The Financial District is known for classic establishments like Delmonico’s and Harry’s Bar, but the downtown area around Wall Street has begun to move away from the stuffy banker’s bars of decades past, heralding new trendy spots that would make any New Yorker relinquish the Lower East Side and move even further downtown. Case in point: Mailroom.
Situated beneath WeWork’s latest concept, WeLive, the space acts as part mailroom to the residents that live above, and part speakeasy bar to the fashion set and young professionals alike. While has become known for its shared office spaces that foster small businesses and freelancers, WeLive aims to create a living space that fosters community, flexibility and those looking to forgo the traditional living environment. Their New York City location, right on Wall Street, embodies this fearless mantra, and Mailroom is the cherry on top. As you walk into the stylish WeLive building and take yourself down the stone staircase, you’re immediately transported into a lush, lounge space made up of velvet couches, deep, wood-paneled walls, art deco lighting and swoon-worthy eclectic art.
The literal mailroom, with its brass boxes, adds an old-fashioned appeal as you make your way to the bar’s swivel chairs. While you sip vibrant cocktails and dine on light bites, you can’t help but feel like you’re in the FiDi of the future—and it’s stylish, to say the least. BAZAAR.com chatted with co-founder Jayma Cardoso and designer Robert McKinley, who are both responsible for the The Surf Lodge in Montauk, to get the inside scoop on Downtown NYC’s chic new space. Mail and martinis have never felt more compatible.
Harper’s Bazaar: What kind of atmosphere did you aim to create for Mailroom?
Jayma Cardoso: I wanted a place that is a conduit for sharing and creating. This place is designed around the arts and giving guests new experiences. It’s not a club or necessarily a bar even, it’s a space for people to come together in pursuit of their dreams via connecting with others.
Robert McKinley: I really tried to evoke the masculine, Mad Men-esque world that dominated Wall Street during the time of the building’s inception. We used walnut wall paneling, a brass grid drop ceiling—with both focused and cove lighting—and rich burnt red and deep blue velvet sofas. A glowing bar stocked with liquor alongside 400 brass mailboxes just adds to the unique allure of the space.
HB: With the success of The Surf Lodge, did you use any specific elements that you knew worked well there?
JC: I really approach each project as it’s own thing. You have to. Just location alone changes the energy and what people are seeking. I support the arts as I think it’s an amazing way for people to connect. Although The Surf Lodge has a music and artist series, the type of artists I envision for Mailroom will be different.is about creating an experience to make you forget you live in a city, while Mailroom is a celebration of all the incredible people who come to New York in pursuit of making new ideas, technology, and businesses. It’s a gathering place for future visionaries.
“It’s a gathering place for future visionaries.”
RM: I think we always use warm, authentic materials and bold colors, cozy lighting and a good sense of humor.
HB: How will the design and aesthetic of the space shake things up in FiDi?
JC: FiDi, even though it’s the oldest part of the city, has really just begun its evolution. It’s historically not a cool place in the city, but the island or Manhattan narrows here and east comes together with west. The streets are like alleys as this portion of the city was designed prior to the thought of automobiles. Now the history of FiDi fits better with the way things are shaping into the future. For me, the main thing is the design allows for dynamic people to come together and encourages interaction because of an open layout. I’m really excited about the space that exists here, and am excited to be part of the re-shaping of FiDi.
RM: The concept of a living, breathing mailroom with a sophisticated cocktail lounge as its compliment is an entirely new idea, and that alone is something that will stir things up. Not to mention we have great drinks, some excellent bar snacks and a soundtrack that really delivers.