BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where to where people go out. The latest and greatest bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, are always on our radar. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living.







  • Senior Software Engineer, Bryan Packman Tom & Jerry’s (NYC)
  • Mobile Production Manager Sunde Johnson Brooklyn Industries (NYC)
  • Lead Mobile Architect Joseph Russell Big Bar (NYC)
  • Mobile Developer Wyeth Shamp, Brooklyn Bowl (NYC)
  • Senior Systems Engineer, Dan Simon Europa (NYC)
  • Senior Product Design Manager, Gwen Heimburg Sugar Sweet Sunshine (NYC)

Publisher at Large, John F. McDonald, Saxon + Parole (NYC)

BlackBook Magazine Founder, Evanly Schindler, A Voce Columbus (NYC)

Ruben Rivera on His Celeb-Studded Parties at XIX

It’s all about fit – the round peg in the round hole, and all the et ceteras in the square ones. Nightlife often tries to force things. An uptown promoter in a downtown space might not be able to perform; a great DJ who spins a certain genre might be placed in the wrong room with the wrong crowd. Ruben Rivera at Travertine is the perfect peg for the perfect hole in the ground. His basement spot XIX is continuously jammed with the right stuff.

Its casual, dark, street-smart atmosphere is a haven for those who know exactly who they are and what they want, which surely includes privacy, intimacy, and great music. It’s a place to party with your friends without attitudes and crowds. The restaurant is going through a few changes and will re-launch as a better fit for the neighborhood. Danae Cappelletto’s considerable talents didn’t seem to translate to this location. She was a talented square peg trying to squeeze into an unforgiving round hole.

Ruben Rivera comes from a door position where he met all the right people and learned from his mistakes and those of his employers. He learned well. Travertine is red hot and it’s all his fault. We are buddies. He is respectful, intelligent, and aware of who he is and how much he needs to learn to get it right. He learns from his mistakes, while so many in the business just deny them. He isn’t last year’s Ruben Rivera. He’s grown considerably, but in doing so has never lost sight of his lifelong values, friends, and where he came from. He’s a man who gives and gets respect, and that is at the core of his success at Travertine. I interviewed him yesterday afternoon as we both waited for our wonderful dentist, Dr. Farzin, to cure us of — and cause us — pain.

Travertine has no press and no PR, yet you are always packed with an A-list crowd. How are you doing it? I opened the place with lots of help from friends and great music. It’s a very intimate venue so I figured we’d start slow and let it grow through word of mouth, like the days before cell phones. There’s a mystery to that type of PR that attracts people, it’s a bit more real then just hiring every promoter in New York.

Which celebs have showed up? I always say that good clubs don’t need celebs to attract crowds, it’s the opposite…the club’s crowd attracts the celebs. As far as celebs, we’ve been blessed. I don’t do anything in Page 6 or any other publications. I think it’s a comfort zone for those who are obligated to go to other venues. a sort of a free zone for famous people. It’s refreshing to see an A-lister such as Scarlett Johansson come in and socialize with guests and dance all night. By the way, did I mention that people really dance at XIX? They really get down. The people and privacy and dancing is what’s attractive to celebs. I won’t mention anyone else on the list but it’s quite extensive and impressive. How about the food? We’re going through some complete changes at Travertine. We’re going in a different direction with the menu. I really want to give people in the downtown community what they want—quality, great tasting, well-prepared comfort food. They’ll know it will be open late night so everyone will be able to stay in the neighborhood and eat late.

What’s it like being the man controlling the space instead of just a door? What do you miss about handling the door? It’s crazy! It’s all about sticking to the script and knowing what’s hot and what’s not. I see that door man problems are a lot different from the shit I deal with now. The politics of booking DJs is crazy! That alone can make a man insane. Just things like simple repairs, AC, liquor orders, maintaining staff is difficult, but I have a great staff. Big Benny’s done a great job at the door, and Jay Lyon and Justin have been a tremendous help. I almost miss the days when I just had to show up looking good and send people away. Or the funny stuff like when you walk out holding some poor guy’s arm, yelling, “Who the hell let this ass in?” ha. I definitely don’t miss the losers that couldn’t get in and would annoy me all night. Guys: If you get turned away, just go home. You look stupider if you hang around talking shit. The door is the key to the room and if you don’t have swag, style, comedy, wit, or if you’re high, thirsty for press and tips, you’re not a good door man. The club will reflect its’ door and I’ve seen it ruin places almost instantly.

Talk to me about your DJs. What’s working and what’s trending? I’ve got to thank DJ Sinatra, he was the only DJ that believed in XIX when we opened. He was spinning to 20 people the first month. Now everyone wants a night. I mainly deal with 4AM but I’ve had almost everyone of DJ importance in NYC come through, including Cassidy, Ruckus, Mick Boogie, Sam French, Nick Cohen etc. It’s really the most important component to what makes XIX. You can’t get a better sound system and you really feel a DJ’s music intimately at XIX. I’m excited about the music every night and the people in the room are musically literate so they also appreciate it. The energy is amazingly live when Sinatra is in the booth on a Saturday night.

What’s missing in nightlife today and what’s improved from the good old days? To be honest, after I left Juliet I spent the year in Los Angeles came home to XIX and haven’t been out much. I support “Funday” at Gold Bar but besides that I haven’t been anywhere in a while. I try and get rest every chance I get. I guess I’m old school because I really can’t mention anything that I like about this club era. I’m from a great era of night life the late ‘90s and early 2000’s, so I’ll just keep those great memories and try my best to duplicate that energy at XIX. I think it’s working out so far.

Snowy Walk Down Memory Lane with Studio 54’s Bill Jarema

I, like so many of you, am snowed in. I left a design meeting in the late afternoon yesterday only to be pelted by stinging sleet. Amanda and I ducked into the movie theater on Union Square, caught The Kings Speech, and warmed our toes and minds — The Kings Speech makes True Grit look like soggy oatmeal, Black Swan like an ugly duckling. We exited and got hot chocolate at Max Brenner, and canceled all our plans for the evening. We said “welcome homes” via texts to people who sat on tarmacs for hours and never got anywhere, and told our commuter friends they could crash at our place rather than risk a crash on the road. I had crashed down some icy subway stairs earlier in the night and popped out my shoulder.

I’ll spend today in the hospital seeking some sort of cure or relief, but yesterday, I sucked it up and had dinner at Juliette off Bedford Avenue. Our scraggly, exhausted band of others thought it felt like an episode of Survivor, only with great food. We needed two extra chairs to handle the volume of clothes we are all wearing. Winter is winning. Somebody out there messed with mother nature, and mother nature is acting out. All the parkas, mittens, 8-hour hand and toe warmers, and sensible shoes aren’t keeping us sound.

Events that mean a great deal to some people are drawing no crowds after months of preparation. Acts of God have us wondering if the act we wanted to see at a venue actually made it into town. Are big DJs stranded in foreign airports? This winter of discontent is a game changer. For years to come, event planners who already thought twice about booking an event in the winter will think 3 or 5 times. Hospitality workers will hoard their holiday cash, thinking January work will not pay the bills. Waitrons and bartenders are applying for food stamps, and door policies all over town are being relaxed. The January blizzard of 2011 is affecting us all on a deeper than just “it’s cold and wet outside tonight” level. It has snowed before, but not like this. Never so many days with so much accumulation. Here we are talking about the weather, and that’s never a good sign.

Nightlife veteran Bill Jarema is turning, well, I don’t really know many years, but he’s really old. Not Steve Lewis old, but old. He’s one of the players who didn’t get as much recognition as some because he was too busy working to jump in front of a camera. Bill worked the door of over 20 nightclubs. He is a Studio 54 veteran. He started as a bathroom attendant, moved on to day crew, mailroom, then worked his way up to assistant promotional director, and then managing doorman. Ultimately he was doing his own parties 2 to 4 nights a week at Studio until it closed. He actually locked the doors at Studio 54, the final night. He did some “heavyweight” parties for peeps like Madonna at Studio, Depeche mode at Palladium, and U2 at Limelight. He was really known for his “pay the bills bridge and tunnel” crowd and for capitalizing on his experience from Studio and the “brand name” it had.

How did the Studio 54 experience help you?

It gave me a lot of credibility making deals. After Baird Jones did his thing in the early to mid 80’s, no one did the numbers I did. I did Magique, Cat Club, 1018, 4D, Mars, Area, Quick, Xenon, Octogon, exclusively and primarily on Saturdays as the drinking age transitioned from 18 to 19, and then to 21. My 3 partners and I had a network of distributors, and a mailing list that was ginormous. Probably 60,000+ names. We got paid much more from the newer spots VS Studio, because these clubs were willing to pay. What are the differences between the old days and the modern clubs?

The crowds are not as mixed, gay/straight and the sexual energy is missing. The crowds are not as cultured. Many of the trend setters have moved to Miami and LA, cutting things down things in NYC to about 1/3 of what it was. The joints themselves are run by less professional people, who do not take their jobs as seriously, and have no creativity. Area was redesigned every week it seemed! And today, it takes 5 minutes to get a watered down drink! We used to be so busy, we didn’t even ring the register! Any Steve Rubell or Ian Schrager, Studio 54 memories?

I wasn’t that close with Steve and Ian because I didn’t work for them at a high capacity. But Ian did teach me how to keep my tip jar filled in the bathroom. He was usually gone early, and I could never make any sense of what came out of Stevie’s mouth if I ever ran into him. On my very first night as a busboy, I did run into Stevie on the balcony. I had just seen two guys going at it while sweeping up cigarette butts at only 10:30PM, Stevie said I looked like I had seen a ghost.

You claim I went to 54, but I honestly don’t remember. I used to go and hang outside and Steve would invite me in, and I always declined which pissed off Mark Beneke, and of course those who had waited for hours. I was a punk back then, and uninterested in Studio, but loved the spectacle. I was always at Max’s Kansas City.

Even though you don’t remember going to Studio, you definitely did. You came to the door on a Saturday, saying you were from Limelight or some such, wearing this really cool deep brown hoodie thingy, kinda like those little midget scrap dealers in Star Wars? Anyway, Benecke was inside and I let you in, even though I wasn’t supposed to. He went nuts when he saw you inside saying, “We don’t let his type in here, and we don’t have club courtesy.” I never did that again, needless to say, and that is the first time we met.

Other Studio stories?

One night, there were so many people outside, probably six thousand or so. The crowd was swaying back and forth, and an Asian kid’s spine broke. Chuck Garelick (head of security) swept him inside and out the back. I knew this was the place to be.

One night I was up on Benecke’s old spot on the fire hydrant. We had Alisha performing, another 3-4,000 peeps outside, and up walks Hank Pisani from Crisco Disco/Page Six, along with his entourage of young lads. I had no choice but to let him in, and as he did, he grabs my balls and says, “Billy, you look so yummy tonight. I wanna @#$%& you up &*%$#@ until your %$&(# turns orange.” The crowd went silent

Who were the nightlife legends that most influenced you?

The 3 most influential legends for me were Benecke who taught me how to keep it brief, firm, yet polite, and a few catchy phrases like, “Not with those shoes.” Rudolf taught me to keep it simple, and that this was really an easy business. John Blair, who taught me how to have a good time doing this, and not to take it so seriously, but most importantly how to make a deal, and that the owners needed to make money or you won’t last.

Industry Insiders: Mario Tolentino, Juliet’s New Man

Mario Tolentino swept into Juliet supperclub after the departure of mega chef Todd English, and took care of some housekeeping around the joint. Now known as Juliet Kitchen and Grill, Tolentino’s serving a finger-food heavy menu inspired by international street food, and based on clever things he learned while traveling the globe over the years. The San Francisco native was a season winner on The Food Network’s show, Chopped, and spent time in the kitchen at Aqua in San Francisco. More on the apple of Juliet’s eye after the jump.

On a typical day at Juliet: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays I go to the farmer’s market. I try to get as much as I can there. We’re not doing 300 covers a night, so I can really control what food I get. I go in to do my preparation. I buy all my meats whole and do my own butchering, which is one of my favorite things to do. Then we go into service.

On the new menu: The theme of the menu is based on modern, international, ethnically-styled street food. Everything is small and comes on a skewer. It’s easy for people to eat. I completely re-launched the concept and gave it a theme that was more suitable for the club atmosphere there. That was one of the first things I had to do when I got there. We have large groups of people that come there. This isn’t the type of place where it’s like, Me and my hubby are coming for an intimate dinner. The reality of it is that people are coming here to have a good time. I want the menu to be reflective of that. When I originally came up with the concept I thought it through from top to bottom. We have to take the linen off the tables, we have to change the uniforms for the waiters, we need to change how the people are eating. I put the chopsticks in and give them roll-ups and we took the formal wine glasses off the table. It’s basically platters of canapés, very easy to eat. They’re all exotic, drawing from Asian and Latin cultures—all these warm, temperate climate cultures where it’s hot and sexy. It reflects on the type of clients that we have. On Tuesdays, we just started this new world party where we are bringing in world music and we have live instruments played. It ties the international food with international clients and the flavor of Juliet.

On his travels: I’ve lived in Hawaii, Barcelona and everywhere in between. I was always a traveler at heart, but I was always able to combine that with my passion for cooking as well. I love to cook, and the thing that facilitated traveling was the fact that I wanted to work in as many restaurants as I could, learn as much as I could, and see all different types of cultures and cuisines. It’s just something I was always passionate about since I was a kid.

On the difference in working in a nightclub/restaurant: Most of my background comes from hardcore fine dining. I was a sous chef at a two-Michelin star restaurant and at a one-Michelin star restaurant. You’re talking about extremely structured environments where everything is precise. You’re tripping out on some crazy ingredient or you’re tripping out on some modern technique that no one’s been doing too much of. At the end of the day, how much of that food do you just want to sit down and just chomp away at? I really wanted to set myself apart, and to make this about me and my experiences.

What precipitated the move to New York? My girlfriend, Julie Babin, used to live in New York. She’s a designer. She was working on projects here when we were living in Hawaii. It just wasn’t realistic for us to be there anymore.

Go-to spots: I live in the East Village, so there’s a lot of places to choose from. I eat at Momofuku all the time. Also, the other place I love to eat at is Northern Spy. I love this place called Minca Noodle Factory. It’s on 5th between A and B. Amazing. All they serve is Ramen but it’s this luxurious pork broth like none that I’ve ever tasted before.

Guilty pleasure: Candy, without a doubt. I love sour gummy candies and anything with bacon in it. Bacon and doughnuts.

Arthur Dozortsev Reflects on a Lifetime in the Alcohol Biz

To the thousands who have laughed and smiled with him, Arthur Dozortsev is Arty. He sells booze and is one of those thousands of people who make a living off the nightlife industry even though they don’t actually work at a club, bar, or restaurant. When the city or state changes a law a little, or a joint gets closed or isn’t allowed to open, there is a ripple effect to our local economy. Arty is on that second ripple. He rolls deep, showing up at clubs with herds of models and players. He’s the kind of guy that smiles even when he is mad or hurt. When he was throwing big soirees back in his Kremly vodka days, they were packed with all the right sorts. I had coffee with my friend at Prince Street Catering, and asked him what he’s up to.

You have been around quite a while, but burst onto the scene hard with your product Kremly Vodka. Tell me about that experience. I have been in New York for over 35 years, and yes, Kremly Vodka was an amazing experience. I was basically doing marketing, sales, PR, product placement, you name it. It was great because I met the best people from all over the world. I was working with every hot club and restaurant in New York, Florida, California and a lot of places all around the world, so that gave me the ability to be around really great people from all industries.

Is it hard to launch a vodka? It is always hard to launch a liquor brand. Back in the day, when we launched, we really didn’t have as much premium vodkas as today, but it was an uphill battle from the start. It was a lot of tastings, a lot of events, a lot of word of mouth, a lot of hard work. It was very difficult for us, because we were a private company with limited resources going against giants like Absolut and Stoli, but we made a stand in the industry.

You were born in the Ukraine. Tell me about your transition to the “American” way of life. Yes, I was born in the Ukraine, but I dont remember much cause my family left when I was 2. It was very difficult for my family. My dad didn’t speak English and had no money. But working hard in the country and being honest and loyal, my dad became very successful in the food and caviar business, which led us to get into the liquor business, so I guess as far as I can remember, I was more of an American then a Ukrainian .

Tell me about Forever Young. Forever Young is a joint venture between my good friend Seth Greenberg and my company, in creating a new line of wines called Forever Young. Both Seth and I have a great infrastructure, and we both decided it would be a great idea to launch a great line of wines with a fun approach behind it .

You sell product to some of the hottest places in NY. Name some of them and tell me what you are selling. We work with places like Tao, Sparks Steak House, Rue 57, Serafina, Casa la Femme, 1Oak, Juliet, Provocateur, STK, Dos Caminos, Mari Vanna and many more. Most of these places carry our wines by the glass, which we import mainly from Spain, Chile, Italy, Argentina and Germany. As far as the products they are mostly the common wines people drink.

The SLA has banned a great deal of the promotional money distributors and liquor companies used to be able to give for events. Tell me about the laws for this, and how it affects you. The SLA is always trying to enforce tougher laws which in a way I think is sometimes good. It keeps the industry honest, or at least tries to. We are not really affected by it because we really don’t give away promotional money. As importers and distributors in NY, we are able to offer the best prices in town, so I guess that’s our niche in the business, great wines at great prices

Is the climate for business in NYC getting better or worse? The climate for us as a company is great and very upbeat. There are over ten thousand liquor licenses in the city and we only work with 10 percent of them, so we have a very big opportunity to grow. Personally, I think the climate is a bit stale. Being in the city for so long and going through some of the best times the city has been through, I feel we need to step it up a bit.

Where do you hang these days? 1Oak is great, and Provocateur is a lot of fun but, but there is nothing to compare to the days of Tunnel, Limelight, Mars, or even some as early as Life on Tuesdays. I guess I am spoiled. My favorite place right now is Provocateur in the Gansevoort Hotel. Other wise I am at 1Oak, Juliet, Soho House during the day, and I love this new restaurant BES in Chelsea , amazing food. And u can always catch me at Ciprianis.

The Man Show: No Girls Allowed in NYC Nightlife

A casual conversation yesterday ended with much confusion and no conclusions. Is New York nightlife one of the last/worst industries for women executives? I went online and read about progress in the workplace throughout America. I read how the disparity in wages and the percentages of women in management is chipping away at the gender gap. Yet in nightlife the opposite seems to be the case. With Bungalow 8 still closed and not likely to open anytime soon, nightlife’s leading lady Amy Sacco is without a NYC base. And with a hundred joints banging bottles and blasting beats, I can’t think of a single gal running a big show. Ariel Palitz has Sutra, a small but very viable offering on 1st Avenue and 1st, and I’m sure my wonderful readers will tell me about a pub here, or a joint there, but progress to the top of the heap seems to be stalled.

Jennifer Worthington was the go-to gal over at Spotlight Live, but things went sour and that place is as dead as Julius Caesar. Nell Campbell was the name and reason to be cheerful over at Nell’s, and Regine was Regine’s namesake, but that was last century and hardly relevant to this conversation. We’re just talking here and, in truth, this thing is going to take a lot more thought and coffee than I got going this morning.

Suzanne Bartsch is absolutely, undeniably the queen of the queens. Her Sunday parties still rule, but it’s one night a week and a New Years, maybe. Where are the women in charge? Sure there are door girls and lots of managers and some DJs and some promoters. I remember when I interviewed Sally Shan, a very nice person who happened to be female and had the audacity to enter the fray as a promoter. The public and other bloggers attacked her with a vehemence usually reserved for peeps like Justin Ross Lee. Maybe audacity was not the right word. Maybe the right word would be “balls.” Maybe they attacked her because she had the balls to try to break through and this ultra-male orientated business, and they couldn’t handle it. Sally is still around, working 8 days a week and has done all right. But she’s usually just one gal promoter among a pack of wolves. That’s hardly a victory for women’s equality.

There are those women behind the men, notably Mary Boudereu, who is the glue that keeps those Strategic Group fellows together. At Marquee, it was Mary that kept all the wheels spinning. Once at Home, Guesthouse and now Greenhouse and Juliet Supper Club, Megan Gaver is owner Jon B’s number 2, 3, 4 and so on. Frankly I wouldn’t talk to anyone else over there. It’s Richie’s sister, Jackie Akiva, doing it and doing it well over at Butter/1Oak. Everybody knows that the distance between being number 2 and number 1 is an ocean. Gals like Voula often think about opening a place, but just fall short. Of course there are the lesbian event and marketing groups which, thank god, are owned by women. But the glass ceiling in nightlife seems as low as a cocktail table.

The exception: PR women are a force in nightlife PR and always have been. Susan Blond and Claire O’Conner (who ran Limelight for Peter Gatien) were trailblazers and are now joined by bevies of bright ladies telling the exciting story for the clubs, keeping them in — and sometimes out — of the papers and handling big events. It is only here that women are holding their own. There are handfuls of relevant women DJs, ie, Samantha Ronson, Eve Salvail, Roxy Cottentail and Rekha, who followed pioneers like Anita Sarko, Jackie Christie, Jazzy Joyce and a small group of others … but the big slots are dominated by the guys. There are the gal bottle hosts, but enough has been said about that and it doesn’t in anyway help the feminist cause I’m beating around.

I’m going to think about the why’s and the why nots and come back to this. In a modern world and a business that used to be so forward, it seems so backwards and plain dumb that more woman aren’t calling the shots. Maybe it’s time for nightlife to get in touch with its feminine side. Maybe it’s as simple as seeing women in a different light. Nightlife looks at the dames as if they are commodities. Promoters are hired to bring babes to toyland. A promoter is often only judged as good as the number and “quality” of the models he can wrangle. Often, I hear promoters say things like “he has lots of B girls while I have the ‘campaign’ girls.” Cocktail waitresses are not thought of as people, just smiley skirts — bait — to lure the big fish. Sometimes they’re the “half-hookers” of tabloid lore. In this atmosphere of objectification, how can a women hope to be respected?

Mark Baker’s Got Juice

Club icon Mark Baker is best known for running A-list joints and hanging with the fastest of crowds. His following is a “who’s who” list of jet-setters, trendsetters, celebrities and the beautiful. His club history is a “where’s where” of the best joints in 20 years. He is currently the go to guy over at Juliet Supper Club.What many don’t know about Mr. Baker is that he is an athlete too. Those used to seeing him tool around in a Ferrari don’t realize that back in 1978, he was the European skateboard champ. Mark has joined up with my man Marcus Antebi to open up a small outpost of healthy satisfaction called the Juice Press on 1st Avenue and 1st Street. Here you can offset the jet-set lifestyle, including all the stress, bad intakes and imbibes of nightlife. According to Marcus, their juice can even cure a hangover. I caught up with this dynamic duo and asked them a few questions about the venture.

Mark ,how do you know Marcus? MARK BAKER: I’ve known my dear friend Marcus for 15-odd years. He’s real New York, and even without the head-to-toe tattoos, the guy’s a badass. Skater, surfer, skydiver (with bare fucking feet), he even packs his own chute. He’s soft-spoken, but don’t let that hide the intensity and seriousness of this man when he puts his mind to something. So when some months ago Marcus approached me — after seeing my new healthy lifestyle — how could I resist such an offer to partner up in an amazing new business to spread healthy living to all my toxic friends and supermodels.

How did you get educated on the liquid revolution, including cleanses? MB: He explained in detail the concept of the business — juicing taken to another level, none of your street crap that has no nutritional benefit whatsoever, but the real deal with a proper balance of natural and organic goods that create a full program … or just a daily dose of stuff that makes you feel and look good.

Besides taking care of your mind and body, what is your role here? MB: My job is to translate this detailed process to a sound bite and message that can be carried to the thousands of New Yorkers who lead a hectic and stressful life with only enough time for a quick fix really. And yes, we will be delivering for those who can’t make it downtown.

I guess the big question is: does it work? MB: For the short time I have been drinking the juices, it’s unbelievable how the right ingredients and combinations can make you feel and look so much better and help with everything, from lack of energy, digestion, proper weight loss, detoxification … I mean, if you really think about it, you wouldn’t put shitty diesel into a Ferrari right? So why would you put anything but the best into your body?

You have been a nightlife operator for eons; isn’t that sort of a disconnect with selling a healthy lifestyle? MB: Some may think it may be strange that someone in the middle of the nightlife scene would get involved with something as healthy as this, but I mean, that’s kind of the point. This juicing lifestyle helps maintain the insanely stressful and unhealthy nightlife. So what better role model could there be? I just want to spread the good word because it really helps.

When can I get some? MB: The Juice Press will be open shortly … Marcus is there 24/7 and is always ready to educate anyone who wants to listen. The products are great, no bullshit, and I guarantee will help change your life for the better, or just refresh you on a hot day. I’ll let the product speak for itself.

Marcus, why is juice press so special? MARCUS ANTEBI: The Juice Press is a centrally located organic cold-press juice, smoothie, salad and raw sandwich take-out place. We designed our menu to genuinely make people healthier. We don’t use any refined sugar or soy, and we use organic live produce!

Why is it important to “press”? MA: We are focusing on the cold-pressed juice because they last in the refrigerator three days, as opposed to centrifugal rotary- blade juicers. This shelf life allows us a far-reaching delivery service and the ability to create 7- to 9-juice-per-day cleanses. We deliver your daily juice needs, and you keep them cold and drink them throughout the day.

What does this do for me? MA: Our formulas are revitalizing and rejuvenating. Not only will gain control over your weight if you follow our programs, but you will rebuild the cells of your body, repair and so much more.

Can you help save the world from the dreaded hangover? MA: The hangover is believed to be caused by a combination of physical reactions to excessive consumption — dehydration, acidity left behind in the stomach, and vitamin dehydration. The remedies we have devised address the leading causes and put all of the vital materials back into your body.

What did you do before, and how do you know Mark Baker? MA: I retired from professional skydiving with 2,300 jumps and fought Thai boxing competitively. I know Mark from nigh life for 20 years, and we’ve talked about building a place like this to bring health and nutrition to our lifestyles for years.

You and Mark spend — or spent — a lot of years in clubs. Is the Juice Press a reaction to that often unhealthy lifestyle? MA: I’m clean and sober 24 years, and having a kitchen like this to juice and eat amazing salads is a dream come true. Mark and I always wanted to do a healthy lifestyle place in contrast to clubs and bars.

Great Philosophers, Parties & Rock Stars

This has been a very crazy week for me, and Friday needs to be Saturday, so I’m going to keep this brief. It’s almost like a great cloud of volcanic ash is preventing thoughts from flying around my head. A great philosopher, inspector Harry Callahan, sometimes known as Dirty Harry, once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Six days in a row, getting up at 7am after attending the most important parties ever, has left me limp. I will muster enough strength to attend Danny Tenaglia’s birthday party at Pacha Saturday night. He’s one of the truly nice guys in the biz, and Danny’s DJ career is 30 years wonderful. Whenever some whippersnapper know-it-all proclaims the end of the mega-club era, I say go to an event like this. Only a Pacha and M2 (thankfully re-opened) or a Webster Hall have the systems, the sight lines and, of course, the space to host this type of party. The small clubs never experience the orgasmic frenzy that the super clubs are built for.

Speaking of super clubs — oh, I got that wrong — its’ Juliet Supper Club. I attended the BlackBook/Joonbug soiree there last night. My bestest blogger belle Brittany Mendenhall was harassing my Blackberry to attend. She is much larger than me and seemed determined, so I went. I shook hands with Scallywag and Vagabond’s Christopher Koulouris, who is way more pleasant than anyone says. I like him. Kristina Marino of Downtown Diaries reminded me of her party on May 6, and I swore I’d attend. I usually don’t know what I’m doing in the next hour, but I’ll try. I wanted to talk to Juliet owner Jon B about the design job over at Greenhouse. He has me and my partner Marc Dizon doing it, but I couldn’t find him in the crowd. Me and mine headed into the night to split a hot fudge sunday at the nearby Empire Diner. I knew there was a reason why I like Juliet.

Bobby Steele, the brilliant brash leader/singer/guitarist of hardcore innovators The Undead, is putting out another record, I Want You Dead. I met Bobby back in the day, right after he left the Misfits. I helped him with management for a minute. I was with him when he got signed to Stiff Records, which demised about a month later. His career has been like that: a claw to the next level and a fall back. Bobby Steele is a true hardcore/punk legend and clawing and scrapping and grasping for straws is the natural state. From it comes a purity that escapes those who have never known a squat or played rooms the size of an Oldsmobile. Even when they amputated a toe he wasn’t deterred. His next offering, 9 Toes Later, displayed the unstoppable grit and streetwise talent that have always defined him. Bobby Steele is a rock star. He may not have the castle or the platinum records, but he is the real deal. His unwavering loyalty to his genre insured a limited financial success, but undeniable street cred. Like Danny Tenaglia, Bobby is celebrating 30 years doing his thing. Catch him when he plays out and you might for a second understand the sound, the look, the visceral feeling that spawned a great deal of the rock scene of the last three decades.

Lastly, 100 years ago this week another great philosopher named Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) passed away. I constantly read his quotations to brighten dreary days or moods. Here are 10 of his quotations that may greatly help myself and my fraternity of bloggers.

1) “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” 2) “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” 3) “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” 4) “When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.” 5) “The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.” 6) “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” 7) “Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very.” Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” 8) “The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.” 9) “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” 10) “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Rivera and Juliet

At first, it may seem like an odd fit: the street wise Ruben Rivera from the block, manning up at the door at the very non-street club, Juliet. Juliet Supperclub is a home run. The old opera/area space on a forgotten factory/gallery block in Chelsea was never supposed to happen. Jon B., the crafty, never-say-die, owner was trying to get rid of the space and couldn’t find a buyer, so he went for it and created one of the most financially viable places around. Jon B. (who will never be known as John “A”—and likes it that way) brought in big time player, Bon Vivant and international man of mystery, Mark Baker, celebrity chef (and my pal) Todd English, ex-Norwood superhero Artan Gjoni and his usual cast of characters to brand his West 21st Street restaurant/club. Jon, at Mark Baker’s insistence, added an unusual cast member… Ruben Rivera. Mark and Ruben worked together at Mansion. Shattered dreams often result in life long friendships. He wants to use the connections he’s made at the door to be an actor. He’s been doing that since 1994 when he appeared in Carlito’s Way with Al Pacino.

Ruben is the consummate team player since high school, when he played point guard for St. Nicholas of Tolentine. The last NYC nationally-ranked number 1 team featured all Americans: Malik Sealy, Adrian Autry and Brian Reese. Ruben used his court skills to get a ride at the University of California Bakersfield. I spent a year in Bakersfield in one night. It’s a very strange place in the middle of nowhere that smells of cattle and oil and is far away from the Bronx in so many ways. Sometimes the best education you can get is seeing what you had and what you never want first hand. At a very young age, Ruben hung at the hip hop clubs in the Bronx and downtown that his mom warned him about. She came looking for him one night. “Anyplace your mom doesn’t want you in must be cool,” he remembers. It was Cuando one night and Car Wash the next, forgotten joints that made icons out of Krs 1, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie and the Melle Mels of the world. He came down to my joint the world on East 2nd Street where I was trying to do something real.

How did you start doing the door? You started my career. You gave me my first official door. Mark Baker brought me to Juliet. Jon B. wanted someone else. They gave me a shot, and now I help run the place. Same thing happened when I was at Mansion. I care about my job and the venue first before my ego! If I don’t let a person in it’s never personal always for the better of the venue. I also respect the fact that, yes, I am an employee and no I’m not the shit just because I’m the door guy. The door doesn’t make me the person I am.

You and I often talk about respect in our work and in our lives. How does respect figure into your door gig? How do your street chops affect your thought process at the door? Yes, we always talk of respect; that Nate Archibald story you told me is classic. Respect on the court and on the streets. On the job…when did it become cool to pester the door man once he’s already denied a person? I never understand people that stand there for hours. I remember when I would go to a place if the door guy deaded me, I would just walk away. Most of the time a door guy sees you come back again and again and you don’t get in but your always respectful and never cause problems you’ll eventually get in. I know that’s how I operate. Cursing me out will dead you for life. Everywhere I work.

What’s it like working with Mark Baker and Jon B.? Mark Baker works a room. Most promoter types don’t work the room, they horde their girls at their banquette which is like a fortress. Some of these club people show up with their resumes. If you need a resume you suck. People know who’s who. Jon B. is a huge customer service person. He knows how to take care of people. He’s very revenue-driven and a great business man, so he generates tremendous revenue. Our Thursdays are making tons of loot. There are too many clubs right now. The business is oversaturated. The promoters know that if you, as an operator, don’t want them and their crowd, then someone else will. The crowds in general are less classy. It isn’t like the old days at LIFE or Centro Fly.

I went to Juliet once and you were on a break. They had some new guy at the door and he was giving me attitude. I tried to tell him I used to be Steve Lewis until the security guys told him to open up. What’s up with the new jack door people? Some of these guys haven’t paid their dues. The get hired cause they look good in a nice European suit but they have no clue what’s going on. They don’t know who’s who. They don’t know respect or that respect makes the place. The people don’t know them and they don’t know how to handle some &X#@ outside.

How many night’s are you at Juliet? Everyday but Monday. We’re not open Monday. If they open it, I’m not working. I need one day off

What’s your overview of New York nightlife? New York Nightlife is changing right before our eyes. Only the creative owners will survive. Soon money won’t buy your way in like the heydays of New York when fashion, music and energy matter. Coolness! Thanks so much Steve for everything. You’ve been tremendously helpful in my life. That’s real shit. You’ve taught me and continue to teach me the stuff I need to survive in this business.By the way did I tell you that Nate archibald story was classic?

We’ll keep that story to ourselves.

Tonight marks the one year anniversary of Music Maestro…Please! One of my favorite go-to’s. I caught up with Jennifly Green and asked me to tell me all about it.

“We started this event, because no clubs or parties ticked all the boxes for us. We wanted to create a platform for the unsung heroes of music, hence the name Music Maestro…Please! i.e music that you do not hear on the radio or in most clubs. We want to bring back ‘80s NYC where Larry Levan had the amazing paradise garage parties, and it really was about the music without the pretense. We play classic ‘80s boogie, along with disco, rare groove, funk, electro and progressive sounds, with an added flavor of UK soul. The idea to create a London-meets-New-York vibe. Every month we include a special guest DJ, tonight is Waajeed (Platinum Pied Pipers) and Jillionaire, spinning along with Jennifly and Vincent Oshin. This monthly affair is now one year old and is becoming a favorite party in New York City for people who are over the models and bottles and top 40, and who just want go out and hear good music and dance, dance and dance. It’s at subMercer

A late night text from a ‘player” over at the always fabulous Provocateur: “Justin Ross physically thrown out after sneaking in through hotel service garbage control entrance”. Mr. Lee’s Facebook status eludes to an earlier part of the story “JRL needs the names of the two women who run the door at Provocateur…”. A pal confirms, “He got turned away”. I thoroughly enjoy Justin. He’s so much fun.