It was, most say, bound to happen. After two years of flirtation (and occasional making out), Riley Johndonnell and the Surface Magazine gang have been shown the door at the ever-delayed Lower East Side hotel that was to bear the magazine's name. The Post's Steve Cuozzo reports this morning that the hotel will open this fall under the banner The Hotel at Rivington Street (henceforth THOR). Other key facts:
1) Developer Paul Stallings projects a late-September opening for about 60% of the hotel's rooms.
2) Stallings' reason for the innumerable delays: "We decided midstream to go from a plain vanilla facade to all-glass. It was like reinventing the wheel, but it was the better way to go." (Naturally, we're calling bullshit on this one.)
3) Surface Magazine played a minor role bringing in designers like Zaha Hadid. Says Stallings, "I haven't severed my relationship with them. But in the sense that the design phase is over, the design is done." (Uh, riiiight.)
Lots more to come on a subject near and dear to our heart. Let us pause for a moment, however, and concede our year-old bet with Felix Salmon. Opening night drinks at THOR on us, Mr. Salmon.
· The Hotel on Rivington Street [NYPost, 2nd Item]