About a year and a half ago, Jon B took me to see a space called Opus 22 and asked me for my thoughts. I told him to pass on the property because of its location. He didn’t exactly pass but didn’t run with it either, farming it out to PR honcho Danny Divine and DJ Jus Ske. They hired Antonio Di Oronzo who did Greenhouse to do the design. That’s an award winning design, but I always felt what Opus 22 became — that is, Mr. West — was hideous and not very functional. When you create a joint off the beaten track, you have to be real good all the time. Consistency becomes a very important goal. Located in the pot belly of Manhattan, on 22nd Street just east of the Chelsea Piers, Mr. West proved to be a club too far.
Although only a five- or six-minute walk from Marquee and the 27th Street mall, and a five-minute cab ride from the Meatpacking District, it just seemed like the area was a suburban no man’s land. With nothing around, people showed up on off nights and were forced to cab it out. They never returned. The advantage of being in a club mall is that it’s easier — and without a cab fare, cheaper — to give a joint a second try. If it wasn’t popping the first time around, you might sneak back in while nearby the next night.
For new operator Patrick Duffy, the location is perfect. His last venture was the super chic and super secretive Serpentine, an invite-only adventure which attracted the mix of people that kept me in fine clothes and nice apartments for years. Uptown, downtown, gay, straight, all ages, lots of fun with forward-thinking DJs. Serpentine will now slither into the Mr. West mess along with a restaurant called BES (“Boutique Eating Shop”). Patrick Duffy is a clever fellow with a large and supremely loyal following. He’ll make a go of it.
My man Bugsy is hosting a comedy night called Chuckle for a Cause to help raise money for underprivileged kids who have little to laugh about. It’s at 8pm at Citrine, which I have been calling Latrine after they fired door guru Ross Hutkoff two days before his kid was born. They gave him back a night and are holding this important event, so it’s Citrine again.
My pal Mimi Margalit celebrated her birthday at Jane last night. The club is faced with a dilemma . The Jane doesn’t have a doorman until club hours or around 9pm. More and more people are arriving real early and sitting it out inside to avoid the tough door; the early business is grand, but when the summer ends, they’ll be wanting the administrators instead of the administrative assistants — the gallery owner rather than the gallery receptionist. It’s my favorite joint, and I hope it lasts. Mimi was a bit tipsy and was nicknamed Marinated Mimi for the evening. She wants to hook me up with a nice Jewish girl. I told her I would consider this idea providing the girl has no living relatives. It’s an awful joke but I’m sticking to it. Oh, and my spy tells me that Abe & Arthur’s looks delicious. Chef Franklin Becker will make sure it tastes delicious too.