I’m sated on leftover turkey and stale pies, which somehow remain delicious and undeniable. Yet another leftover being offered to me seems less palatable. I received an invite to Studio XXI (or SXXI to the in-the-know crowd). The space will be at the 59 West 21st Street spot that was formerly Citrine, and before that, Snitch. While Snitch had a bunch of rock and roll hootchie-coo moments, Citrine was an abomination. I think I referred to it as Latrine back in its heyday, which was just short of an Andy Warhol 15 minutes of lame. Citrine was everything wrong with nightlife and its passing wasn’t mourned.
StudioXXI approached me through a publicist, and except for this brief analysis, I’m going to ignore it. In nightlife, calling something ‘Studio Anything’ is blasphemy. Studio 54 retired that usage. To top it off, the invite sent to me says “This invite is for you and a guest and is non-transferable.” To me, that’s the equivalent of “No shoes, no shirt, no service” on a restaurant door. Unless I’m on a boardwalk, I won’t eat there.
The invite also has “New York, New York 10010” after the address, as if the crowd being invited might get confused and head to some similar address in Jersey. The space is upstairs on an awkward block, and in my mind, there’s always been a question about its legality. It seemed to have only one treacherous staircase as an egress, and a supporting fire escape, which I don’t think is a legal exit for patrons. Maybe I missed something, but I never understood how they got a legal occupancy of more than 75. Maybe they worked it out. 59 West 21st Street had some charm when rockers spilled beer on the floor, tables, and each other, as a band played on Snitch’s makeshift stage. I don’t know the players involved now, but it seems to be a secret or designed as a mystery. Maybe at some other time of year I’d be interested, but this week I’m really tired of re-heated leftovers.
I have been honored once again by being appointed a judge for the Nightlife and Bar Awards. The awards will be held sometime in March in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Nightclub and Bar Convention and Trade Show. Voting is due in this week and I can’t talk much about it. It’s all super hush-hush and serious. This year, I am only voting on categories relevant to my expertise. In previous years, I found myself scrambling to talk with tech guys to vote intelligently for best mixer or microphone or speaker categories. It’s best that the tech guys vote on that stuff. I will cast my ballot for the following categories: Mega Club of the Year, Ultra Lounge of the Year, Las Vegas Dayclub of the Year, and Las Vegas Nightclub of the Year.
Veranda, that 7th Avenue joint run in part by my pal Mino Habib, is celebrating it’s first anniversary. I have never been in the joint, but I do occasionally walk my dogs past it on warm nights. It seems like a nice enough place and Mino should be congratulated on the year.
I am excited about the new restaurant Beauty and Essex, brought to you by the fellas who gave us The Stanton Social: Rich Wolf, Peter Kane, and Chris Santos. I love Stanton Social. I think the Avroko design is beautiful and has stood the test of time. Avroko is also doing Beauty and Essex, which is located in the old M. Katz and Sons furniture store at 146 Essex street. That space has been the envy of countless operators throughout the years, and I’m just dying to see what they have done with it.
Word comes that Oded Brenner, who gave us those fabulous Max Brenner chocolate restaurants, will be opening a new spot called Little Brown Chocolate. Alas, the 2nd Avenue location didn’t survive due to a diabetic conspiracy, but Union Square still thrives. I often stop in to have a hot chocolate this time of year. It’s a relaxing respite from the cold Christmas hustle. February seems to be the target. Sometime around Valentine’s Day, I bet. I’m going over to talk to them soon and will tell you all about it.