Williamsburg is the New Black

Word comes from Stuart Black that he is not insane. I mentioned the other day that Stuart has been changing venues for Mr. Black almost as often as he changes his clothes. He responded with a snappy e-mail. Bugsy is my old nickname given to me by “Mother” Chi Chi Valenti and “Father” Johnny Dynell. Although it is of course an affectionate reference to my rather prominent eyes, it is also a reference to gangster Bugsy Siegel. Bugsy Siegel saw a patch of desert and imagined Las Vegas, and I supposedly had a similar approach to nightlife when I tried, with Peter Gatien’s money and balls, to create the four-club empire that was Palladium, Limelight, USA, and Tunnel. My eventual stint in the can underlined the comparison. There were many other players involved, but the meeting that occurred at the Hollywood Diner on 16th St. and 6th Ave., brokered by Michael Alig, changed things for me and many.

Johnny and Chi Chi held a play portraying me as Bugsy Siegel one night at Jackie 60, but at the time, I was unable to attend. Stuart wrote me:


Been keeping abreast of all the wonderful fodder that poor NYC nightlife has to offer through your blog. So whilst I never reach out to you much, I thought out of respect for being the BIG EYE on things, I would write to you to tell you what exactly is going on in my crazy world. I am sure everyone in the industry must think I am absolutely insane; I’m kind of used to it by now, and I relish in always proving that I am one step ahead of the curve. No doubt when I snuck in my surprise move without a proper press release etc., it led to all sorts of pert opinions and criticisms, but I am one who loves chaos and confusion, and I keep my plans to myself to a certain extent. So it is, I move to the Room Service space and will be operating 4 nights a week by mid September, maybe more depending on how long it takes to get into first gear. So why the move? I have expansion in my Eye…

Stuart goes on to tell me of a Williamsburg project that is in the works. Although he wont allow me to divulge the rather clever name or his fabulous partner, I am allowed to tell you that they are looking rather hard and we can expect great things very soon. For now, he is getting Mr. Black pumping at Room Service, which he tells me is a much better location than the joint he just left–Steve Ballinger’s Rebel. He is a very busy lad, and working under Steve Ballinger, whom he and everyone loves, can be distracting. Rebel is a little large for Mr. Black as well and could only offer weekend nights. As if this wasn’t enough, on crazy-like-a-fox Stuart’s plate, he will be opening an L.A. branch at Bardot starting September 15th. Lest we forget, he also has Señor Negro in Buenos Aires. Boston is next. Stuart doesn’t have time to change his clothes! Mr. Black brings it old school. A mixed bag of clientele of all orientations, obligations and objectives combined with seriously fun music make it one of the great clubs in New York, wherever it is.

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