Right on the Mark: Archer

Set on the ground floor of the vibrant new boutique Archer New York, the inviting yet industrial David Burke fabrick restaurant opened in May. Derived from the Latin word faber, meaning “artisan,” and intentionally spelled with a “ck,” fabrick’s unique moniker is not only a nod to the brick-and-mortar facades common in the restaurant’s historic Garment District neighborhood and the bricks of pink Himalayan salt that line chef Burke’s patented beef dry-aging room—it’s also a nod to the City of New York itself.

True to form, Chef Burke’s fabrick menu will feature a variety of playful yet polished dishes ranging from snacks and small plates to hearty entrees and indulgent desserts.
Here, we talk with Archer about the hotel and collaboration with David Burke.

Why did you decide to open a hotel in New York City’s Garment District? Aesthetically, what attracted you to this location? The heritage and history of the neighborhood, which we have pulled into the design of Archer New York, were the initial sparks that drew us to this part of Manhattan. There is a renaissance of the area that we wanted to be a part of.

Talk about the design details in this hotel. What gives it
an elegant industrial feel?
The exposed brick and steel, complemented by butcher-block tile flooring, certainly is a nod to the industrial nature of the Garment District. We like to say, there’s an eclectic elegance that comes into play with our custom-designed and curated furniture collection dotting the spaces that have rough, yet polished, touches. The elegant wood-paneled millwork is one example of this. The Archer rooms, nearly two dozen of them, have wood floors and an exposed brick wall at the head of the bed.

You are the ultimate host. You are a connoisseur of exceptional taste in style, travel, and luxury items. How can your guests make these connections during their stay with you? Hosting is a pure pleasure. The people we meet and the stories they share are incredible. We see it as welcoming guests into our home, and we are obsessed with the details. It starts with our guestrooms, where we have a quartet of design palettes. Just as you wouldn’t design two rooms in your house the same, we looked to have varied accommodations reflecting a certain charm. There is a beauty in the randomness of your stay and an element of guestroom roulette. We worked with a Manhattan-based art advisor to select handpicked pieces for our living spaces. The first selection for Archer New York, the pièce de résistance in the lobby, is a creation by 28-year-old digital and video artist Artie Vierkant, who Forbes recognized as one of its “Art and Style 30 Under 30.” From our curated retail items selected from local artisans to our nightly turndown treats, there is a thoughtfulness entwined with every touch point at the hotel. Then there’s the obvious: complimentary newspapers and Internet, an on-site fitness room, and more to blur the line between home and away.

As far as your amenities offered, what can your guests expect that is out of the ordinary? The nightly turndown ritual, with an eight-item rotation, is unique. Baked by Melissa cupcakes, Fatty Sundays & Co. pretzels, and chocolate-dipped Fancy Fortune Cookies with Archer messages, to name a few, make every night a ritual of surprise. Chef Burke has lent his expertise to this experience, as well as mini black-and-white cookies, fruit pops, and truffles. The goal is to delight guests with touches big and small. We would tell you more—but then it wouldn’t be a surprise, now would it?

How did you and Chef David Burke meet? Like many of the best introductions, we met through a mutual friend. Steven Kamali and his group at Steven Kamali Hospitality played matchmaker. All parties involved are highly interested in Midtown and the renaissance of the Garment District, which made this an even more ideal connection.

Why is Chef Burke’s food such a good fit at the hotel? We see the hotel as a new American classic. It’s a place that might have been here before, timeless in some ways, yet of today in many more. Ironically, David has a cookbook by the same name. The creative twist to classic recipes mirrors much of what we are doing in the hotel space. I was drawn to David’s artistry and love for comfort food. Most of all, we appreciate David’s absolute approachability and affability. He is a guy who loves to create incredible food and experiences for guests. David is a serious chef who doesn’t take himself too seriously. We are a bit like long-lost brothers who had an instant chemistry and shared passion for hosting.

What will you order tonight at fabrick? I will certainly try one of the specials, but you can never go wrong with his amazing dry- aged beef. Incredible.

If we met at the rooftop bar for a drink, what would I get you? I have an appreciation for variety and a sense of adventure, so I would trust the mixologist’s suggestion and try the latest handcrafted creation.

We hear you like to play cards. You even offer your guests Destination Joker cards to collect every time you stay at
an Archer hotel and earn rewards. How does that work, exactly? Guests receive a Destination Joker on arrival, which is immediately worth $10 throughout the hotel or can be collected and used on subsequent stays. It’s an instantaneous loyalty program, so to speak. As the hotel collection expands from New York to Napa and Austin, guests are encouraged to collect Destination Jokers from Archer’s various residences to make an “Archer Flush,” good for a free night at a property of the guest’s choosing. Archer’s Playing Cards, a house deck featuring timeless
tips of courtesy and etiquette, will be part of the fun with a larger purpose. The 50-plus reminders, such as “Present Your Presence” (“Focus on your current company. Eye contact, and reflected social cues make it clear that you are where you want to be. You are gracious that way, aren’t you?”), will be more than fun notes to guests. They are core to how our inner circle, the hotel staff, will operate. The deck is considered an addendum to the employee handbook. There are bonus cards for those on their best behavior. If a member of the Archer team observes a guest displaying an act of kindness, courtesy, or etiquette from the deck of cards, they could receive a Class Act card. These special cards are worth $10 and can be collected, combined, and used throughout the hotel, including at the lobby bar or fabrick.

Will your guests ever get to meet you? Let’s just say that our guests will get a sense of my tastes, thoughts, personality, and hospitality through each and every one of our team members. Our hosts are incredible people. I will be well represented. It’s a joy.

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