What’s in a Name? Akiva & Sartiano’s New Supper Club Plays the Name Game

This week the world celebrates the baptism of William Shakespeare on April 26, 1564. He was neat enough to pass into immortality on April 23, 1616. This was actually before my time. I looked it up. Among the many sharp things the famous bard said, this one is found in Romeo and Juliet: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” With that in mind and to answer quite a bit of my “fan” mail, I will offer that the 14th Street supper club Marc Dizon and myself are designing for Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano does actually have a name. It isn’t “14SSC” or “2oak” or “Better.” When they tell me I can tell you, I will. It is a wonderful name. The place actually has an approximate opening date and, as of yesterday, we were on schedule. Again, I’ll let you know when I’m unleashed. I was strolling last night with my gal pal and stopped in Butter to say “hey.” It still impresses me. I asked Scott Sartiano if I could tell you guys but he said “No, not yet,” quoting Shakespeare, I believe (or was it Al Capone?) “You say anything and I’ll kill you.”

Yesterday I spelled Marc Berkley’s name wrong. I was reminded that I always did. On ancient fliers I had it with a “k” and Berkley was always an adventure. It didn’t matter how I spelled it as everyone knew that a good time would be had by all. Marc will be remembered at a memorial service at Redden’s Funeral Home. The service will begin at 7pm on Wednesday April 28th. Redden’s is located at 325 West 14th Street in Manhattan, between 8th and 9th Avenues and can be reached at 212-242-1456. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Marc’s name to the GLBT community charity of your choice. A celebration of his life will be held in the near future.

Naming joints isn’t getting any easier. Every week something opens and must “DBA” as something. Everytime a place uses a name that name becomes less available in the future. Sometimes a name is used again or is changed a bit to protect those guilty name-thieves. There was more than one “Arena” and more than one “World.” A few were called “Home,” there’s a “Continental” and there was “The Continental.” Boom Boom Room couldn’t call itself that because someone way out west already had the rights, so they changed it (but everyone still calls it Boom Boom Room). It’s just too much fun. Studio 54 lingered in name if not in spirit and relevance for decades. There was even a Limelight many years before the infamous Limelight. Most owners spend months racking their brains to find something that isn’t too embarrassing. The desperate ones use numbers from the address. I love the name SL, by the way, even though they claim it wasn’t named to get me to write about it. It’s great when a great place has a great name. Even if they didn’t call it Rose Bar it would still be sweet. The observation by Billy Shakespeare over 4 centuries ago is still valid. If it’s hot, we will come no matter what they call it.