Queensborough, a 1920s New York City-inspired cocktail lounge in the heart of Gaslamp, features an 1,800 square-foot street-level cocktail lounge and a 6,000 square-foot subterranean space that has become San Diego’s favorite social club. The two spaces, coined ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown,’ feature two distinct design styles with stunning elements from design impresario Matthew Ellis of Bluemotif, custom metal artist Michael Leaf, and interior artist and color specialist Heidi Brucks. With the help of general contractors Pacific Point Construction, the ‘Uptown’ space was built out and opened July 26, 2017, with ’Downtown’ expected to open mid-August.
The ‘Uptown’ cocktail lounge exudes sophisticated elegance, drawing inspiration from New York City’s old-school glamour—featuring plush, diamond-tufted leather booths, cantilevered marble tabletops, antique brass light fixtures, wrought iron railings and exposed brick walls. Marked with vintage elements throughout, Bluemotif sourced original New York subway tokens for the bar’s intricate flooring inlay; a wooden phone booth-turned-photo booth was shipped in from Queens; and an authentic subway turnstile ushers guests from Queensborough ‘Uptown’ through to the ‘Downtown’ lounge. The cocktail lounge’s jaw-dropping centerpiece is a 22-foot-long marble bar top and custom-fabricated back bar, created by metal artist/Partner Michael Leaf, displaying more than 300 bottles from floor-to-ceiling.
In contrast to the glitz of ‘Uptown,’ Queensborough’s ‘Downtown’ subterranean space features industrial design reminiscent of New York City’s bustling subways. Ellis has placed conversation-starting elements throughout, including authentic metro booth seats, overhead leather subway grip handles, a custom-built DJ booth, and private whiskey lockers. Classic 1920s-style light fixtures and lighting shrouded behind industrial metal grates complete the moody ambiance.