Designer Marc Dizon on the Luxor’s Newest Hot Spot

My better half is a gal named Amanda, who my friends thank every day for calming me and for making me happy. Still, I have yet another half, and that is my design business partner, Marc Dizon. He is, in many ways, the Yin to my Yang. Whereas I talk a lot, Marc offers each word as if its use takes an hour off his life. Our firm, Lewis & Dizon, just finished Savile Row at the Luxor in Vegas. Marc did most of the day-to-day design and construction help, as I toiled with the local places. Although we sometimes disagree, we have found, over the years, a balance that helps us apply our experiences—though vastly different—to create spaces we are proud of. I caught up with Marc and asked him to tell you about himself and Savile Row.

We just finished Savile Row, which opened New Years Eve. Tell me about the design. The program was to create an environment that has the energy of a Las Vegas night club, with the comfort, ease, and elegance of private social clubs of London. The space, which is approx 3,000 feet, was created for 300 members and selected guests.

What particular challenges did you face? Certain elements needed to be considered when we developed the space; it had to have a substantial visual impact, as the space was pretty much an open shell with a bar. A certain amount of planning was involved in creating a proper flow to distribute the energy throughout the two rooms. The “Plan Parti” is broken down into four sections: the entry lounge, the alley, the rotunda room, and the drawing room.The entry lounge was designed to resemble a tailor’s fitting parlor, with bespoke wall coverings, antique industrial drafting tables, dramatic wing back chairs, private wooden lockers (for member’s personals). This room served as the main entrance into the club.

The Alley, which is the main passage through the Luxor, is dressed up in floor-to-ceiling reclaimed brick veneer. With a blacked out ceiling, and dim-pin spot lighting, the space is meant to take people through a short maze reminiscent of the secret alleyways of London.

Into the Rotunda Room you’ll find tufted oxblood banquets lining the circumference of the space, and a molding-encrusted dome, as well as a large circular communal lounge table in the center of the parlor, which is meant to create a more laid back atmosphere. With the help of an oversized dim-lit chandelier, and subtle details of Gargoyles and equestrian statues, the color palette of the room is a balance of pinks, oxblood, moss, and olive.

Through an open archway is the drawing room, which houses the main bar: a central railroad seating plan comprised of deep plush leather couches, and integrated curiosity cabinets filled with classic collars and trinkets found in a proper tailor’s shop. Vintage trundle sewing tables were re-appropriated to create cocktail tables, perimeter seating was developed as proper booths, and there is also a catwalk stage. The main walls of the room has been draped with fringe-lined garnet velvet, drawn back to expose moss colored bespoke wall coverings, and display plaques showcasing miniature tailor forms, top hats, and bowlers. The DJ booth is designed as an upholstered pedestal, as architectural artifacts frame out the mascot of the space: a life size bronze replica of a Rhino. The bar is a display of found objects, golden shears, hovering tailor forms, and sewing machines, creating a spatial collage of figures and negative space.

Although we work closely together, you did most of the heavy lifting on this project while I did other projects. Where do you and I differ as designers and where do we agree I feel that the differences are what make the ideas and spaces develop into a rich visual palette. I see things developing with a certain amount of rigor and discipline, where as you are a broad stroke visualist. There’s a certain amount of balancing that two people need to develop in creating spaces, and I believe we have accomplished that.

Saville row is part of a greater Las Vegas resurgence. What do you see happening there? Las Vegas is a funny town in the sense that there are a lot of great spaces with very little to offer. There are dozens of spaces that offer a high-end experience, however it’s somewhat of an oxymoron, as I don’t particularly associate high-end and exclusive with thousands of people cueing up and cramming themselves into a pretty room. I feel that we are going to see more micro-lounges popping up in Las Vegas, serving a more intimate experience: a level of service and detail that this town is famous for, although it’s not normally found in night clubs. Operators like AMG can certainly pave the way. They’ve drafted Mike Diamond as the face of the Savile Row: if he doesn’t know you, or you’re not a member, then there’s no admittance. It’s somewhat of a different take on door policies, as the norm is, if you stand in line long enough, you can probably get in. Anyway, I think its a bold move on AMG’s part to create a truly unique nightlife experience.

It’s My Party and I’ll DJ If I Want to

On Tuesday I will be celebrating yet another birthday. Birthdays, New Years and Thanksgiving are naturally reflective times. They are times to look at where I came from and look, not only, to where I’m headed, but why I’m headed there. I’m not going to tell old war stories today–I’ll just sort of eek them out to you as time goes by– but I will tell you where I’m going. My design gig has taken me back again to Vegas. I did that room at Tao a couple of years ago and was involved early on in the new City Center as co-owner of SLDesign. It’s supremely funny that a company that has my name on it continues to use that name long after I have left. In my old age, I have learned not to worry about such things. I let sad little people with small…hands…have their little victories. I just feel sorry for them and keep moving on my own path. My partnership with Marc Dizon and our company Lewis & Dizon is much more fun and producing way better product anyway. We are currently developing a dozen places in New York, Vegas and even overseas. Ill tell you all about them in time.

Penny Arcade wrote me an email. Her new book Bad Reputation is a revelation. We reconnected the other day at her book release party. At Le Poisson Rouge. It had been many years. Here’s what she said:

I guess we have both grown quite a bit in the past 20 years!! And how much better is it to be smart, exciting and talented in ones 50s than to have had all the best years be in your 20s and 30s!!!I always say, “Anybody can be sexy and beautiful in your 20s and early 30s. Even ugly people are beautiful when they are young! The real question is, can you be beautiful and sexy in your 50s? That’s the measure I am interested in! In my show NY Values I say: “Absolutely nothing happens between 20 and 27 and then you are old! 27 to 39 drags on like summer when you are in the 4th grade and nothing happens! 39 to 50 lasts two weeks and EVERYTHING happens! 50 to 60 lasts three minutes…but if you spend your whole life becoming yourself at 60 you get to start all over again, this time raised by you!!!!”

What a refreshing concept. I love Penny Arcade. Well anyway, my life seemed to begin at 40 and the fears I had about growing older proved to be without merit. I can say with absolute certainty that for me it has never been better, so I will celebrate at Lit this coming Tuesday. It’s not going to be that special, you know. No swinging from the chandeliers or lamp shades on my head. I may have a drink or 3. I may DJ for an hour. You are invited. I am doing my party at Lit because it is the best place in town. It’s not just a great bar, as it has that sexy subterranean room where I get turned on and out every time. It also is home to the Fuse Gallery and I find that magical.

Lit is in trouble. The smoking storm troopers have targeted it for closure and there is a chance they will succeed. In a time of such hardship, we find ourselves with a billionaire mayor who unleashes city agencies. The effects of his wraith are devastating. I agree with his honor. I believe there is no place in polite society for smoking. However, this latest tactic of pulling the health department permits on certain venues is like shooting a mouse with a shotgun. It’s an overreaction from a man who has lost touch with the people on the street. Mayor Mike will put hundreds of innocent people out of work next week if he gets his way– and he is a dude who is used to getting his way. These employees support themselves and often families. They put their earnings back into communities that can ill afford this hit at this time. There are very few jobs out there. I know. I have 50 good friends desperate for work. Here’s an email from Erik Foss:

Steve. By now you have probably heard about the health department sting that went down a couple days ago on bars in New York City. So far we have not commented to the press about all of this. I was wondering if there is anyone at the Times that I can reach out to for help. The general public should know what Lit is and how we’ve been supporting local artists, musicians and the general creative community for almost a decade. My ultimate concern is for my 45 employees, who are all artistic people, as well as all the artists that I work with in my gallery. Fuse Gallery is booked with shows through 2012. The current economic situation is no place for almost 50 artists to be out of work. This is all much bigger than 3 bar owners not having a place any more. We opened Lit in 2002 to support our gallery. Our mission since we opened our doors has always been to show artists that the general New York art world has overlooked. In our space, we’ve showcased almost 1000 artists in about 90 shows in close to 8 years. The art community needs us and if we’re gone there will be a huge tear in the creative fabric of the city. I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.”

The problem with electing a good man to a third term was always this dictatorship mentality. Is the Bloomberg administration so out of touch with reality that they will put hundreds of people out of work to enforce a no smoking ban? The ban is good. The way it is being enforced is nothing short of evil. It’s not like people are smoking crack. Enforcement officials are coming into places late at night looking for cigarette butts on the floor and in garbage cans. They are taking photographs and are preparing cases to close at least five joints. What does a cigarette butt on the floor or in a wastebasket prove anyway? Is it there because a security guard asked a patron to put it out? Anyway I’m inviting you all to join me at Lit Tuesday night. They have a smoking section outside.

Everybody is at Sundance which always creeps up on me and I just can’t make it. I went once and it was so fun. My favorite Kasuba, publicist Steve, is keeping his head covered and me informed of the goings on. Says Steve:”Rob Mckinley, who is currently putting the finishing touches on his latest design, Good Units, the new event space under the Hudson Hotel, re-created the look, sound, and even smell of little Italy’s original GoldBar. People were blown away by the temporary space.”

Rob is one of my favorite designers. I love GoldBar and go as often as my path allows me. My main man Mr. John Lennon is even out there. It’s so amazing to me that John Lennon, who I know a bit differently than some, is out in Utah showing big love to the Sundance crowd. He had an event there and these people were there: Jaimie Mulholland, Jayma Cardoso, Rob McGinley, Mark Baker, Noah Tepperberg, Mark Birnbaum, Eugene Remm, Dj Jesse Marco, Dj Sinatra , Dj Jeffrey Tonneson, Tinsley Mortimor, Dabney Mercer, Jamison Ernest, Bill Murray, Crispin Glover,John Legend and Pras, of the Fugees, who performed, Stephanie Smith from Page Six, Jessica Flint from Vanity Fair, Greg Link from Fingerprint, Shawn Sachs from Sunshine Sachs . Party people whisked in slick jets to suave events. I had dinner at Ray’s and walked my puppies yesterday. I like being my age.

Summer Nights: Changing of the Guard

A game of musical chairs is being played by most of the major promotional entities as the summer roof season is upon us. While the highly successful 230 Fifth will still dominate this market just as the Empire State Building dominates its incredible view, some places remain unsettled or don’t have a clear opening date due to a myriad of problems. Highbar is getting a quick polish, while the roof at the Stay Hotel is still under construction. Mixed reports come from Cabanas and The Park, and the highly-touted Above Allen will finally get to open its windows amidst hopes that the sound spill doesn’t disturb too many hotel guests and nearby residents. Daemon O’Neil, Rose Bar’s patient, sweet, and very good-looking door guru (not to be confused with Damion Luaiye), is packing his clipboard and heading over to the Bazaar Bar at the upcoming Trump Soho hotel. The economic downturn, a weak dollar, and a laundry list of safety issues make travel abroad a lot less attractive this season. I hear reports that Hamptons summer rentals are sluggish, yet the Surf Lodge in Montauk is riding high.

I caught up with super duper and uber owner/outdoor space promoter Jeffrey Jah of 1Oak and other fabulous places, and he told me he was bringing back the “changing of the guard” at Groovedeck at Hudson Terrace this summer. “With Groovedeck, we’ve assembled an insane team from Bijoux (Dimitry and Francois) to Pavan and the 1Oak team. We’ve booked the Hamptons Magazine summer kick-off party as well as Lydia Hearst hosting the last International Film Premiere event.” I asked Jeffrey how the whole outdoor summer club thing started for him.

It’s pretty simple … the first real outdoor parties were “Groove on the Move,” with Mark Baker and I back in the early 90s, moving from the Central Park Boathouse to Tavern on the Green, and then permanently at Bowery Bar with Eric Goode and Serge Becker. There really were no other outdoor parties; then in 2000, I moved to Pier 59 Studios and created the deck with Scott Sartiano and Richie Akiva — that’s where Remi Laba and Aymeric Clemente were given their fist taste of club promotions. They were low-level maitre d’s. In 2003, we were forced to move it to BED (the same team), and then they tried to get smart, and Baker, Remi, and Karim sold them on a cheaper deal without the 1Oak crew, but they were done after four weeks. We missed two seasons, and we’re now back at Hudson Terrace.

I asked Jeffrey if the problems with international travel these days, the weak dollar, and pandemic diseases would keep people closer to home. “Yes, the economy will keep people here. New York is the capital of the world. What’s more important is that Europeans will venture more to America with the weak dollar and get more value for the buck. We will see a lot of Euros this summer. New York is resilient, we’ve seen worst times apres 9/11. People want to blow off steam, and if the product is good, they will come again and again. A lot of people are not taking houses in the Hamptons this summer because institutional money and jobs evaporated over the last half of 2008 and first quarter of 2009. Hence I’m betting that we will see a much stronger city summer.”

I also asked Hudson Terrace co-owner Michael Sinensky about the economic impact. “If you can build one of the nicest venues in New York City, people will come out to escape what’s going on in the world. In this economy, you have to really service the customer and think outside the box to keep your patrons entertained, happy, and feeling satisfied enough that they’ll come back. I don’t think it’s all about having the best promoters and DJs and strictest door anymore — I think that’s a formula to stay open 6 to 12 months. Hudson Terrace wasn’t built to follow the models-and-bottles formula and meet their steep table minimums. Instead, we’ve taken pages from our other successful eating and drinking establishments such as the Village Pourhouse, Sidebar, and Vintage Irving, with offerings like pitchers of sangria and margaritas.” They’re pitching a happy hour concept from 5-7 p.m. I’m proud to say that Hudson Terrace was designed by my partner Marc Dizon.

The roof parties and a stop-start economy will get us through the heat of summer. An added value is that outdoor parties are generally blessed with quieter music, as sound travels and Manhattan gets more crowded by the minute. The music played in most clubs theses days — especially the clubs catering to these particular crowds — has stagnated. The isolation of Hudson Terrace and Jeffrey’s commitment to play it a little forward should educate a crowd to new tastes. Steven Greenberg’s 230 Fifth bans hip hop altogether in favor of mostly rock fare. This space is the highest-grossing joint in New York nightlife history. I know only a little about music made in this century, but I do know this: The crowds I DJ to these day are growing, and my CD collection isn’t. I play almost an entirely rock set, and there seem to be a lot more people interested in it than a year ago. Oh, if you want to hear me DJ or toss an egg or discuss clubdom, I’ll be at 38 Howard Street off Broadway tonight; I go on at 12:30 a.m., right after the bands.

OPM Lands in Sheepshead Bay

imageOn Friday night, my partner Marc Dizon, our design assistant Delia, and I traveled out to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, for a super-special VIP sneak preview of OPM, a joint we designed. The occasion was owner/DJ Johnny Versace’s birthday bash and of course to let the Brooklyn Russians who will inhabit the place know that they’re just about ready to rock and roll. Only there won’t be much rock and roll, as the musical format was very different than what’s offered in the Manhattan joints that I frequent. It was driving Russian house beats with lounge singers belting out love songs like Rod Stewart over top of it. The Frank Sinatra of Brighton Beach, Botsman, was crooning over these beats, and I insisted that no matter when it happens that OPM co-owner Oleg Vibe arrange for this guy to sing and MC my funeral services. Oleg gave me a big smile and said “that can be arranged,” and I wondered for a second if he meant the singer or the funeral.

Later, while the “Madonna of Brighton Beach” was entertaining us with Russian love songs over yet more pounding house beats, I chatted up Oleg’s gal Dr. Arina and the stunning Katya and ate the best meal I’ve had since the recession started. Seriously, the food was beyond description. They even had a great sushi bar with a guy who I think may be the “Nobu of Brighton Beach.” Tall, beautiful women dressed in outfits and jewels that could finance a Manhattan club revival were introduced to me. Every so often, after an introduction, a wife whispered in my ear “she’s single.” I told the main wife Lana that I was done with Russian women after my last fiasco. She told me I hadn’t gone with the right one and proceeded to plan out my next 20 years. Not in a bad way, mind you. These people have so much, including love, and they just can’t stop themselves from sharing with those around them. I wasn’t the cool New York designer and blogger slumming in the hinterlands. I was outclassed straight up. OPM offers great food, a beautiful well-dressed crowd, a Sheepshead Bay waterfront location, and a (weather permitting) roof deck with sick views. Oh, and a Lewis & Dizon decor. Its owners and their family and friends have a deep understanding of expensive bangles and toys and “Manhattan style.” As we left, my partner Marc gasped, “Look at these cars!”. The vehicles lined up outside the club could have financed the economy of a third world nation — like America, for instance.

I tell this little story about this big restaurant in Brooklyn with my mind on a comment I read in Down by the Hipster’s blog the other day. A reader said that all the clubs suck. Others put in their one cent (I’m devaluing their currency) re: “nightlife is dead” etc. They must be living under a rock, homeless victims of a shrinking economy, or straight-up negative losers shunned by anyone trying to have a good time. They don’t get invited to anyplace happening as their energies just bring down everyone’s heads. Nightlife is booming. It is more specific than I can remember … there is no joint being all things to all people like years ago, but maybe the age of Twitter and Facebook and the internet have enabled us to gather with people with common interests more easily. When I leave my house, I am assured of dozens of invitations from friends telling me where they are, what they’re doing, and these days fixing me up with their extra gal. In the Stone Ages of 1990s and early 2000s clubs, it was potluck trying to figure out what was happening right now, at this moment.

When I hit Manhattan at midnight last night, I was invited to a great loft party, and another pal told me subMercer was “off the hook.” Guys like me and DBTH and Guest of a Guest and ChiChi212 telling you where to go are mere generalizations. Great gatherings of people that I like to hang out with are popping up everywhere, and at any time — shoot, I might find myself at Greenhouse at 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, or at BEast at 8 p.m. tonight. In the end it’s what floats your particular boat that matters. Just because a 1Oak or a Chloe or Beatrice (I’ll keep you posted) are the end-all or be-all for some doesn’t mean you need to be part of that. Oleg Vibe and Johnny Versace, my dear Russian friends, have a sick thing going on out in Sheepshead Bay. I had a blast. I knew very few people, had little experience with the food or the music, and felt like I was a million miles and million years away from what was familiar to me, but I knew it was fun, and I know I want to go back there. There were a thousand parties very much alive last night and hundreds of thousands of people having a blast. To all you snarky naysayers proclaiming that nightlife is dead, I say its you and your spirit that has passed. Lighten up — enjoy your (night)life and this incredibly diverse and absolutely brilliant age of clubdom. But if indeed you insist on being dead from the neck up and in your heart, I will, if you want, arrange for that Sinatra dude from Brighton Beach to sing at your services. And as Mick Jagger once said, “I won’t forget to put flowers on your grave.”

Griffin to Open in Old PM Space

My partner Marc Dizon is the lead designer for the new restaurant/club Griffin, which is opening in the old PM space in the Meatpacking District. A hard date for the opening isn’t set yet, but somewhere around the third week of April seems feasible. The management team consists of Josh Kaiser (Pink Elephant), James Hinojos (Lesly Bernard), Rachel Uchitel (Tao Vegas), and Hector Longoria (Cain). Josh is still in the Pink Elephant mix while he puts the Griffin staff through an intense training schedule. They wouldn’t confirm it, but a friend tells me that the Milk and Honey and Little Branch crew are doing the drinks. The management team are volume-club veterans, so I believe there will be speed when there is a need.

The music will be a “mixed format” as opposed to mash-up, and the sound is by Dan Agne, so of course that means function one. Dan is one of the premiere guys doing club sound. I caught up to him at my Greenhouse party last night, and he was most enthusiastic about how the room will sound. I hear that it’s a 6 p.m. opening with light food. The thing that seemed most interesting about the menu are the celebrity-endorsed lollipops from Sugardaddy.com.

Since his project is near completion, I decided to hit my partner Marc Dizon with a few questions about his work.

What is your history as a designer? As a kid I was working in construction, so that parlayed my career in architecture. I went to architecture school at Parsons; from there I was recruited into Richard Meier and then I worked on some very important buildings. I designed the Jubilee Church and a few other notable museums in Rome, but after that I realized that my true calling was hospitality. I’ve always been around this world — the first club I ever went to was Steve Lewis’ when I was 14. It’s funny how everything comes back full circle. I think it’s a better application for my skills and technique because it’s about experience, the user, and changing a persons perception of what a space is like and how they interact in a space.

What is it like to be my partner? It’s fun and it’s creative because we bounce ideas off each other. We’re like the Jekyll and Hyde team — you’re a bit of live wire, and I’m a little bit more composed. It’s a great combination on so many levels because we both come up with great ideas that are half-baked, and if one can’t figure out how to develop an idea fully, the other person picks it up very quickly. So we can have a really half-assed idea and bring it together because we’re very complementary to each other.

What was the design intent behind Griffin? It was really about creating a space that was going to embrace that whole Meatpacking/Gansevoort location, but not as a hip, hot place — instead as a starting point of old New York, turn-of-the-century French Colonial, Dutch-inspired architecture and interiors. Using that aesthetic as a basis, we created the space using modern techniques, making it a little bit more edgy with oversized chandeliers, hanging a gigantic mirror on the ceiling, etc.

How did sound considerations affect your design? The sound was important because there were a lot of complaints from the neighborhood. We had to create a pretty intensive sound room, so we basically designed the whole place as a box within a box. The internal box is floating from the shell, so we’re kind of in a space within another space. And with the acoustics — we definitely worked very closely with Dan Agne to create a room that was sonically efficient. The shape of the room enhances the sound.

Where Do I Vegan?

imageSo, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be celebrating the one year anniversary of Good Night Mr. Lewis tonight at Greenhouse. Taking a friend’s advice, I have gone vegan for three whole days, and if I get through today, I will have reached my all-time personal best. The reason is energy. I am assured that without all the bad things in the food I’ve been eating, I will find new levels of power. Since I’ve been DJing three days a week, writing this daily blog, and designing up a storm without more than four hours of sleep for awhile now, I think that’s what a real healthy raw diet will allow me to do. Shoot, I may even run for office — or maybe just start running.

I did not design Greenhouse, but I did do its basic layout, bar placements, etc., and I did put the money deal together. That was only a little more than a year ago, but it seems like a different era as we all know that those types of money deals have stopped happening for the most part. But in the last few weeks, we have seen what I can only assume is a return to confidence in the nightclub/restaurant industry as investors who have been sitting on the sidelines for months are now keeping my old Treo buzzing. Projects that have been put to sleep like babies are now waking up and crying for designers like my partner and I to get started.

We are currently in construction on three jobs. OPM, a new restaurant/lounge in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, by owners Oleg Vibe and Johnny Versace, will open next Friday — this waterfront boite turned out real nice. Next, my partner Marc Dizon and I will open the Griffin where PM once banged, and I will give you a sneak peak and comments from Griffin management tomorrow. The Griffin name came after an exhaustive search — I think naming a place is the hardest part of the process. And finally, we are in construction on the 146 Orchard Street restaurant with Camille Becerra attached. We have been approached by 11 different groups with interest in opening other places in the next 2-8 months, but the downside of this sudden return to form, of course, is that everyone wants everything at the same time, so sadly we actually have to turn down some of the work. What all of this means is jobs for lots of people a few months down the road. My business is like a canary in a coal mine. We’re finally seeing a thawing of the frigid economic climate, and we’re gearing up for the warm weather in the near future. Since this coincides with the end of this terrible winter and my party tonight. I plan to celebrate real real hard.

Head of the Class: Harvard Grades Marquee

The Harvard Business School case study of Marquee nightclub came out as reported yesterday on DBTH. The study was forwarded to me by a bevy of friends — Facebook and real — because my name was in there on page 3. I thank the boys for crediting me as the designer, but I also redid it with Chris Sheffield a couple years later, and then again with my current partner Marc Dizon. Although Marquee isn’t what it used to be, it still is one of the premier clubs of its type. I’ll take credit for being a big part of the design team, but I must acknowledge that Noah, Jason Strauss, Andrew Sasson, Mark Packer, Colleen Weinstein, and many others contributed to designing a club that functions as well as any I’ve ever seen.

In the middle of designing, I was approached by my friend Michael McKenzie about having his good friend Philip Johnson get involved with the design. In the end Johnson (in his mid-nineties) contributed to the facade and the design of the central staircase. Although my original staircase was in that location and in the bridge-type configuration, Johnson and his associates at PJAR , including Pietro Filardo, came up with the famous arc. I heard a story that the aging architect was shown my work for the space and gave only a brief comment: “I see.” I took that as a positive response, since no changes were asked for. PJAR did elaborate studies on how the marquee of Marquee would look in relationship to the surrounding buildings, trees, and street signs. After all this work, a gigantic green sign was erected about a week before the opening which directed people to the Lincoln Tunnel — not the most glamorous development. It broke the pre-opening construction stress as the irony of a bridge and tunnel sign on what was scheduled to be the next fabulous club was not lost on anyone. The five-plus-year run recognized in this Harvard review underscores the hard and brilliant work of the Marquee team.

Also, as reported on Monday, the Club World Awards winners were recently announced, and you can check out the results on their site.

50 Gansevoort Almost Ready

The old PM space at 50 Gansevoort Street will open with a new name and facelift from my firm Lewis & Dizon in mid-April. My partner, Marc Dizon, did all the heavy lifting on this, so I’ll let him describe it in his own words. With a partner like me, it’s often difficult to get a word in, but here he goes.

The inspiration for the space is rooted in the history of old New York (New Amsterdam). It’s classic Gothic revival detailing with a modern twist. The room’s entire surface treatment is encrusted with a statuary bronze finish as if the space was preserved in time. Every aspect of the environment also has a component of a Gold Coast home. The bathroom area is set up like a center hall gallery with a ceiling fresco of Renaissance beauties lying in a bed of flowers, and individual rooms are set up with private bars. The bar itself is the antithesis of a club bar, set up to craft artisanal drinks complete with antique hand-pressed juicers and a back bar displaying the fresh fruits and components of the classic artisanal cocktail. The front of the bar is illuminated by a field of candles (an homage to Steve Lewis) and the center of the space has beamed ceilings with ornamental plaster detailing and a large 400-square-foot mirror suspended off the ceiling that encases a 13-inch-diameter crystal chandelier often found in grand ballrooms. It is set up primarily to miniaturize the patrons in the space, with the use of classic lincrusta wallpapers on the perimeter and French Colonial-inspired furniture to complete the picture.

Who would ever think that a hospitality designer could be so eloquent? There is no name attached to the new space as yet; they’ve been toying with old Dutch names, but since Gansevoort is taken, the search continues. I have been told that a cold tapas menu will be served from around 8 p.m.-ish until very late, and I’m promised more details real soon.

Camille Becerra Coming to Orchard Street

imageWell, they finally are allowing me to tell you about the new restaurant that my partner Marc Dizon and I are designing at 146 Orchard Street. As I hinted at before, Top Chef alumni Camille Becerra is going to be the top chef there. After an unfortunate fire that started in the apartment above her Greenpoint restaurant Paloma, Camille has been negotiating and defining her role at this new spot. A name hasn’t been decided on yet, but there is talk of calling it Paloma Orchard Street, since her involvement is increasing and all collaborating parties are happy with each other.

The food has been described to me as “fresh, quality-driven produce from farms in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. We will, of course, be purchasing from Queens County Farms. This is a farm-to-table type restaurant serving casual American cuisine with sustainable elements and some ethnic touches. It is farmers’ market-driven with house-cured meats and homemade cheeses.” Design-wise, we are making it comfortable and colorful, figuring that people don’t necessarily want to dine in a dark, unoptimistic place. The walls are made up of layers of diverse materials, and we have divided the large dining room from the bar area with a 4-foot-wide wall made of 10 layers of glass with images creating a 3-dimensional composition. We looked to Orchard Street and its vast history for inspiration. The restaurant is scheduled to open in early April, and I think that date will be real.