Innovator of the Triangle Loft
By Laura Arten
Karen Genauer, Photographed by Marsin Mogielski
The Triangle Loft is a flexible event space in the heart of the Meatpacking District. It was started by Karen Genauer, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. I sat down with Karen Genauer to learn more.
What and where is The Triangle Loft?
Triangle Loft is a flexible meeting and event space. I kept the larger half of the space fairly bare, pristine and raw, so the client can have a blank canvas to work with. This way the space can be readily transformed into pretty much anything. The other half is more of a lounge/bar/community space, with a warm intimate feel. Good vibes only, as I like to say.
I have a fully operational kitchen as well as a license to serve alcohol, so we are unique in that sense. It enables the client to plan — or let us produce — the entire venture on-site as opposed to having to source food and beverage or having to have a makeshift food and drink section.
Triangle Loft sits on the top floor of the Little Flatiron Building in the heart of the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. Our legal address is 675 Hudson Street, but our guests tend to use the elevator entrance located on the Ninth Avenue side of the building. The place used to be known as No.675 Hudson, before the Triangle Building was adopted as a name.
The building itself is unique and historical. The origin of the structure goes back to 1848 and the seaport trade, and was primarily a factory. The building has also been used in famous films. In Fatal Attraction, it serves as Glenn Close’s apartment setting; in Serpico, Al Pacino catches Rudi Casaro here; and in The Hours, Ed Harris jumps out of the north corner window.
Preceding the building itself are huge vaults, around 6,500 square feet of subterranean space, that used to serve as horse stables and storage for cargo and business goods. For the most part they were sealed by 1920 and somewhat forgotten, only to be rediscovered some 20 years ago. Before Meatpacking went through its renaissance in the late ’90s, there were fetish and sex dungeons there for a while, called The Vaults.
Today, Soho House, a high-end members club and hotel, is across the street while several of the luxury fashion houses, including Hermès, continue to make their way into the neighborhood. We are in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of Manhattan. The Triangle Loft has been completely renovated, and is ready for the next chapter.
What is the vision for the Triangle Loft?
We are exclusively inclusive. Everyone is welcome. Diversity and local communities are one of my main focal points. We do events relevant to anything that may be going on culturally, such as Black History Month, Fashion Week, Women’s Month, Cancer Awareness Month, and so on.
The murals in the space are done by some artists who were painting the boarded -up stores in the Meatpacking District during the pandemic. I connected with them via Instagram and asked them to come and paint at The Loft. We always change up the murals in order to give exposure to other artist. I try to give opportunities to creative talent as much as I can.
We are also very much in touch with the corporate side of entertainment and hospitality as well as always giving back by supporting local talent, the creative community and people with traditionally less access to high-end venues like this. As a woman operating my own business, I know how difficult it can be to build something or get ahead, and I am interested in shifting the paradigm when it comes to women and minorities of any kind in business. For example, many of my suppliers are women-owned and operated, and much of our spirits are locally produced and sourced. I do care about the values of the businesses and partners we team up with. My preference is for small, privately owned, independent businesses partners.
How did you come to have the Triangle Loft?
My background is in hospitality, hotel industry, and event management. I was working for the original owners trying to get the space open. Then the pandemic happened and I lost my job. The landlord, Ari Ellis, of David Ellis Real Estate knew I had been quite invested in the space. He encouraged me to build a business of my own. He was extremely kind and generous, allowing me to only pay what I could afford until I got the space going. We are getting there, and I am now collecting a paycheck. March is already busy and hopefully the future is bright.
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