Pink Elephant died a slow death during its last incarnation on W. 27th Street. It wasn’t its fault. Located in what once was a club mall, Pink fell victim to the crimes and misdemeanors of its neighbors. At first there was Amy Sacco’s Bungalow 8, the hottest spot in our galaxy. Then Marquee followed and the hood was named OUCH or Outer Chelsea and a tide of clubs followed. Caine was there, and Crobar and Home and Guesthouse and Bed and the very unspirited Spirit. Thousands came as there was something, someplace for everyone. Then there were fights and underage drinking and cops on horseback and Kleig lights and enforcement and harassment and the street was blocked to traffic. Long legged beauties and their monied beaus were forced to disembark taxis and walk down the street to their favorite watering hole. The Louboutins were never meant for the pavement and the swells didn’t want to sashay along with the hoi polloi. Enforcement, spurred by a rezoning of the hood to mixed use (condos and co-ops), attacked and scared the best folks to another friendlier club world: the Meatpacking District.
Pink died, despite the loyalty of its crowd and the abilities of its owners and staff. There were some skirmishes, as loss of revenues and a failing business always expose the worst in people. It left remembered well and now it is back in a big way.
One of my other jobs is club design. In that capacity, I am often brought in to analyze spaces for future use. Paul Sevigny brought me to Love the club on 8th street and MacDougal. He loved it and it almost became a new Beatrice. Alas, that didn’t happen, nor did another incarnation an ambitious new-ish operator had in mind. Pink grabs one of the best available rooms in the city. During the day, the block is heaven for Jersey girls looking to score cheap shoes while their boyfriends shop for bongs and coke spoons. At night, it’s a ghost town, a quick route for cabs to get from west to east. Love was the home to many real great house parties as it became known for its real great sound and distant neighbors.
Their press release talks of ancient gatherings in the space. It was called Bon Soir in the1950’s and the likes of Barbara Streisand and Wally Cox performed. Richard Nixon came by, as did Brando and others. David Sarner and Robert Montwaid will try to capture some of that cachet and that of the Pink Elephant brand. It will be high energy dance music, napkins in the air, and beautiful people. I always thought that Pink Elephant was a fantastic name and also a fantastic brand. The brand has thrived in Mexico and Brazil but now returns home. I was told it will offer "Intimate, elegant, cabaret style entertainment with burlesque shows, paying homage to the Village and nostalgic history when people dressed up for a night out on the town."