High above the bustling, picturesque Chelsea streets sits a lush rooftop bar, Gallow Green. This half mystical garden, half trendy lounge attracts crowds during every season thanks to a seasonal décor and evolving cocktail menu. Head Bartender, Clayton Mannix, tells us some of his favorite aspects of working at one of New York’s most popular bars.
The McKittrick Hotel is fascinating on its own with the theater performance and an overall ambience. In what way do you think Gallow Green is an extension of it?
Gallow Green complements the mystery and intrigue of Sleep No More. In the summer months guests discover a secret garden oasis, and a cozy mountainside lodge in the winter. When it’s cold out, there’s a toasty fire pit, sleeping bunks and all kinds of nooks to explore. As spring approaches, the lodge is taken down and the entire space comes to life with a mysterious abandoned train car, lush greenery and blossoms in bloom. Like the show, the level of detail makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of the city and into another place and time.
How do you come up with recipes for your signature cocktails and what inspires you?
I am inspired by what I see in the world all the time. If I notice a flavor, color or spice that piques my interest, I’ll put a pin in it and start experimenting with recipes that showcase it. Sometimes I have a flavor combination in mind or a friend requests something that gets my creative juices flowing. We always have a signature Sleep No More cocktail that is inspired by the show and changes with the seasons.
What is your favorite cocktail to make?
I like making shots and beers, the staple of many of a barman. In terms of cocktails, I like drinks made with pineapple. It adds a layer of foam that is similar to egg white texture.
And what would you get from the dinner menu to go with it?
I’d go for a classic pepperoni pizza from our woodburning oven, with a spicy little kick of hot sauce to contrast sweet citrus flavor of the pineapple. And maybe spread some chicken liver mousse on top if I’m feeling extra gluttonous!
What do you think locals and neighborhood guests would like the most about Gallow Green?
It’s a true escape to an oasis in Chelsea. Once the garden blooms in spring and it’s hot & sunny, having a cocktail with friends at sunset is pretty hard to beat.
What is your favorite part of the work evening/day?
I enjoy engaging with the guests. No matter the time, when you’re behind the bar you get to interact with people who are completely out of your realm. You might share a smile, a laugh, or commiseration. That’s what I enjoy most.
Which classic cocktail do you think would complement the vibe of the bar the most and why?
I’d have to say a spritz. They are light, bright and everyone likes them, just like Gallow Green.