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Opera House Hotel Visitor's Guide


For travelers who are planning to visit New York and would like to know more about the Opera House Hotel, the Bronx and key facts about famous and lesser-known sites to see during their trip.

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Opera House Hotel Visitor's Guide


For travelers who are planning to visit New York and would like to know more about the Opera House Hotel, the Bronx and key facts about famous and lesser-known sites to see during their trip.

 

Table of Contents:

Our Favorite Nearby Restaurants

La Morada is a notable new Bronx cafe…but there are many more.

Surprising Facts About the Bronx

For starters, we are experiencing dramatic economic and cultural growth.

Popular Bronx Landmarks

Who doesn't love the Bronx Zoo and Little Italy at Arthur Avenue?

Helpful Resources for Planning Your Visit

The Bronx Tourism is your first stop. But not your last.

Interesting Articles About the Bronx

These stories just might surprise you.


THE OPERA HOUSE HOTEL: A PIONEER

When the Opera House Hotel opened in the historic building at 436 East 149th Street in 2013, it was the first luxury hotel to open in the Bronx, one of five boroughs in New York City. Since then, it has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world. It is an affordable alternative to New York City hotels, while still close to famous New York attractions. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art is only 4 miles away.) Part of an authentic New York City neighborhood in the middle of a significant urban revitalization program, it has lots of its own to offer visitors.

Bronx Opera House Poster

Much has been written about the Opera House Hotel’s storied past as a famous theater. After it opened in 1913, every major star in theater performed there, including the Marx BrothersGeorge BurnsGracie AllenJulia MarloweEthel Barrymore and Lionel BarrymoreThe hotel’s Wikipedia entry has a detailed historical overview for that period.

After the heyday of the Bronx Opera House, different owners repurposed the building as a movie theater, dance club and a church. Finally it was purchased by the Empire Hotel Group, which operates eight properties in New York City. After a head-to-toe renovation, the building reopened in 2013 as a fully modernized hotel.

 
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Restaurants


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Restaurants


Our Favorite Nearby Restaurants

Mexicozina Taqueria

Delicious and authentic Mexican food, from tacos and sandwiches to salads and quesadillas.
Location: 444 East 149th Street • Phone: 917-962-9400

 

El Valle Restaurant

Simple but well-prepared Spanish-American dishes like mashed green plantain with chicken and seafood paella.
Location: 450 149th Street • Phone: 347-271-9192

 

Yolanda's Restaurant

Homemade Italian pastas and pizzas at a third-generation family restaurant.
Location: 292 East 149th Street • Phone: 718-993-2709

 

La Morada

Oaxacan Mexican cuisine and one of The New York Times’Top 10 Places to Eat Well and Cheaply in 2015.”
Location: 308 Willis Avenue and East 141st Street • Phone: 718-292-0235

 
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Surprising Facts About the Bronx


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Surprising Facts About the Bronx


Visiting the Bronx for the First Time?

Facts That May Surprise You

The Bronx is the most northern of New York’s five boroughs and covers 42 square miles (109 km2). It is rich in history. Edgar Allen Poe spent the last three years of his life here, in a cottage now operated by the Bronx Historical Society. Over 100 years later, the “Boogie Down” Bronx played a central role in the birth of hip-hop.

The films of the 1970s made the Bronx infamous as a setting for urban blight. But for the last two decades the Bronx has seen dramatic economic and cultural growth. On many streets you will see crumbling brick buildings next to rows of gleaming, newly built residential structures. The area is changing quickly, but much of the borough still as a vital tradition of community.

 
 
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Popular Bronx Landmarks


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Popular Bronx Landmarks


The Bronx Botanical Garden is a 250-acre urban oasis with over one-million plants in over 50 different gardens and plant collections. It also operates one of the world's largest plant research and conservation programs. The Botanical Garden is open year-round (it is closed on Mondays). Its gorgeous exhibitions, arboretum collections, greenhouses, dining facilities and special events are enjoyed by visitors from around the world.

Location: 2900 Southern Blvd • Phone: 718-817-8700
Accessible by subway with the 4 train to Bedford Park Blvd. Station. From the station exit: take the Bx26 bus east to the Garden's Mosholu Gate entrance or walk eight blocks down the hill on Bedford Park Blvd. (approximately 20 minutes). Turn left onto Southern Blvd. and walk one block to the Mosholu Gate entrance.

 

Bronx Museum of the Arts

The Bronx Museum of the Arts specializes in contemporary art and features special and permanent exhibitions in all media. On the first Wednesday of every month (except September and January), The Bronx Trolley: First Wednesday Arts & Culture Tour provides a free tour of the hottest cultural attractions, dining establishments and entertainment venues along the Museum’s Grand Concourse neighborhood.

Location: 1040 Grand Concourse • Phone: 718-681-6000
Accessible by the Bronx Bx1 or Bx2 buses to 165th St. and Grand Concourse, as well as by taxi and subway.

 

Bronx Zoo

One of the largest metropolitan zoos in the world, the Bronx Zoo is home to approximately 4,000 animals representing about 650 international species. The Bronx Zoo spans 265 acres of wildlife habitats and attractions and is open year-round. It is located close to the Botanical Garden, so you may want to visit both on the same day.

Location: 2300 Southern Boulevard
The Bronx Zoo is a 20-minute cab ride from the Opera House Hotel. (It can also be accessed using public transportation.)

 

Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

The Poe Cottage was home to Edgar Allan Poe in the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849. At that time, the cottage overlooked the rolling Bronx hills to the shores of Long Island. Poe wrote famous poetical works including “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells” and “The Cask of Amontillado” there.

Location: 2640 Grand Concourse at East Kingsbridge Road • Phone: 718-881-8900  
Accessible via subway with the 4 train to Kingsbridge Road as well as by the Bx1 and Bx2 bus lines.

 

Little Italy at Arthur Avenue

Bronx's ''Little Italy'' is a famous street of world-class restaurants, high-quality artisanal food shops and specialty stores carrying handmade local and imported gourmet items. Its merchants include bakersbars and loungesbutcherscafesdelicatessensfish markets, grocery stores, pastry shops and pizzerias.

Location: 2347 Arthur Avenue
From the 4 train’s Fordham Road station take the Bx12 bus heading east. It is also accessible from the 5 train’s Pelham Parkway station by taking the Bx12 bus heading west.

 

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium is the home ballpark for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the home stadium for New York City FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). A new, state-of-the-art venue, it can seat over 50,000 and includes a museum. During the off-season, tours are held daily.

Location: 1 East 161st Street • Phone: 866-800-1275
Accessible by taking the 4 train to the 161st Street/Yankee Stadium subway station.

 
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Helpful Resources


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Helpful Resources


Resources for Planning Your Visit

The Bronx Tourism Council

This useful site includes a list of Bronx bus and walking tours.

 

TKTS Discount Booths

The go-to site for discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals, plays and dance productions (20% to 50% off regular prices).

 

The Official New York City Guide

The most comprehensive visitors guide to New York City available.

 

NYPD

The official New York City Police Department website, with emergency phone numbers.

 

Safety Tips for Visitors to New York City

New York City is America’s safest large city, but these tips are important to know.

 
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Articles


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Articles


Interesting Articles about the Bronx

5 Ways I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bronx

A longtime New Yorker moves to the Bronx…and loves it.

 

A Tale of Two Houses

Edgar Allen Poe’s Bronx cottage was not his only home.

 

Bronx Dreams

 A community project to change the world with art.

 

The Bronx Feeding Frenzy

Developers and investors are quietly rushing in, spending millions to get in on the city’s next real estate frontier.

 

The Real Little Italy and Best Restaurants Are in the Bronx

The real Little Italy is a vibrant neighborhood in the Bronx called Belmont, and it’s still the way it was in the ‘50s.

 

The South Bronx: Where Hip-Hop Was Born

Hip-hop's foundations were being laid in the 1970s, brick by brick, by DJs in the South Bronx.