Lucky Cheng’s Owner On the Big Move to Times Square

When the city closed the gay bathhouses, others came in and reinvented them. Hayne Suthon led the charge for her family, converting the old Club Baths into a series of restaurants and fun lounges. Cave Canem was a Roman- themed joint that had me on day one. Its conversion in 1983 to the drag queen-heavy Lucky Cheng’s was an inspiration. Owner Hayne was the belle of the ball. Throw together Amy Sacco (before she was Amy Sacco) with a little Susanne Bartsch, and a Barnum and Bailey ringmaster with serious legal schooling and bizness-savvy, and you have Hayne.

All was good until the neighborhood changed. The East Village/LES’s conversion from hipster heaven to dormitories for slaves and students left them without their base. Bachelorette and birthday shindigs filled the Lucky Cheng’s room,and Hayne eyed the new Times Square. A year or two ago, I told everyone in town that her space was available and the best game in town. Now, operators are clamoring for it and deals are done… almost. Someone will make it nice for those who are now around. Money will be spent to pay for the rent, the renovation, and other things. The neighborhood can now support that. Whatever fabulous that comes in will set a bar… a tone for the area. Sutra Lounge, available and nearby, should also be scooped up by entrepreneurs going with the flow.

Hayne will bring Lucky Cheng’s to Times Square – and, therefore, the world – this Monday, the 15th. It’s a dream come true for her and her loyal companions. NYC…just like I pictured it.

How will the new space differ?
The difference is the space. It’s a beautiful and theatrical setting, and it’ll feature a different show-formatting. We’ll seat a little over 300 people with a massive staff of waitresses, bartenders, hostesses, and yes, managers – all of whom will perform. There will be an MC also doing a few numbers, but that part of the show will feature less audience participation and more stand-up comedy. With the high ceilings, the two Asian performers have created costumes with height. They’ll have sequins and massive wingspans. Black lights will be a part of the Asian dance numbers. And Richard Krause’s food is going to be simply ridiculously delicious.

How will your marketing change?
The demographic will change: we’ll have tourists, theatergoers… but most importantly, cast and crew of several shows have discovered us and plan to host very organized events and become regulars for after-work drinks. Although not a destination per se, we need to focus on bringing business through concierge outreach, street teams of queens, and partnerships with Broadway shows. Totally new sales and marketing strategies are being developed.

What is your history with the old Lucky Cheng’s space on lower First Avenue?
My history with that building dates back to 1986, when my family purchased the Club Baths, and demoed the building with up-and-coming graffiti artists who filled and tagged 40-yard dumpsters daily. I transformed it into Cave Canem, Lucky Cheng’s opened in 1993 while I was pregnant with my daughter Josephine , who is now attending Sarah Lawrence. Both Lucky Cheng’s and Josephine have grown up together and are simultaneously graduating to the next level.

Justin Bieber & Lady Gaga Lookalikes Appear In Celebrity Gossip Musical

Clubs with themes have migrated to Times Square to cash in on their financial base: tourists. Hayne Southern moved her Lucky Cheng’s to The Drag Queen Capital of the Universe, from her longrunning First Ave. location to 240 W. 52nd Street where the old Touch nightclub once showed everybody how not to be cool. The old Lucky Cheng’s space has new operators gearing it up to be wonderful. After many years catering to the hip, Lucky Cheng’s became completely dependent on tourists, bachelorette parties, and gatherings like this, so a move to the center of that universe, Times Square, was in the cards.

Culture Club, an ’80s-themed nightclub, thrived on Varick Street for eight years. It also enjoyed a large and loyal following, with tourists being a big part of that. Culture Club moved to 20 W. 39th Street, the former home of Club Speed which, according to neighbors and anyone else with social responsibility, could not close fast enough. Culture Club is fun and attracts a crowd looking to play along. Owner Robert Watman is a theme machine, having offered up the 70s-themed Polly Esthers club and ‘90s-themed joint Nerveana.

Culture Club is now offering a new off-Broadway musical-meets-nightlife interactive show.” Totally Tubular Time Machine (TTTM)  blasts onto our scene last Saturday and from all accounts was a blast. From what I can gather, it’s a time machine that has imitation pop icons performing as themselves and in unusual pairings: "Britney Spears, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Beiber, Vanilla Ice, and more…right there with you, and in front of you, and all around you!"

The pitch goes on to tell us that:

"Totally Tubular Time Machine is an immersive, radical pop music experience filled with live performances, party favors, and celebrity gossip, including a fun battle of the pop stars, i.e. Lady Gaga vs. Madonna. Guests witness 2013 Madonna warn 1989 Madonna of a pop star named Lady Gaga who will steal the beat to “Express Yourself,” while Justin Bieber went back in time and fulfilled his dream of dancing with Michael Jackson. Guests also re-lived the time when JLO and Puff Daddy were a couple and watched them perform her recent hit “On the Floor” together. It’s Back to the Future meets the MTV Music Awards, and you’re the star in this totally immersive, radical mash-up of pop music from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today!"

It’s Saturday nights. I’m there. They got me at Bieber. 

Justin Bieber & Lady Gaga Appear In Celebrity Gossip Musical

Clubs with themes have migrated to Times Square to cash in on their financial base: tourists. Hayne Southern moved her Lucky Cheng’s to The Drag Queen Capital of the Universe, from her longrunning First Ave. location to 240 W. 52nd Street where the old Touch nightclub once showed everybody how not to be cool. The old Lucky Cheng’s space has new operators gearing it up to be wonderful. After many years catering to the hip, Lucky Cheng’s became completely dependent on tourists, bachelorette parties, and gatherings like this, so a move to the center of that universe, Times Square, was in the cards.

Culture Club, an ’80s-themed nightclub, thrived on Varick Street for eight years. It also enjoyed a large and loyal following, with tourists being a big part of that. Culture Club moved to 20 W. 39th Street, the former home of Club Speed which, according to neighbors and anyone else with social responsibility, could not close fast enough. Culture Club is fun and attracts a crowd looking to play along. Owner Robert Watman is a theme machine, having offered up the 70s-themed Polly Esthers club and ‘90s-themed joint Nerveana.

Culture Club is now offering a new off-Broadway musical-meets-nightlife interactive show.” Totally Tubular Time Machine (TTTM)  blasts onto our scene last Saturday and from all accounts was a blast. From what I can gather, it’s a time machine that has imitation pop icons performing as themselves and in unusual pairings: "Britney Spears, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Beiber, Vanilla Ice, and more…right there with you, and in front of you, and all around you!"

The pitch goes on to tell us that:

"Totally Tubular Time Machine is an immersive, radical pop music experience filled with live performances, party favors, and celebrity gossip, including a fun battle of the pop stars, i.e. Lady Gaga vs. Madonna. Guests witness 2013 Madonna warn 1989 Madonna of a pop star named Lady Gaga who will steal the beat to “Express Yourself,” while Justin Bieber went back in time and fulfilled his dream of dancing with Michael Jackson. Guests also re-lived the time when JLO and Puff Daddy were a couple and watched them perform her recent hit “On the Floor” together. It’s Back to the Future meets the MTV Music Awards, and you’re the star in this totally immersive, radical mash-up of pop music from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today!"

It’s Saturday nights. I’m there. They got me at Bieber. 

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Reveals All-Star Cast

Fuck Dancing With The Stars‘ all-star cast. Don’t settle for Bristol Palin when you can have Latrice Royale, baby! RuPaul’s Drag Race is back this fall and here are the ladies fighting for the esteemed title Queen Of All Queens.

 

 

Coming Monday’s this fall starting in October, we’ve got Pandora Boxx, Nina Flowers, Alexis Mateo, Latrice Royale, Raven, Tammie Brown, Manila Luzon, Mimi Imwurst, Shannel, Chad Michaels, Yara Sofia, and Jujubee.

I just have one question: where is Shangela?!