Where I’ll Be This Halloween

The major news of the day is the merger between EMM Group and Pacha over at the soon-to-open FINALE. They’re looking for performance artists and staff that can do more than just sling drinks and, as I have said, I think this is the shape of things to come in NY nightlife.

This Wednesday, Terry Casey and his inevitable sidekick Chris Graham will start their Sub-Atomic Wednesdays, a house music affair, at Lil Charlie’s. At the opening, they will DJ along with special guests Nelly Munoz and Niki McNally. I love the space and adore Terry and Chris, so I’ll be there. They have a big Halloween planned. They asked me to DJ the top floor that’s open to them for the holiday but alas, I will be at The Griffin along with Chrissie Miller and Michael Cavadias.

Lest I forget a special birthday shoutout to Jamie Hatchett who celebrated at Pink Elephant last week. I am still living out of suitcases as my new apartment is readied. I am getting to some things, but not to everything. Jamie is one of the good guys in the business who will surely finish first. 

Nightlife Celebrates BTTF with Drink Specials at Cielo, Griffin, and Taj II

Most New York nightlife denizens either feel like they’re too important to stand in line, refuse to go anywhere that’s not the “It” place of the moment, or spend their evenings staring blankly at one another—or all three. So it’s refreshing to be amongst a group of people who’ve chosen to go out at night to make a difference. Last night, members and supporters of the Breast Treatment Task Force (BTTF) gathered at Griffin to kick off a month-long promotion in partnership with nightlife favorites like Cielo, the Griffin, and Taj II. The program collects profits from the venues’ specially designed signature cocktails to raise money for BTTF’s local program, which facilitates free mammograms, diagnostic follow-up, surgeries, and cancer treatment for patients without health insurance in NYC. It’s an example of how nightlife can serve a real purpose.

Now, when you head to Griffin and purchase their signature French 75, or Taj II’s Budina, or Cielo’s delish Ocean Dream, you’ll be imbibing for a reason. The proceeds from these luscious cocktails go to to a local New York woman in need. You can get these cocktails (that come in conjunction with a special donation line on your bill, so you can add any extra amount at your leisure) through August 27th.

image Executive Director Janice Zaballero, right, with Co-Chair Amanda Dell.

image Lilly Kim with friends.

image Dr. Julia Smith, BTTF Medical Director with Dr. Janna Andrews and former BTTF Board Member, Paulina Rogawski.

image Red Hot PR and Scallywag & Vagabond contributor Ricardo Garcia, with friends.

image Janice Zaballero with BlackBook’s Cayte Grieve.

Party Tonight: Have a Drink, Save a Life at Griffin

Tonight Kage Consulting — a nightlife powerhouse firm that holds venues like Griffin and Cielo in her arsenal — and BlackBook will be at Griffin from 7-9:30PM, fêting the Breast Treatment Task Force (BTTF), a local nonprofit that facilitates free mammograms, diagnostic follow-up, surgeries, and cancer treatment for patients without health insurance in NYC. Instead of simply asking for donations, BTTF has partnered with three of Kage’s favorite cocktail masters, Griffin, Cielo, and Taj Lounge, to bring you specially designed cocktails. A portion of the proceeds from the masterful mixology goes straight to a local New York woman in need. Details on the kickoff event and cocktails after the jump.

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The women who find help from BTTF are patients who do not qualify for Medicaid, living between 250%-400% of the poverty level ($26,000 – $41,000 for single person household, $35,000-$56,000 for two-person household). If you put these stats into perspective, many of the women we know—young and old, especially those in the creative fields—would fall into this bracket. But New Yorkers can help by drinking up.

The Griffin French 75: Gin or Cognac, Lemon, & Champagne. image (Photo )

Cielo Ocean Dream: Bombay Sapphire, Orange, Cranberry & Pineapple Juice. image (Photo)

Taj Lounge Budina: Kettle One Vodka, Cucumber, Lime, & Mint image (Photo)

On top of this delicious donation, each location also gives patrons an opportunity to donate money to BTTF by adding an additional line on the bill for donations to be added. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Donations in the following amount provide this detailed care in full:

$25 = Provides One Hour Patient Coordination $50 = Provides Two Hours Patient Coordination $100 = Mammogram/Ultrasound for Uninsured Patient $250 = One Clinic Visit and Diagnostic Mammogram $500 = MRI for Uninsured Patient $650 = Core Biopsy for Uninsured Patient

Come by the Griffin tonight from 7-9:30PM, and pick up our June/July issue with Kylie Minogue (an inspiring breast cancer survivor, herself) on the cover. The drink promotion continues until Friday, August 27.

Two New Gs & Mother’s Day Wisdom

imageI visited my mom on Sunday and had a real good time, but of course, not a club good time. My mom taught me a few things — like, look both ways before you cross, how to tie shoelaces, and if you have nothing good to say about somebody, keep your mouth shut. Well, I’m sure she’s as right about these things as she was about Jeannie Luvullo and some of my other exes, but it puts her at odds with my editor. Sometimes I’ve just got to say nay. I visited The Gates the other night and was swept off my feet by a bevy of beauties who spent dinner plying me with information and reminders of how much I liked Michael James, who seems to be one of the owners out there. I do like Mike; I don’t like The Gates. I like Michael’s partners Redd Styles and Danny Kane, but I don’t like what they’ve done to the place. The old Biltmore Room (previously Rome) has existed on 8th Avenue between 25th and 26th streets since the 80s. It is a magnificent collage of marble and wood located in the armpit of Chelsea and Clinton — a no-man’s land of cheap stores and restaurants there to service F.I.T. and the city housing. If real estate sales peeps can offer their mantra “location, location, location” to set a market price, I can use the phrase to underscore the problems this joint is facing right from the jump.

The Gates is in a location only my mother would love. The old Biltmore Room got about 3 stars from The New York Times and still couldn’t pay the rent. Rome, a gay spot in the same location, could not get its core crowd to cross 23rd Street. It was like that impassable energy field on Star Trek that kept everyone in the galaxy — the gays just wouldn’t venture that one block north. Faced with this first daunting strike, The Gates’ brain trust did virtually nothing to the place to make it a destination worth the trip. Are they depending on the vacuous memories of models — who aren’t checking anything out but each other — to lure bottle buyers who are so young that they have never seen the place? Although the magnificent marble and wood paneling still remain, the addition of uninspired vinyl furniture, awful lighting, and spotty sound give it a strike two. But the inevitable pitch count will have to wait because I was told at least 10 times that it wasn’t the real opening. The Gatsby-themed event this Saturday night — which baffled a Nick Carraway-type publicist and I as we chatted in the middle of the dim room — was a pre-opening soiree. I hate the pre-opening concept. Open right, or wait until you get it right. Five people told me that more (ugly) furniture was on the way. It reminds me of a story my mom once told me: Two old Jewish women were eating at a Catskills resort, and one old Jewish woman turned to other and complained, “Sadie, you know the food here is terrible?” To which Sadie replied, “Yes, Gussie, and the portions are so small.” If you don’t get that joke, feel free to call my mom. Again, I like the players involved, and I think they are generally liked, so I hope they tweak it and it’s a winner.

The other ‘G-named spot this month is The Griffin. Here “location, location, location” is really in the favor of management. The last time I mentioned The Griffin, I was poked because my partner Marc Dizon was the lead designer on the project, and I was “blowing up my own shit,” and it was “self-serving”. The Griffin is found where PM used to be, right in the heart of the Meatpacking — a location, location, location that dreams are made of. Diagonal from the Ganesvoort and Pastis, The Griffin will enjoy more foot traffic than a podiatrist. However, where The Gates’ management are a crew of nice guys, The Griffin’s honchos are less loved.

Although I enjoy a respectful relationship with Chris Reda, formerly of Room Service, there are many who ask me how. I don’t know Stevie D., (at least by that name) well enough to say anything bad about him, but I do know Adam Hock, and here I will take my mothers’ advice and keep my mouth shut — not without a small observation, however. Adam Hock has the honor of having presided over the last club in the Meatpacking to belly-up, which is PM, the current Griffin space. With a “location, location location” like 50 Ganesvoort, it seems almost impossible to fail there, yet it did. He did. In fact, I can’t think of another club that failed in the Meatpacking — oh, I just remembered one: “G Spot.”