Wednesday, November 18, 2015

[Updated] The upscale hotel bar with a pool named for the late environmentalist Adam Purple

Graffiti meets avant-garde in our favorite slice of #NYC. Check out Hotel Indigo Lower East Side NY - open today!

A photo posted by Hotel Indigo (@hotelindigo) on


The 293-room Hotel Indigo at 171 Ludlow St. (and 180 Orchard St.!) opened its doors on Monday between East Houston and Stanton.

The property has been in the works for about 10 years now. (You can read more at The Lo-Down and BoweryBoogie.)

And the main attraction — for guests and non-guests alike — promises to be the 15th-floor bar with an outdoor pool. Here are details via WWD:

Mr. Purple is the first venture this far downtown for Gerber Group, which operates places such as Union Square’s Irvington and The Roof at Viceroy, along Central Park. Though there will be some adjustments for the group — “we’ll see a lot more tattoos on our staff” — the move to the Lower East Side sees Gerber maintaining their high-end approach. “We’re not the Lower East Side place that has $3 beers and $1 shots,” Gerber says; Mr. Purple’s house cocktails average around $14 to $15, and beers are $7.

And where did the name originate?

The bar name comes from the Lower East Side icon David Wilkie, who became known as “Mr. Purple” for his preferred shade of clothing. The street artist Lee QuiƱones was working on a mural for the hotel, and one of the images he was doing was of Mr. Purple. “That’s really what inspired us,” Gerber says. Mr. Purple’s image is discreetly painted on the ceiling of the 14th floor lobby.

Purple, the environmentalist and activist, died on Sept. 14 at age 84. Considered by some to be the godfather of the urban gardening movement, Purple created a five-lot, 15,000-square-foot garden amid the nearby ruins of the Lower East Side in the mid-1980s.

And now his memory lives on at Mr. Purple with its purple bar seats and $15 house cocktails...



Updated 4:30 p.m.

Gothamist notes that Mr. Purple's reps seem "to be backtracking on this a bit." They quote a news release about Mr. Purple with this backstory:

A mysterious man, born and raised in the Lower East Side, the city was his muse. He was an unmistakable staple of the neighborhood and an unforgettable piece of its continuing character. His art, like his personality, was ephemeral with no known relics outlasting him. It has been said that to see him work was to have a glimpse into utopia. For now, Mr. Purple, and all that he represents, is up to your imagination to interpret.

Updated 11/24

The Gerber Group sent us the following statement this morning in regard to Mr. Purple:

The name of the bar and restaurant was established when the project was first conceptualized in 2014. It was indeed inspired by Lower East Side resident David Wilkie, who became known as "Mr. Purple." A gardener and activist, he was an iconic figure who dedicated his life to beautifying and improving the neighborhood. A mural was painted in his honor and can be seen on display in the lobby area of the hotel.

Also, in honoring Wilkie's dedication to the neighborhood, the restaurant is committed to supporting the Lower East Side community through several initiatives including partnerships with the Bowery Mission and local businesses such as Russ & Daughters, il laboratorio del gelato and Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery who are all featured on the restaurant's menu. Additionally, through the Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN), 30 percent of jobs at the hotel have been allocated to local residents.

Updated 11/25

A representative from Russ & Daughters reached out to us with a statement:

Russ & Daughters doesn’t have a partnership with Mr. Purple or Hotel Indigo. That restaurant simply purchased smoked salmon at our shop one time. We never authorized them to use our name on their menus or in their promotional materials.

Previously on EV Grieve:
RIP Adam Purple

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

My stomach is turning. People, RE developers, have zero respect or class for history or really anything that came before them. This just seems crass.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a fine tribute. There can be others too, gardens or streets (like Joey Ramone Way), but there's nothing wrong with this one.

Anonymous said...

Ahem, bartender, can I have a Mr. Purple?

Anonymous said...

@6:35
I'd agree with you if they'd donate the proceeds from their over priced cocktails to community gardens but we both know that's not going to happen. High jacking a beloved neighborhood hero for a douche bag hang out is disgusting. Look out LES Jewels, I see a swank boutique hotel with your name coming!

nygrump said...

parasitic carpetbaggers. But the young rich enjoy the appropriated trappings of rebellion and their recrational drugs while they press their boot against the face of the oppressed

Anonymous said...

That's BS. They're really trying to pay tribute to NYU so that they can attract the Purple Nation's students and staff here.

Gojira said...

I sincerely hope Adam's heirs or estate are at least getting paid for this inanity.

Anonymous said...

This is like building a Native American themed hotel on top of land considered sacred to that people. It is not like there is a plaque inside this place explaining who Mr Purple was and how important he is to the existence of our community gardens, neighborhood and a champion of urban organic food. The owners of this place only see him as a character on Sesame Street which they can steal his likeness and name without getting sued. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if someone approached the hoteliers (nicely) and requested a plaque be put up honoring Adam Purple, they would comply. There's no reason not to.

Anonymous said...

The joy experienced at AP's garden...so many years ago...is, perhaps, not readily transmitted in this way. Sorry, struggling to understand why they are even interested in "paying tribute" with another 1%-ers institution.

Giovanni said...

This is so edgy I almost cut myself while reading about it.

Anonymous said...

this is a fine tribute and those that whine have nothing better to do these days sadly..

Richard said...

To reach Mr. Purple at Hotel Indigo by car, turn right off the Jane Jacobs Expressway (formerly Houston Street).

glamma said...

Omg this a fucking outrage - can we start a petition to force these slimeball FUCKS to remove mr. Purple's GOOD NAME immediately from their YUPPIE SHIT that goes against everything he ever stood for???

Anonymous said...

The hotel name of this atrocity is the Hotel Indigo at 171 Ludlow St. and 180 Orchard St. for anyone who rightly wants to picket it for them to stop disrespecting Adam Purple's memory & change the name of its bar.

Goggla said...

This is so wrong.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people are so hostile to Adam Purple. He's being honored and you want to take that away.

glamma said...

He is being used for everything he every stood for, a total pussy move considering he's not even ALIVE to defend himself - not to mention not even 6 months dead - this is the polar opposite of honor. Wake up. Everyone here adores Adam Purple, he is a hero of the people. We are being hostile to the shameless hotel, not Adam Purple. Duh

Shawn G. Chittle said...

I thought the Jupiter place named after Mars Bar was bad, this is a new low. If it wasn't so sad, I'd laugh!

No one I know will EVER stay in this hotel or set foot in it!

Anonymous said...

Patti Astor has left this comment on the Bowery Boogie post -

'You will also see myself and Adam Purple featured on the Lobby Ceiling Mural, my image including the FUN Gallery Logo. I was not alerted or asked permission for this use of my image to validate this luxury property. Needless to say I am not invited. This may even "Trump" (pun intended) the "Basquiat Burger". Patti Astor'

Anonymous said...

Well, I for one am going to go to this bar and have a drink in honor of my friend Adam Purple. The rest of you, do what you want.

Anonymous said...

Isn't is just like the CLASSLESS MONEIED VAMPIRES to think that this abortion represents a tribute befitting a beautiful man who stood for everything this IS NOT. And the fact that there is likely not an estate to fight it! I'm willing to bet that anyone "enjoying" this atrocity will not know of or even care for the late environmentalist. THIS IS AN EMBARRASSMENT. SO SHAMEFUL! Stop trying to tie your BS bar to someone who really mattered and who MADE A REAL DIFFERENCE. This is so sad and pathetic and a symbol of the misguided "vision" of our new "neighbors". YUCK.

Anonymous said...

This is no tribute at all. It is the opposite of a tribute. It is something turned into a commercial venture in the worst possible way and does nothing toward the politics of honoring of an original thinker. I have registered a cosmic suit so that the full effects of this disdainful situation will be remedied. Watch what happens to this venture. It will self-destruct. No one needs to do anything.

Anonymous said...

There's also Low Life in Hell Square a high end which references Luc Sante's Low Life. Just disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's not a tribute. Tribute implies a kind of love. This seems more like a grasp at instant authenticity. A lot of the new places seem to be doing the sort of thing. Just add water.

Anonymous said...

Gross. This hotel is so fucking weird in its location.

Anonymous said...

The view looks nice. I'm sure Adam would have loved it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:10 -- So you're sending out bad vibes to them? And we don't have to do anything, just wait for them to self-destruct? Seems dubious to me.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to all the employees of the Hotel Indigo and/or Mr. Purple. Thank you for pretending to know Adam and leaving the fake positive comments!

Anonymous said...

$15 for a cocktail - somehow this is "honoring" Adam Purple?

This just tells you everything you need to know about the slime-balls who are running this shit hotel. They helped destroy a neighborhood and its history, yet now they're desperately trying to graft the best of what they DIDN'T value onto their douchey hotel - all in a vain attempt to add some vitality and meaning to the bleak & sterile environment they've created.

DrBOP said...

Won't it be a fun surprise for them to see all the purple footprints up and down the halls, maybe a few walls?
Won't it?



More money than brains.....again.

Anonymous said...

I heart Dr. Bop. Want some help?

Anonymous said...

I say let's honor Adam Purple by going to Central Park, grabbing as much horseshit as possible, and biking it back to the LES and dumping it in their lobby, pool, what have you...these people KNOW NOTHING and they just keep co-opting our history for PATHETIC icon-branding without even THINKING for one second about the response. SO DISRESPECTFUL. Cover their doors with horseshit a few times and you bet they'd change the name. And Adam would SMILE. This class war is ABOUT TO GET REAL, YO.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Cover their doors with horse shit and they'll change the name of the bar. Yeah, I don't think so. You're more likely to spend the night in jail smelling like shit, with everyone else mad at you for stinking up the cell.

Anonymous said...

This corporate entity is not going to back down now that they have their bar in place and done all the publicity. Best solution, in my opinion, is for them to DONATE $5 OF EVERY $15 DRINK TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY GARDENS. Then the use of his name and reputation has some meaning and benefits the community, not just the tourists that congregate there.

Anonymous said...

Hotel Indigo is owned by the Intercontinental Hotel Group, which also owns Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, among others. Writing letters and posting complaints on their Facebook page might get better results than posting our disappointment and disgust on EV GRIEVE...

Richard Solomons said...

I have been reading the comments here with great interest. What many of you do not know is that Adam Purple was my father. My tribute to him is personal. I'm sorry so many people are upset by it.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:31 good luck. Like Adam, I'll be on a bike and use a supershitter. Hit 'em from afar. I bet your socialites won't like getting hit with shit. If you can steal an iPhone on a bike, I think shooting shit will be WAY EASIER. I never did jail and I won't in the future. I'm much much smarter than asshats with money who USE other people's GOOD name to attract SHITTY people with OVERPRICED COCKtails.

Cosmo said...

@4:57 - Heh, nice try.

Anonymous said...

As per Wikipedia:

Richard Leslie Solomons (born 9 October 1961) is a British businessman, currently Chief Executive of InterContinental Hotels Group[1]

Solomons is the son of a North London car dealer, and was educated at University College School, Hampstead, before studying economics at Manchester University.[2]

Solomons worked in investment banking with Hill Samuel Bank for seven years, including two years in New York. He worked for seven years in investment banking, based in London and New York. Solomons qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1985.

Solomons has been the Chief Executive of Intercontinental Hotels since 1 July 2011. He was previously Chief Financial Officer, and before that Head of Commercial Development since June 2009. Solomons joined Intercontinental Hotels in June 1992.[3]

Anonymous said...

And to think I was under the false notion that Brits actually had CLASS; Here's proof to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

The best tribute to Adam Purple would be to recreate the garden.

How about on the roof!

Patti Astor said...

My image and the name and slogan of my LES FUN Gallery are also utilized in the mural WITHOUT my permission or knowledge. "FUN for Everyone?" I think not, FUN for anyone who can spend $15 on a Cocktail. I am outraged at this blatant commercialization of Adam Purple who I saw all the time and was a tremendous inspiration to me. This outrage may even "Trump" the $64. "Basquiat Burger" against which I also spoke out and led a campaign against on Yelp until they censored all of our comments. I love all of the creative protest ideas stated here particularly the "horseshit-oriented" which looks like caviar compared to this atrocity! Vague promises of "but you are getting recognition and they can sell your book" don't cut it. No way in hell would I put my book in there until that Bar gives back to the community. Patti Astor FUN Gallery

Giovanni said...

@Patti Astor As a regular visitor to the Fun Gallery I'd like to thank you for all you did for artists and residents in the East Village. So much has changed since your gallery was here, some things for the good, but definitely not this overpriced theme park nonsense. Ironically they are catering to tourists, Bros and Yuppies, not to the peoplle who live here and actually appreciiate what that time and those people meant. What's next, a Mosaic Man Mall? An Les Jewels Jewelry store? TSP Riot Reenactments? Organic Homeless People Stew? It's all about money, so unless someone finds a way to curate and protect the past I dont know how it can be preserved.

Danny Brody said...

Here's your Mr. Purple-convicted child molester/rapist OF HIS OWN DAUGHTERS AND STEP-DAUGHTER.
http://thevillager.com/2015/12/31/the-dark-side-of-purple/