As a general rule, it’s important to avoid Meatpacking District lounges when in New York. But in the course of a night out in Manhattan with certain types of folks, chances are you’ll find yourself negotiating swarms of aspiring Carries, Samanthas, and Señor Bigs in that charming, cobblestoned little district out west. So when our friend Tamsin Lonsdale, who hosts these delightful social gatherings all around the world for people with better manners and wallets than ourselves, extended an invite promising a “sneak peak” at a new joint called Bijoux, we soldiered west with a crew of our favorite bar-hopping delinquents to inspect the goods.
The exclusivity thing was promised from the get-go with a clever La Esquina-style, through-the-kitchen entrance (Marcus Samuelsson’s Merkato 55 is above). Down the candle-lit stairs and once inside, they definitely pulled off the sexy hideaway look. Thumping beats, ample, dark leather couches, shady paintings of scantily clad chicks on the dark brick walls, a low-slung ceiling studded with framed mirrors, and one ridiculously ornate crystal chandelier, hung extra low. Oh, and also a fog-covered well, which we assume was probably required by zoning laws. It all combined for an opulent, smoky, dare-we-say soft-porn effect, as if you’d stumbled into the Sultan of Brunei’s secret lair, minus the harem of Latvian girls (which are of course kept in a separate room further down). And while we debated whether this added up to being the MPD’s new Double Seven (unfortunately defunct) with a group of tall, adamant blondes, we were all a tad puzzled by the new hotspot’s complete and shocking lack of one thing: mimes. But then, out of the smoke, two hands emerged. These hands were desperately trying to push a wall. Only there was no wall. Or had the wall in fact been rendered invisible by some magical force? In no time, the pesky mime was tossed into the club’s foggy well by the upset, drunken crowd. With that issue resolved, people sipped their fruity something-tini’s and watched the Meatpacking District’s Marcel Marceau try to climb to freedom on his invisible rope. We stood by and took pictures.