Starting This Month, You’ll Be Able To Get A Tattoo At Saks

 

You can get everything at Saks: Gucci, Prada, McQueen, NARS, even younger labels like Sandy Liang. And now, apparently, tattoos.

Starting later this month, the iconic department store will be offering customers the chance to get inked in the window of their Lower Manhattan location. You know, their extravagant storefront displays? Well, now, that will be you – screaming in agony while you get your latest Sailor Jerry tat.

The idea came from celebrity colorist Joel Warren from The Salon Project, who will have a pop-up location inside Saks’ new concept floor, The Downtown Wellery. Much like the uptown store’s version (just called The Wellery), where customers can take fitness classes, get glam with limited edition beauty products and services, and treat themselves with a variety of spa options, the specialty space will be an immersive experience that’s curated more for Downtown tastes.

“I was looking for unique experiences to drive people into stores to get services and shop,” Warren told the New York Post.

So, he contacted Wass Stevens and Ethan Morgan from the Lower East Side’s Rivington Tattoo. A neighborhood staple that caters to celebrities and drunken cool kids after a night at Attaboy or The Ludlow Hotel, the shop will now have a home in the Saks window.

“It reminds me of the Christmas displays,” said Stevens of the collaboration. “Only when you walk by, you’ll see an old-school Victorian sitting room where people are getting live tattoos.”

Demi Monde: Far, Far Away & Well Worth the Trip

Last Wednesday I accepted an invite from a promoter named Alana to visit and guest DJ at a new weekly party called Dark Kabaret at the very far down and to the left club DEMI MONDE. Demi Monde is located at 90 Broad Street, which is very close to the Staten Island Ferry in what I guess is called the Financial District. I went with Hotel Chantelle honcho Tim Spuches because I wanted his input, but mostly because I wanted someone to split the cab ride with. Demi Monde is an investment. It works hard to make sure that your trip is worth it. The design is slick and modern, the place is laid out well with intimate seating groups lightly separated by Japanese bondage rope dividers. The bar is ample and well-manned. I tried a (non-alcoholic) celery soda and will try to decide between the other house-made sodas, including the Strawberry Tarragon. Grapefruit, tonic, and sarsaparilla on my next trip. Yes, there will be a next trip and probably more after that since I enjoyed my experience at Demi Monde a great deal.

I saw other promoter types at the party, scratching their chins obviously, trying to figure out how to move it closer to civilization or how to make it work for their crowd there. I asked one (who asked to remain anonymous) what they thought and the answer was "it’s perfect…except…" the except being, of course, the location.  Someone said it felt like they were on vacation in some wonderful club, far away. Although the room was filled with familiar faces, they greeted me like they were running into me in Miami. It’s like that.

Like many things in life, inconveniences like distance and toothaches, bad mates, and being short of cash are things people can get used to and I believe this could happen with Demi Monde. The theory behind destinations is that they have to deliver every time. If a person makes that trip and has a bad experience, they are unlikely to try it again. Demi Monde seems to get that and the staff – starting at the door, where Kimyon’s amazing smile greets you, to the not so pushy and friendly waitrons inside – set a tone.

 The cocktails were great and the music provided on Wednesdays by veteran rocker Peate Suzuki was wonderful – accessible but not commercial. There were The Love Show dancers, Adrienne the aerialist, Natasha King and Lena Marquise prancing around on platforms everywhere, and a generally sexy vibe. The crowd was mixed and excellent.

One of the principal owners, Chris Nagy, showed me the ropes, literally, and explained how a club too far will survive. Obviously, making it worth the trip is part of the plan. Wall Street "after-work" parties and special events should pay the bills and the Financial District is one of the fastest growing residential areas. We saw a bunch of hipster types walking their pedigrees as we approached. Demi Monde may be very close to an under-exploited mass of neighbors.

This Wednesday I will DJ a rock set from midnight to 1am and then hang around for more than a minute. Defenz Mechanizm will perform. It did feel like a refreshing vacation, a pleasant experience off the beaten path.

Drink Like Churchill at Black Hound Bar and Lounge

Not to bludgeon the speakeasy idea (regarding Wednesday’s post), but, there is a new one in town, and this time, it has popped up in the Financial District. Enter, Black Hound Bar & Lounge, the latest in stealthy craft cocktails by Jeremy Strawn of Mulberry Project and Death & Co, and gourmet bar bites by Mexican chef Antelmo Ambrosio.

The theme runs along the line of literary, political, and artistic greats, which their cocktails mirror in name. This includes an ode to Ernest Hemmingway, and no, it’s not the Hemmingway Daiquiri thank goodness. Instead, drink the Moveable Feast, a Sazerac Rye, Amaro Montenegro and Luxardo Fine combination that begs to for a snack like Ambrosio’s truffle macaroni and cheese or tuna tartare to give it some sustenance.

They also have a Winston Churchill-inspired drink called Painting as a Pastime, which uses vodka, pistachio syrup, ginger and lime. I don’t buy that Churchill would have been particular to this combination given he was more of a brown spirits or gin man, but it sounds good just the same. 

Despite the drink, you might be able to picture Churchill sitting here, given the lounge’s dark wood accents, the ceiling covered in antique mirrors, and the plush leather bar stools big enough to hold his heft. Also, what better place for the former prime minster of England than in the neighborhood dedicated to money and business relations.  Now, you too can make like this great man, or Hemmingway, or any other creative type, and do that other thing they do best, throw one back. 

It’s Greek (Yogurt) To Me: GRK Opens Tomorrow in Financial District

We have frozen yogurt, we have Pinkberry, we have Tasti D-lite—but, aside from Ronnybrook Farm’s Milk Bar, what New York lacks is a place to get really good yogurt. Thankfully, George Nikas has brought his own version of Greek yogurt to the table at GRK, his restaurant that opens tomorrow in the Financial District.

"My goal with GRK is to introduce the best of Greece’s products, cultural and culinary standards with the community,” said Nikas. “The Financial District was the perfect location to start GRK, as it’s constantly evolving and has a fresh atmosphere that I was drawn to." 

The yogurt GRK offers comes frozen or fresh, and you can get the latter version savory-style with figs, olives, tomato, peppers, basil, cucumber, and pita chips. If you want to go for the sweet side, you can top your selection with flax seeds, almonds, rose petal preserves, honey, and fresh berries. Aside from fresh Greek yogurt, GRK also features the yeero, a wrap stuffed with spit-roasted meat, and in this case includes chicken, pork, or lamb and beef. Pair this Greek sandwich with hand-cut fries or their Aegean slaw, which has red and green cabbage, carrots, onions, and herbs tossed with a lemon dressing.

Nothing costs much more than ten dollars, and even that price is for the lamb and beef platter. Mostly they plan to offer take out, but if you are looking for a cheap, sit-down dinner or lunch, GRK seats about 75 people in their cozy dining room, which is equipped with furniture from Rhodes, Greece. Though we are used to Astoria being the Greek capital of New York, perhaps GRK is bringing cheap Greek where it has never gone before.

New York Opening: Demi Monde

Named after a group of people who live hedonistic lifestyles, Demi Monde flaunts a decadent caviar service, glittering chandeliers, and cocktails with names like Jewel Box, Whisper Campaign, and Mister Sparkle.

Located in the Finanical District, this tippling establishment comes from the team behind Death & Co., and draws inspiration from such literature as Norman Mailer’s Deer Park, Henry Miller’s Opus Pistorum, and, of course, Alexandre Dumas’ Le Demi-Monde. The interior is stocked with sumptuous hunter green booths, dark wood walls, and dramatic, velvet drapery.