American Express Is Opening a New Centurion Lounge at JFK—and It Has a Speakeasy

The mixologist behind Please Don't Tell is now serving up drinks at JFK.

1850 Speakeasy at Centurion Lounge JFK

Courtesy of American Express

Although travel has slowed considerably, new restaurants, hotels, and attractions continue to be unveiled. Case in point: The brand new American Express Centurion Lounge in John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4 is debuting in the next few days, making it the fourth Centurion Lounge to open in 2020. It is the 13th Centurion Lounge for the brand, and at over 15,000 square feet, the largest one yet. It is also the first lounge with two floors.

As part of the “Centurion Lounge Commitment,” new health and safety practices have been implemented, including socially distanced seating, reduced capacity, increased cleaning frequency, and requirements to wear a face covering while in the lounge (with the exception of when you're eating and drinking).

“Our flagship Centurion Lounge at JFK reiterates our commitment to backing our Card Members whenever they may be ready to travel, while striving for a safe environment for all,” said Alexander Lee, American Express’ vice president of Travel Experiences and Benefits. “Like many of our customers, we are proud to call New York City our home, and we are thrilled to have another lounge in our backyard.”

Accessible only to Amex cardholders, the lounge has six unique rooms, each inspired by a different New York City landmark or iconic design period. Touches include a handmade mosaic art mural that pays tribute to the city's subway murals and artifacts like New York City taxi meters, which are displayed on shelves.

Centurion Lounge JFK Terminal 4
 American Express

The highlight is undoubtedly The 1850 speakeasy bar, concealed behind a copper-paneled wall. A nod to the year American Express was founded, 1850 evokes the Prohibition era through its design and classic cocktails. Lauded mixologist Jim Meehan of Manhattan's Please Don’t Tell created the rotating cocktail menu, which includes renditions of a boulevardier and an espresso martini with Irving Farms coffee.

The Centurion Lounge boasts two additional bars, both of which serve a full cocktail menu featuring local spirits, also curated by Meehan.

Boulevardier cocktail at Centurion Lounge JFK
 American Express

Also exciting, is the food by Chef Ignacio Mattos, the genius behind Estela and Café Altro Paradiso in Manhattan. Signature dishes include an egg and Caciocavallo cheese sandwich with tomato marmalade, fennel salad with Castelvetrano olives and provolone, and steak topped with Romesco and Taleggio sauce. As opposed to a buffet, the food will be served by attendants when the lounge opens.

Food by Ignacio Mattos at Centurion Lounge JFK
American Express 

Aside from quality food and drink, the new lounge will also bring a big name to its wellness offerings with The Equinox Body Lab. Typically only accessible within Equinox clubs, the Body Lab will offer performance-driven restorative therapies like self-guided meditation and stretching sessions using the Variis by Equinox app, as well as a vibro-acoustic chair to help travelers relax before takeoff.

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