NEW YORK - 4 West Lounge in Harlem is the newest addition to the New York City social scene and the vision of communal gathering from owners Troy Berry and Brian Clark.
"We wanted to create a space where you are able to be comfortable — you are able to be you," Brian said.
"This is purely, purely from ingenuity based on our imagination — us just saying what could we do, what would it be like, feel like and our minds just ran wild," Troy added.
4 West, located at the corner of West 127th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, breaks ground on a couple of fronts. In addition to joining the city's small business landscape by being Black-owned, it is also gay-owned. Brian and Troy are partners in business and partners in life.
"We're just living our lives. We are who we are," Brian said. "So this is not an act."
"To lead, all you have to do is just walk, so I don't look at it that way of breaking ground," Troy said. "I look at it as Brian and I are just walking."
Since the launch last August, the reception has been welcoming if not eye-opening. While 4 West is proudly an LGBTQ establishment, not all the patrons are gay. The lounge draws a healthy mix of hetero customers both male and female. And neither owner is surprised.
"I think one of the reasons why is love knows love," Troy said. "Fellowship knows fellowship."
"Not too surprised particularly with the women but some guys come here too because it's just a cool vibe," Brian said. "You come in, it's good music. Music, I think, is community — it brings people together to have a good time."
4 West Lounge is open seven days a week with happy hour starting at 4 p.m. daily. When you see Brian and Troy, say hi. Though chances are, they'll say hi first.
"When our guests come in, we want them to feel comfortable from the door. So when I come in here and I see people smiling and having a good time, just being themselves," Brian said. "It's just joy. Joy."
"When you walk in, we greet you. Our team, our staff, we welcome you," Troy said. "So for us it's 4 West Lounge — welcome home."
4 West Lounge | 303 W. 127th St., New York, N.Y. 10027 | 4wml.com