On a Thursday night in June, the open-air communal living room at Urban Cowboy—a new four room B&B on a leafy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, block—is echoing every stereotype about a borough that’s now considered the universal fulcrum of cool.
Meet the cast of hipster Friends. There’s a tattooed dude on an aluminum chair noodling an acoustic guitar; Jersey Banks, a multiethnic dancer-cum-inn-keeper, smoking a vaporizer near the kitchen island; Theron Humphrey, a bearded North Carolina-bred photographer and professional wanderer doing the all-American road trip in his Land Cruiser, quaffing a Brooklyn Summer Ale; Maddie the Coonhound, his Instagram-celebrity dog (she has over 569,000 followers), curled up on the couch like a snow-speckled fawn; and Lyon Porter (pronounced lion), former pro hockey player and boyish proprietor of what is surely Brooklyn’s most unique hotel.
“Rosé?”—Lyon’s version of a welcome mat.
The fridge is stocked with the pink summer staple from Long Island’s Wölffer Estate, and is one of the many homey details that make the Urban Cowboy such a radical interloper on New York’s sharp-lined, ultra-luxe hospitality scene. In one of the neighborhood’s still-gentrifying areas, the refurbished townhouse has a rustic-chic design: two raised garage doors flank the main parlor adorned in exposed brick walls and original pine floors, with reclaimed wood tables and Edison-bulb lighting fixtures. The three rooms in the main house have 12-foot cathedral ceilings with rough-hewn joists, vintage steamer trunks, wool rainbow-hued Navajo blankets, and found objects (dream catchers; guide books such as How to Stay Alive in the Woods). One of the bathroom showers has a porthole that overlooks surrounding rooftops. Woodsy nautical?
But it’s the freestanding Adirondack-inspired cabin out back that really makes you scratch your head. Where the hell am I? Stacks of chopped fire logs mark the entrance of a transporting chalet outfitted in a pot belly stove, clawfoot tub, Elk-antler chandelier, weathered chocolate leather couch, and king-sized bed with a headboard made from Upstate-sourced tree trunks.
The daily farmhouse-style breakfast spread ranges from almond croissants and pumpkin jam to organic oatmeal to biscuits and gravy. But it’s the Sunday night dinners, which feature live music and rotating culinary themes (clam bakes; barbecues), that have become Lyon’s favorite aspect of the Cowboy—a weekly urban Kumbaya.
“I built my dream house and opened it up to the public, to my friends, for all to enjoy,” said Lyon. “This type of shared space—something that isn't a bar or restaurant, yet isn't someone’s home either—was the heartbeat of our ethos. The Cowboy lifestyle can be nomadic, it can be hard on the road and when one comes home from a long journey, they need a place to rest their bones. A place that is comfortable and warm; a bed that comes with breakfast and a hot tub.”
111 Powers St., Brooklyn; 347/840-0525; doubles from $150.
Nate Story is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.