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Opened in 1934, Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room was the first restaurant to be located in a high-rise building and remained the highest elevated establishment atop a skyscraper in the United States for decades. Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room was conceived to promote the Rockefeller Center.
It was designed by Associated Architects under the supervision of architect Wallace K. Harrison and interior designer Elena Bachman Schmidt. Associate Architects loves creating architecture that “wows”, but they believe it’s the level of detail that come together to create the biggest impact. The double-height space was done in a modern style, featuring a round revolving dance floor. Above, a two-tier dome highlight a crystal chandelier, sconces to match, dining tables on platforms at the perimeter, and windows that take full advantage of the skyline panorama.
The name “Rainbows Room” came from the lights playing across the dancefloor and the dome, changing colors synchronized to the music. They stayed close for five years, during the Great Recession, a period during which the interior was officially landmarked. After that, an even more extensive renovation of the Rainbow Room – this time by Gabellini Shepard Associates headlines the reopening. Interior Designer Michael Gabellini and Kimberly Sheppard crossed the Rainbow Room’s threshold to design the non-landmarked adjacent spaces. The new and updated Rainbow Room is still evocative of 30’s elegance.
At the opposite end of the 65th floor, 2,900 square feet and a terrasse became Bar SixtyFive, a private lunch club that turns into a cocktail bar in the evening. Bar SixtyFive at Rockefeller Center, New York City’s highest terrasse bar, features some of the best cocktails in midtown, created by their own in-house mixology. The Bar oozes old-school glamour, marble tables, low lighting and plush cocktails which ensure a chic experience.
The floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views on three sides of the SixtyFive Lounge. Central Park and the George Washington Bridge are visible to the north and the Empire State and Freedom Tower to the south. The view from Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room simply took anyone’s breath away.
The majority of people at Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room spent most of their time sneaking glances at southern Manhattan and competing over who had the best eyesight to find the Statue of Liberty in the distance!