Bottle Service Lives On: Judge Blocks Bloomberg’s Large-Soda Ban

Judge Milton Tingling proved that you can fight City Hall when he overturned Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s ban on large containers of sugary sodas. Using words like "arbitrary" and "capricious," nightlife’s favorite judge stopped the insanity hours before the regulation went into effect. The rules would have banned carafes of mixers used in bottle service, forcing night spots to have containers of 16 ounces or less instead of the usual double that. What that means is tables designed to accommodate a bottle or two, ice buckets, napkins, glassware ,and mixers to name a few would be unable to handle that load, and alternative systems would be needed.

The regulations would not in any way stop the delivery of sugar-containing mixers, but it would just make that delivery more problematic and costly. Most clubs do not serve 100 percent pure fruit juices with their bottles, so orange and cranberry juice would also have to be poured from smaller vessels.

Clubs were scrambling to find smaller containers, and all sorts of other adjustments were going to be needed to comply. The size of tables needed to be rethought and possibly extra personnel hired to bring what patrons needed.

This law was silly. No one drinks out of a carafe, and it’s obvious that said container is meant for multiple patrons. I’m all for educating people about the harmful effects of sugar, and advising people to only drink diet or water. However, there is a great difference in keeping children away from large containers of sugary liquids, and it’s another thing to force adults to stop having what they want.

Where does this end? Surely the alcohol is as dangerous as the sugar. Surely the staying-up-late can be harmful, same with the noise and the possible unprotected sex. Passing laws that infringe on lifestyle is dead wrong. I agreed with the smoking ban because secondhand smoke hurts other patrons and workers, but secondhand sugar is not a reality. Kudos to Judge Tingling, and here’s hoping Mayor Mike’s threatened appeal is lost.

What on earth is happening down at Bow. Closed already, sources told me the place on the Bowery where Crash Mansion offered local and national bands is needing a rethink. Finale and The General are doing just fine, but Bow in the same building has Travis Bass bowing out.

The other day I wrote a story that things over at Butter Group were not exactly hunky dory. This got a response from the players there that my sources are wrong and that everything is actually hunky dory. Sources are sources, and I did write I was unsure of the validity of their remarks. I wish those guys a ton of success as I have only the greatest affection and respect for them. I look forward to a redone Butter, and the new programming I hear from all sides will happen at The Darby. When I went back and asked one of my sources about the story’s accuracy, they replied that they would stand by their statements, but that the normal state of things over there is confrontational – but somehow they always deliver a great product.

Photo Courtesy of Bon Appetit

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Pink Elephant is Back

Pink Elephant died a slow death during its last incarnation on W. 27th Street. It wasn’t its fault. Located in what once was a club mall, Pink fell victim to the crimes and misdemeanors of its neighbors. At first there was Amy Sacco’s Bungalow 8, the hottest spot in our galaxy. Then Marquee followed and the hood was named OUCH or Outer Chelsea and a tide of clubs followed. Caine was there, and Crobar and Home and Guesthouse and Bed and the very unspirited Spirit. Thousands came as there was something, someplace for everyone. Then there were fights and underage drinking and cops on horseback and Kleig lights and enforcement and harassment and the street was blocked to traffic. Long legged beauties and their monied beaus were forced to disembark taxis and walk down the street to their favorite watering hole. The Louboutins were never meant for the pavement and the swells didn’t want to sashay along with the hoi polloi. Enforcement, spurred by a rezoning of the hood to mixed use (condos and co-ops), attacked and scared the best folks to another friendlier club world: the Meatpacking District.

Pink died, despite the loyalty of its crowd and the abilities of its owners and staff. There were some skirmishes, as loss of revenues and a failing business always expose the worst in people. It left remembered well and now it is back in a big way.

One of my other jobs is club design. In that capacity, I am often brought in to analyze spaces for future use. Paul Sevigny brought me to Love the club on 8th street and MacDougal. He loved it and it almost became a new Beatrice. Alas, that didn’t happen, nor did another incarnation an ambitious new-ish operator had in mind. Pink grabs one of the best available rooms in the city. During the day, the block is heaven for Jersey girls looking to score cheap shoes while their boyfriends shop for bongs and coke spoons. At night, it’s a ghost town, a quick route for cabs to get from west to east. Love was the home to many real great house parties as it became known for its real great sound and distant neighbors.

Their press release talks of ancient gatherings in the space. It was called Bon Soir in the1950’s and the likes of Barbara Streisand and Wally Cox performed. Richard Nixon came by, as did Brando and others. David Sarner and Robert Montwaid will try to capture some of that cachet and that of the Pink Elephant brand. It will be high energy dance music, napkins in the air, and beautiful people. I always thought that Pink Elephant was a fantastic name and also a fantastic brand. The brand has thrived in Mexico and Brazil but now returns home. I was told it will offer "Intimate, elegant, cabaret style entertainment with burlesque shows, paying homage to the Village and nostalgic history when people dressed up for a night out on the town."