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The idea of high-end, lavish laundromats seems, at first, contradictory: Time is, by definition, one of the biggest luxuries for overloaded, overworked New Yorkers. And isn't a laundromat, by definition, a black hole of time loss, one bedecked with used dryer sheets and old magazines? Plus, thanks to an influx of laundry apps and inexpensive wash-and-fold services, many no longer have to deal with their own washables. And yet in a city where pets get their own spas and gyms are adorned with Warhols, it seems only fitting that Laundromats get are embellished, too.
We’ve rounded up our favorite New York City laundromats with unexpected extras. Perhaps a spin studio/laundrette hybrid will be next. We have dibs on the name: SpinCycle.
The Wash House, East Village
44 East 1st Street
It was inevitable that the East Village was the first to take the laundry market upscale, as more traditional launderettes have evolved into osterias and craft beer houses. Fluorescent lights and a blaring TV playing the nightly news? You won’t find those here. The Wash House, which opened in March of last year, embraces the neighborhood’s new, more high-end obsessions, and judiciously serves coffee, wine, a good array of on-tap local beers (suds ‘n suds?), and gourmet grilled cheese to those waiting for their delicates to dry. And if you accidentally spill picked aioli on your bespoke shirt? Rush services are also available.
Spin City Laundromat, Williamsburg
618 Metropolitan Avenue, between Lorimer and Leonard Streets
This Williamsburg suds station comes with the usual amenities – flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and generous hours (it’s open 7 days a week, 7am to 10pm), but it’s the extra perks that make this one stand out. In addition to offering wash-and-fold services, Spin City takes into consideration that not everyone has Scrooge McDuck-sized satchels of quarters, and so accepts credit card payments. There’s also a decent outdoor space in back so you can work on your tan while you wait.
Sunshine Laundromat, Greenpoint
860 Manhattan Avenue
Of the same ilk as watering holes like Barcade that combine arcade games with other activities (ostensibly, drinking), Sunshine Laundromat in Greenpoint banks on the fact that its clients will have at least half an hour – and pockets full of quarters – to burn. That’s why the small space on Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue is chock-full of classic pinball games. Not luxurious, per se, but a more entertaining way to wait it out during a spin cycle.
ABC Laundromat, Gramercy
259 Third Ave. at East 21st Street, 212-598-4272
In an old-money neighborhood like Gramercy, it pays to cater to your clientele. This Third Avenue staple does dry cleaning and wash-and-fold, using eco-friendly cleaners. Those hoping to clean out their dirty laundry have the added perk of being only a block away from Gramercy Park. And while doing laundry here certainly won’t give you the keys to one of the most coveted green spaces in the city, the crowd watching is a decided perk.
LG Laundry Lounge, Harlem
1616 Amsterdam Avenue, between West 139th and West 140th Street
High-concept Laundromats have been around for quite some time (San Francisco’s famous BrainWash has been around longer than most millennials), so it seems only natural that international appliance companies would jump on the bandwagon. That’s where LG’s Laundry Lounge comes in. The space, which opened in 2011 to mixed reviews, is a strange amalgam of washer and dryer showroom (all products are, of course, LG), and a brightly-lit, Jetsons-esque space with white floors, dark fuchsia accents, and free WiFi.