Inevitable comparisons to New York hipster nightlife epicenter Beatrice Inn aside, the latest hipster hotspot hype, LES club Chloe 81 is … actually, ‘know what? There’s no possible way you can skirt around the Beatrice comparisons (or the common press narrative that it’s the “next Beatrice Inn”) with this place. Forget that the drummed-up hype for both places has reached fever pitch (usual suspects: New York magazine, Eater, Guest of a Guest, etc). Forget that they both have low ceilings, secret entries, and the same supposedly-unknowing-yet-totally-self-aware-I-Know-Something-You-Don’t speakeasy vibe that New York bar/club owners have down to a sickly precise science. We can even forget the intense (if not suspicious) irony that Beatrice Inn owner Paul Sevigny is most famous for his sister, named Chloe.
The only thing both of these places have in common that matters to you, the reader: very tight doors, and the men who guard them. Join us and our super-secret expert panel of belligerent, name-dropping, elitist, authentic NYC clubgoers as we make a Kinsey-like attempt to understand, break through to, and bust Chloe 81 wide open in this Studs Terkel-esque quest for truth (and access).
Chloe Entrance-Rejection Record? Girl: I have straight A’s so far. Sometimes I’ve left, because my homies were barred/left waiting out in the cold. I’m a loyal patron, and was there since Day One with about four other wandering souls in search of libations after I was denied entrance at the Beatrice. Guy 1: Undefeated. Granted, they’ve made me wait like a motherfucker, but once you get in, it’s all worth it. Sort of. Guy 2: Some people wouldn’t understand this type of sports metaphor. [Ed.: Apparently, none of you did. I was looking for a win-loss number. It’s all good.]
Longest you’ve waited to get in? Girl: Never waited. Guy 1: I’d say 20 minutes, but only when I was with people who weren’t as attractive as me. The bouncers there will make you wait for no *real* reason. They just won’t give you one. Sometimes they might say they’re at capacity, but then ten people will leave, and they’ll still be at capacity. If you wait long enough, they’ll eventually let you in, unlike say, the Beatrice, but after last week’s New York mag article, in which they said something like “now it’s nearly impossible to get in,” I worry the doormen are actually going to start believing it. [Ed. The quote was “It’s now virtually impossible to get in.”] Guy 2: I’ve always been of the “go early or go blacked-out” mindset. In both cases, I can’t remember waiting at all.
Best strategy you’ve seen employed to get past the door? Girl: Having sexual relations with DJs that spin at Chloe. Working in fashion. Knowing secret passwords. Having breasts. Guy 1: I’d say that if you manage to make it in on a Wednesday night, find the dapper red-headed gentleman near the DJ booth. That’s Jared Flint. Bro out with him, and you’re good to go for next time. Guy 2: RANDOM GUY: “Dude, let me in, man! I know Steven Rojas.” STEVEN ROJAS: “Hey … you! Get on in here! Long time, no see!”
Worst strategy you’ve seen employed to get past the door? Girl: Ending sexual relations with DJs. Working in finance. Guy 1: “You’re going to make me stand out here in the rain!?” Yes, they will. Guy 2: “Dude, let me in, man! I know Jared Flint.” “Dude, try Happy Ending. I am Jared Flint. It’s nice to meet you.”
Funniest Chloe rejection you’ve ever seen? Girl: More of an ejection than a rejection. Someone stole a bottle of champagne from someone else’s table. Popped it open and started drinking it right there. Refused to pay for it. Escaped through the fire exit. Guy 1: They didn’t necessarily reject someone, so much as got rejected themselves. We were at a Tommy Guns event, and the entire night they had cordoned off a corner booth for a VIP guest. We couldn’t even put our jackets there! The doormen and waitresses insisted this person was coming, but around 1 a.m., they caved. I got a peak at the guest list and it said in all caps LINDSAY LOHAN VIP VIP VIP VIP. That would like, so never happen at Beatrice. Guy 2: Never rejected, but I was almost kicked out for “snorting lines” in the bathroom. I was doing no such thing. Me and my boyfriend were simply playing swords, you know, where you cross pee … Anyway, try explaining that to an angry bouncer.
If you get rejected from Chloe, where do you go? Girl: Hmm. Sometimes I see people later at Beatrice. Guy 1: There’s a bar right next door with blue curtains and $2 PBRs. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s the perfect place to go wait out the long line of um, six people. Guy 2: I once got kicked out once for opening someone else’s bottle of champagne during Fashion Week. I walked out the front door, because I couldn’t pay for the $300 bottle, and was chased down the street by a scary bouncer. I was dragged back in, and a friend of mine — a semi-professional race-walker, thank Beatrice! — showed me how to bolt through the fire escape. I ended up hiding behind an aquarium in a nearby Chinese restaurant with a red color scheme.
Is it worth whatever you’ve had to go through to get in? Why? Girl: Yes. The crowd is really down to earth, and you can get really sloppy blackout drunk without worrying about making an ass of yourself in front of Kirsten Dunst (though maybe a Misshape or two). Guy 1: Well, for a place that’s so “exclusive,” the beers are fairly cheap. Guy 2: My friends are always there. Lindsay Lohan is “always there,” but never there. They have PBR. In the words of Heather Locklear, I go, not because it’s worth it, but “Because I’m worth it.”
Anything else? Girl: I hate that it was in the New York Times. Why do awesome places have to get discovered for all of New York’s smug self-righteous elitists to see? [Ed. What?! Isn’t it smugly self-righteous to … never mind.] Though I’m quite happy for all of Chloe’s staff to be raking in dough. Guy 1: A tip for the boys: If the lineups are too long and your bladder is about to rupture, there is a parking lot right across the street where you can duck between cars and let it all trickle out. Usually the best part of the night. Guy 2: I’m just happy that the Obama inauguration craze has subsided, and that, as a nation, we can finally move on to more important issues. Like getting into basement nightclubs.
Previously: Breaking Beatrice: Getting In The Inn