Wednesday night, André Balazs accepted a small green KidRobot monster. There’s nothing quite like an awards ceremony to inject a little energy into nightlife, and the gracious Balazs excitedly accepting on behalf of his Standard Hotel promised energy is on the upswing. Just being in the same room as nightlifers like Six Six Sick and Harley & Cassie invigorated my addiction to the night, and I’m not the only one.
Perhaps it’s because people want their noms next year, but suddenly there is so much to do. The trees are getting trimmed and the eggnog is flowing freely with a number of places to partake in the merry-making. CV makes a splash with Diddy and Jay-Z paying it an Empire State visit and vies for a place on the Thursday-night party scene, with Amanda Leigh Dunn playing hostess to a downtown crew. Maialino gives you just one more reason to pop into the Gramercy Park Hotel. Suddenly we’re reminded how great the drinks taste at Macao and Apothéke. With wintery hideaways, new restaurant openings, and new faith in old parties, the holiday season is beginning to look a lot like New York Nightlife.
Lowdown: There’s nothing like extending your weekend during the holidays. In fact, the holidays are one big weekend, starting with a nice cozy brunch, and easing into football or other day drinking opportunities. Which explains why Sundays are so very important. Hot Now: ● GoldBar (Nolita) – If gold is on your Christmas wishlist, indulge in the cozy gilded music hub. ● Sway (Sway) – Moroccan themed bar + holidays + booze + sketchy people = Sunday mental vacation. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – The Van Dam party isn’t by Jean Claude, but it’s still just as ass-kicking. ● White Slab Palace (Lower East Side) – Suddenly a staple! Worth a Look: ● Brooklyn Yard (Williamsburg) – Sunday Best in your Sunday’s Best! ● Charles (West Village) – Cozy charmer is quite possibly even more charming in the light of day. French toast, ricotta pancakes, eggs in the hole, and the lobster BLT balance custom cocktails that make you feel pretty darn good about drinking. Again.
Lowdown: Monday night means the beginning of your drinking week, the nearing end of your fantasy football league, and the drowning of sorrows and celebrating of victories. Here’s how we do it. Hot Now: ● Stanton Social (Lower East Side) – Yes, still a great place to have a fun bite/Monday night drinks. ● Butter (Noho) – Not only is this a truly great place to get sloshed on Mondays, I am now excited to admit it. There’s a cool, younger crowd that’s mixing in on Mondays and adding a bit of an edge to the festivities. Worth a Look: ● Black & White (Greenwich Village) – Restaurant becomes cramped, sexy, and very cozy during the holidays after ten. ● Warren 77(Tribeca) – Just right for football fans with a bit more flair. ● Johnny Utah’s (Midtown West) Those huge TVs! It’s like a co-ed college party for industry folks (and half of them are not watching football). ● Diesel Presents Danny Clark’s Monday Nights at The Ainsworth. It’s hosted every Monday Night by Giants Linebacker Danny Clark, and admission to the football party includes cocktails, beer, and food. All proceeds are 100% tax deductible and support the Danny Clark Foundation. Meh. ● Antik (Greenwich Village) – Okay, so Le Royale’s former party isn’t actually in Antik, it’s in the basement of Antik. We swung into the small, rock ‘n’ roll space it was small enough to feel really full, even on a slow night. Naturally, it heats up on the late side, after Monday Night Football has dissolved. Go to make friends.
Lowdown: Gramercy has sharpened its edge, with a little help from Nur and a new resto. Hot Now: ● Rose Bar (Gramercy) – This really has a lot to do with Nur Khan, and now the music enthusiast is upping his game with Nur Kahn’s Rose Bar Sessions, featuring a band every Tuesday night. But they are secret shows. So shh. ● Maialino (Gramercy) – Now you can eat, stay, and party the whole way through the GPH. ● Avenue (Chelsea) – People were astounded to find this place under our Tuesday heading: “Duh, the hot nights are Monday and Wednesday, obvi.” Those people are right, but those people have never known the true Bea. And really, Avenue is good every night — right? ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – Right around the corner, the one-of-a-kind kids get the spillage of displaced hipster kids, who can’t decide between one gilded lounge or the other. Again, people agreed to disagree — and with a name like “Tight Jean Tuesday,” we know Jay-Z’s knots don’t fit. Others to try: Superdive(East Village) – Dear Santa: I would like kegs of champagne for Christmas, wheeled out to me by elves. Thanks. ● Simyone (Meatpacking District) – Might be able to add another notch on its belt; Tuesdays are hot at SL. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – Green is for garland and mistletoe! And Vodka!
Lowdown: Hump day may prove to be a weekday favorite for the holiday season. Hot Now: ● Le Cubain (Lower East Side) – Great spot for pre-drinks and cheap eat with babes with bangs in boots and vintage fur coats. Maybe even make it downstairs for a Chloe revival — so cozy for the winter season. ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – This is still 1Oak’s undisputed hot night. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – This one is in the basement, kids. Well, it’s in the whole of Greenhouse, but it’s better down below. ● Avenue (Chelsea) – Again, Avenue. But this is a raging night for the kids on the Ave. ● SL (Meatpacking District) – Tonight is the night for this Aalex Julian-guarded door. Worth a Look: ● Southside (Nolita) – Tutti, Franco, and Brion run the DJ booth. If you think you know, you have no idea. ● Eldridge (Lower East Side) – Rock and roll, yes. ● Von (Noho) – Party in the basement is “pretty packed and a lot of fun” for the Noho set after 10pm. ● Coffee Shop (Union Square) – One of the true day clubs, chocked full of promoters networking via text message; the basement named USL will be making random appearances throughout the week.
Lowdown: This is Manhattanites’ Friday night, which could explain why Butter is moving their dancey Friday party — Whipped — to Thursdays come 2010. Dancing, dinner, glitz, and even some glam, without the B&T jam. Hot Now: ● CV (Lower East Side) – Something has finally been done with the oversaturated spot formerly known as 105 Rivington. Hopefully Amanda Leigh will continue with the feel good vibes and attract a good, loyal crowd. ● BEast (Chinatown) – Main Man, Ryan McGinley’s night of debauchery, is still in swing. Expect a Misshape or two, Sophia Lamar, and a band of insiders. ● subMercer(Soho) – You may have forgotten about this celeb-laden underground, but she’s back. Worth a Look: Avenue, Boom Boom Room and 1Oak are still a great standby for good times, while the down belows — USL (down below Coffee Shop) and Macao’s basement opium den are also a great place to begin your holiday descent. Coming Up: ● Butter (Noho) – Friday-night party Whipped is so fresh, most can’t believe it’s Butter. Resident hipster DJs Matt & Maia draw out big name fashion folks like Alexander Wang and the Ronsons.
Lowdown: It used to be a day of rest for jaded New Yorkers, but since we’ve stopped bleeding moola, Friday’s a great day to cut loose. Civetta bit the dust for a bit, as we look to Santos’ Party House to bring it with their OPEN party. Hot Now: ● Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – You probably won’t make it in like the rest of the plebeians (us included), but if you could, this would be the night to go. ● The Standard Grill (Meatpacking District) – What’s that, didn’t make it in to Boom? Luckily, the Grill is jumping with everyone else who tried their luck and are now eating duck (or crow); even the most beautiful, classy folks gather here, so it’s a hotspot nonetheless. Worth a Look: ● Home Sweet Home (Lower East Side) – Jonathan Toubin brings the fairly popular New York Night Train to this little living room on Friday nights. ● Santos’ Party House (Chinatown) – A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip. Upstairs. Funk.
Lowdown: Whether you are above or below 14th Street, you should probably be planning on going out somewhere near to or below 14th Street. Hot Now: ● Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – Again, try your luck. ● Lit Lounge (East Village) – Saturday night is grimy and fun! ● Bowery Hotel (East Village) – Simonez throws ragers here, spanning Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Worth a Look: Bagatelle (Meatpacking District) – Bagatelle’s scene gets an early start with their Rock and Roll Brunch.
Other Parties to Keep the Holidays Rolling: With Cafe Gitane in the Jane Hotel, the café with a devoted following in Nolita has taken root. And even better news? The Jane will be reopening the dancefloor to a bevvy of dance eccentrics and poseurs. If you are entertaining some out-of-towners on the weekends, Friday and Saturday nights at Highbar offers a nice (warm) view of the city. Fully heated and enclosed by glass windows — you don’t have to worry about the weather. Kittichai at 60 Thompson has just introduced three- and four-course prix fixe modern Thai menus for reasonably priced holiday meals. These are set menus served family style and available for 6 to 35 guests. A loophole to avoid Aunt Mildred’s meat pie!