky-loos have been waiting for the Montague Street hotel to re-open for years, following its 2012 purchase by developer Clipper Equity and real estate tycoon Joseph Chetrit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who used it as lodging for members.
Guests who crowded into the ornate lobby marveled at its interior, which features four different chandeliers, marble columns, ornately carved ceilings, and a mural.
The hotel’s delayed debut makes much more sense now, according to neighbors who glimpsed it.
“You can understand why it has taken this long when you look at the workmanship of the building,” said Tom Gallo, who gives walking tours of the neighborhood and hopes to include the hotel on his route one day.
The entire lodge — including its 280 rooms, rooftop bar and restaurant, and ground-floor eatery — is slated to open in September, according to the inn’s security worker.
Argentinian company Fën Hotels — the same operator that opened the Dazzler Hotel at Tillary Street and Flatbush Avenue Extension Downtown — will run the hotel under the name Esplendor Bossert, but has yet to launch a bookings website.
Locals are pumped they will finally be able to enjoy the iconic lodge, and cannot wait to scope out the entire building when it opens this fall.
“It’s very exciting that there is an upscale hotel back in the Heights,” said Lois Hedlund. “What I see so far is beautiful, I’m looking forward to getting a tour of the whole hotel.”