James Beard-Winning Todd English to Open First Cocktail-Focused Concept
The InterContinental New York Times Square Hotel announced James Beard award-winning chef Todd English’s first cocktail-focused concept, The Stinger Cocktail Bar & Kitchen, opening October 17. The bar will use the hotel’s rooftop beehives in both the menu of small and shared bites and inventive cocktail program by Francesco Lafranconi, one of the world’s leading mixologists and the Executive Director of Mixology and Spirits Educator for Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of Nevada.
“With a prime location in the heart of Manhattan, we had the opportunity to do something that this neighborhood has yet to see,” says Chef English. “I’m excited to bring a new energy to Times Square and continue my partnership with The InterContinental New York to debut my first true cocktail focused establishment.”
The new menu of elevated global comfort fare includes dishes like Salmon Poke, Buffalo Chicken Lollipops and Truffle Honey Shrimp Dumplings. Additional sharable dishes include Truffle Mac ‘N Cheese with a signature Stinger cheese blend and shaved black truffles, and aNew York Cheese Plate served with Stinger Honey.
Francesco Lafranconi’s beverage program showcases distinct cocktails that complement the kitchen’s flavors. Guests can sip, sample and share new creations offered in three sizes: “Beehave,” “Buzz,” and “Sting,” which are 2, 6, and 12 ounces, respectively. Guests can also choose from a variety of Lafranconi’s creative and modern takes on classic cocktails all made with freshly prepared ingredients and garnishes. Large groups can also enjoy a selection of signature punch bowl offerings made for four to eight people.
“The beverage program was designed to encourage guests to sample and share, just like they will with Chef English’s new dishes,” says Francesco Lafranconi. “We wanted to make use of the access to local honey and create a playful menu that keeps the integrity of our cocktails intact.”
The bar’s craft signature cocktails include The Stinger, which is made with Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, Yellow Chartreuse Herbal liqueur, fresh squeezed lemon, finished with housemade demi-sec mead foam and fresh honeycombs, and the Jetsetter, made with Pavan French Liqueur, Aperol Aperitif, shaken with fresh lemon juice, finished with sharp passion fruit sorbet, and spritzed with earl grey infused vodka fragrance. Punch bowl cocktails with garnishes include the Honeyed Rum Punch made with Bacardi 8 Year Old Rum, housemade black tea demerara syrup, fresh lime juice, rooftop honey and Peychaud’s Bitters, and the Queen Bee made with Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka, Créme de pêche, Chandon Rosé, lemon juice, fresh berries, mint and housemade rooftop honey syrup.
Upon entering the space, guests are greeted by a grand fireplace, which anchors the cocktail lounge and sheds light on plush seating. Modern décor illuminates the cocktail bar, which is surrounded by communal tables, creating an inviting space for groups to gather for drinks and small plates ideal for pre-or post-theater, late night gatherings, or a nightcap. Rich woods and leathers, polished metal, glass chandeliers and contemporary linear architecture blend seamlessly for an elegant yet cozy atmosphere. Lively abstract designs on the walls add flair throughout, and tasteful displays of wine and spirits continue to showcase The Stinger’s structured playfulness.
Since 2011, The InterContinental New York Times Square Hotel has aided bee conservation efforts by harvesting honey twice a year from their two rooftop beehives, a habitat for more than 60,000 bees. To further highlight the hotel’s dedication to improving the health of urban bees, the bar offers a Bee Good cocktail made with Langley’s No.8 Gin and housemade mead. A portion of the proceeds from this cocktail will be donated to The Best Bees Company and Urban Bee Keeping Laboratory & Bee Sanctuary, Inc., a nonprofit organization that funds research to improve bee health, educational programs for local schools and provides beehives for communities in need.
“Bees remarkably thrive in cities, as they are more productive, survive in the winter, and are more biodiverse,” says Noah Wilson-Rich, Ph.D, founder and chief scientific officer of The Best Bees Company. “We admire The Stinger’s efforts and are thrilled to help them promote the health of bees in Manhattan.”