With the end of the summer underlined by chill winds and daily highs hovering around room temperature, the business of nightlife is readily anticipating the opening of some new businesses. Between now and the drop of the ball on New Year’s Eve, a club space odyssey will change nightlife as we know it. Although it isn’t raining money, there is enough of a drizzle to support new growth in a constantly evolving and extremely vibrant scene. These new contenders are diverse and seem organized to succeed. In no particular order, here are nine spaces that will soon be on your lips and minds.
1. and 2. Abe & Arthur’s and Simyone – Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum hope to answer all questions about their success. The much-anticipated restaurant with the club down below will look good due to the extreme design talent of my friend Lionel Ohayon, and it will taste great because Franklin Becker is the real deal. Eugene and Mark have enjoyed massive success at Tenjune being themselves and not worrying too much about the other guys. This will surely be a case where nice guys finish first. Location, location, location is a mantra often forgotten by people who have opened in strange locations and are most often forgotten. The old Lotus space on 14th street will enter the Standard– and Jane-invigorated Meatpacking District and be a smash
3. The Nell’s/Richie Akiva joint – I can’t tell you much cause I’m sworn to secrecy, but my partner Marc Dizon and I are very pleased with the developing renderings and the commitment to excellence shown by the Butter/1Oak crew. Yes there will be food upstairs and a joint downstairs, and that’s all I will say except that the space is wonderful with no columns upstairs and great high ceilings, and I’ve been wanting to get my hands on it for 15 years.
4. Quattro at the Trump Soho – Nicola Siervo, Karim Masri, and Rony Siekaly will take their Miami game to Mr. Donald Trump’s Soho hotel. I am always skeptical when Miami players try to bring their vibe to New York. Miami is a straight up tourist town, and vacation money always flows more freely than most other kinds. Yet these three know tons of people and can route their A-listers to their New York incarnation just like Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss service their Tao clientele in Vegas and then in New York at Tao, Marquee, and now Avenue.
5. Serpentine – Patrick Duffy — that fun, fun downtown flier — will bring the straights to the gays and the fashionistas to the hipster dipsters. There will be more fun on day one than all the months of Mr. West combined. Where Mr. West suffered from attitude as well as longitude, Patrick’s brand of real smile, laugh, and dance will surely purge the doomed bottle boîte of its bad vibes. The in crowd will travel west, east, north, or south for Mr. Duffy and his genuine approach to a good time. This will be a very hot place for the cool cool crowd
6. La Pomme – A full Fashion Week calendar of events speaks volumes of this 26th, 5th and 6th redo of Ultra. They are working hard, and that’s a very good beginning. Lots of places think getting open is the hard part. I see this being a reliable entry for a no-nonsense dance-and-drink crowd that isn’t being serviced by the uber-trendy or modely joints. It will host great parties, serve solid drinks, people will be treated nicely, and it will survive and even thrive while other more touted joints can’t pay their bills.
7. Mr. Black – The move into the Room Service space seems a no brainer, but I’m committing right now to a trip to Williamsburg when Stuart gets his new (I can’t tell you the great name yet) place open. Getting me out to Brooklyn is no easy task since I’ve sworn off the dead cows at Luger’s, and no that isn’t a fancy cocktail, but Mr. Black is old school — seriously hot sauce.
8. Red Velvet – The new alcohol-in-things-other-than-cocktails trend continues with this skinny spot with possibly fattening alcohol-enhanced cupcakes. I hear Steve Hanson is going to offer milkshakes that will make you rattle and roll over at the old Hogs and Heifers space — Bill’s Bar & Burger — but that may exceed my daily caloric intake. My firm is doing the Red Velvet design because we have a definite sweet tooth for the players involved. We also think it will be hot. I’ll talk about the design real soon — just need to dot a few eyes. Without sugar-coating it too much, I predict you will think it sweet.
9. OK, there’s more than nine. Hell, the Standard Hotel has four; Todd English and Jon B will offer HRH and its Persian theme; Double 7 will open with Will Regan and David Rabin creating a hangout for adult nightlifers; my pals Anthony Martignetti and James Willis are doing something with that space just south of Southside; and Provocateur will bring cold-weather relevance to the Ganesvoort. I hope Emma Cleary gets to open up a real place, real soon so I can see her more than just Mondays at her “Don’t Feed the Models” party at Katra. I’m hearing nice things about Su Casa, and Ainsworth will keep Matt Shendell’s posse in a place where they belong until Dune reopens next summer.