TV is simply a place where people go when they get tired of thinking. — Kevin Devitte
The three-day weekend left me limp but bored, so I attended a Gossip Girl dinner with friends. I have an impossible work week ahead of me and wanted to get my mind out of the business and back in the gutter where it belongs. However, there was no escape for me, as the storyline of “the greatest show ever” had Chuck Bass buying a club. He spends the show trying to obtain a Patrick McMullan photo of the king of nightlife, Sean MacPherson. In the real world, Sean and partner Eric Goode are building one great place after another. The Jane Hotel, the Bowery Hotel, and the Maritime, as well as B Bar and the Park. These joints will soon be joined by a couple of new locations. A very secretive pal of mine tells me that Sean and Eric very secretively just started building something on the southeast corner of 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue. My source is a very quiet guy. It’s as if every word spoken takes a day off his life. If that was me, I’d have been in the ground 25 years ago.
Anyway, I asked my source if he was sure it was Eric and Sean, and he answered “yes.”
Sean had a couple of lines in praise of the prized Patrick McMullan photo presented to him by the ambitious Mr. Bass. He also stared wide-eyed at his devious assistant when Chuck exposed her as the “blank” she truly is. The best way to describe Sean’s acting ability is to say he’s a really good hotel/club/restaurant operator. In the end, Chuck Bass decided: why just buy a club? Why not go for the whole thing and buy a hotel? So he snatched up the Empire Hotel. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I want to be on Gossip Girl and write how fabulous Chuck, Blair, and Serena are. Or maybe I can redux that pool deck.
If Chuck gets his hotel, he will be joining an elite group of educated and savvy operators that are now changing nightlife as we know it. Not content to sell rooms with views, room service, and minibars, they are snatching up nightlife to drive their hotel brands. The old hotels only had tourists who needed a bed and such. The new hotels are for New Yorkers. We New Yorkers make the hotels chic, and the tourist crowd brings fresh meat to the table with rooms and room service just a button-push away. It’s all very sexy and chic.
Ian Schrager leads the pack simply because he and his partner Steve Rubell did lead the way. These post-Studio 54 players gave us Morgans, the Paramount, and the Royalton long before the term “boutique hotel” was invented. Ian’s Gramercy Park Hotel set a new standard, as the Rose Bar drove the brand to the New York crowd. André Balazs and his Standard join his Mercer and other properties — he is the big man on campus right now. His Cornell and Columbia education are typical of this new group. The previous generation of club owners have business training instead of André’s humanities degrees. The generation before were dropouts with eyes towards art and women and other distractions. These hotel groups have layers of lawyers and designers and professionals at their fingertips. Thus you have the Donald and his Trump Soho joining the hunt, while Paul Stallings teams with the Eldridge’s Matt Levine to drive his Hotel on Rivington. Jason Pomeranc with his Thompson Hotels makes for a formidable force . Then there’s the Ganesvoort, the Cooper Square, and even a Robert DeNiro entry on Greenwich. And now we have Eric Goode and TV star Sean MacPherson.
Our future nightlife experience will now be accessed by elevators. Will chic elevator hosts be far away? Will table arrangements be made while you ascend ? Will there be keypads in the elevator allowing you to order the Goose on the ride up? Don’t worry too much — there is bound to be a backlash, a return to the intimate and slimy. It always happens. In fact, I’ll tell you all about it real soon.
Speaking of slimy:. The following conversation appeared on my Facebook page. The names have been removed to protect the innocent:
Person c) friends of mine hold the liquor license to the limelight space and are in the process of trying to reopen it. If anyone is serious and knows investors with real money and are willing to see a business plan and hear a proposal let me know. But like I sad please serious people only!
Person b) limelight is going to be an 80 shop shopping place.. Super lame
Person c) that’s what the landlord is pushing for however its not going to happen. like I said if there is anyone with real money willing to speak to myself and my partners about this project let me know! Don’t believe everything you read in the press!
This is meant for those serious investor types cruising Facebook for opportunities. You know, the guys with “real money.” The return of the Slimelight will never happen, and the we need not worry about that. It was a great club for a moment. This thread continued to speak of it and that time as being the greatest days of nightlife. It just isn’t true. The period before — starting with Studio 54 and including Area, Danceteria, Paradise Garage, Mudd Club, and Max’s Kansas City — was far more fun and relevant. The Limelight was a great club, but it had a soulless center of greed and power; it lacked a base in the art world and was far more drug-fueled than most places. Its time has come and gone. I’m going to go visit and buy some socks or something as soon as I can. For the lost souls who want to relive it, I suggest opening up a concession stand in the new Limelight mall. Sell t-shirts and memorabilia and such to those who care. Alas, I suspect few will answer the call . It’s over.
Also: Today is the runoff election between David Yassky and John Liu for the Democratic nominee for controller. Whoever wins today will surely win in November. There will be a very small turnout, so your vote counts. David Yassky is great for what ails us. Please get out and support him.