Like a Palm Spring mirage, the bright-eyed Hudson Lounge has emerged as the Rice Village warehouse district's den of all things posh. The 1950 building is sheathed in stark white, from the thick stucco walls to the custom-made white marble tables. Hudson's centerpiece is its back patio, where a line of palms stands watch over an open space punctuated by a sea of ultramarine recycled glass rocks, bridged by massive cement pavers. It is in this enclave that owners Adam and Alexander Kliebert have paid the most successful tribute to the building's mid-century modern origins. Adam found inspiration for the design-driven establishment from years spent living in Barcelona and Milan, and the Mediterranean influence shows in the lounge's clean, unpretentious gloss.
Hudson isn't all about glam galavanting — there's substance and sustenance to be discovered on the bar menu, which was conceived collaboratively with chef Dylan Murray of two-blocks-away benjy's. Small plates ring in at a flat $12, with desserts costing $6. The menu's always evolving — guests can indulge in such snacks as short rib nachos with white cheddar and horseradish, sesame crusted pork lollipops, spicy green tomato and local shrimp ceviche and a signature "bar salad": Pecan chicken lettuce wraps with vodka tomato vinaigrette and popcorn croutons.
Hudson hides a few other suave tricks up its sleeve, such as flat screen televisions behind the bar, that when not in use for curated film content, are shielded from view by one-way mirrors. A pavilion in the back stores a stash of wine chosen by Keith Thompson (formerly of benjy's and The Tasting Room) and is available for busy nights and VIP events. It's a far cry from the building's former uses as an office and the Southampton Montessori School.
The lounge has culled other venerated members of the city's top hospitality talent: Manning the stove is Washington Avenue vet Christopher Latterman of Max's Wine Dive, Laurenzo's and Rainbow Lodge. Angie Gonzalez, a recruit from Soma and Haven, will play the part of bar manager, curating a roster of ever-evolving seasonal cocktails.
P.S. While there's no official dress code, we recommend steering clear of ratty sneakers. It's Pumas and upwards here.