Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: The Nightlife Year in Review






Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Every week,
New York Nights strives to explore the business and culture of New York nightlife. If you have missed any of the over 45 newsletters posted in 2009, click on any of the links below to get caught up on the City That Never Sleeps.

If you want to stay connected to the nightlife news covered by New York Nights,
sign up for our free newsletter. We look forward to offering you new information, insights and inspiration in 2010.

I’ll see you at the bar.

Have fun.
G

January 2009
The NYN Insider for January 13th, 2009
The Inauguration Issue
The Super Bowl Issue



February 2009






March 2009






April 2009






May 2009






June 2009






July 2009






August 2009






September 2009






October 2009






November 2009






December 2009



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beatrice II, Bars Against Drunk Driving and Finance Trouble for the Community Boards



Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

…I hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…

Industry Initiatives
Bars Against Drunk Driving
(Daily News)
Three hundred local venues form an association designed to prevent patrons from driving drunk

Coming Soon
Beatrice II
(Eater)
Last week Eater cited a rumor that the former hotspot would reopen in SoHo. The latest rumor claims it will be a new live music venue.

Community Boards
Budget Cuts

(NY Post)
Local CBs that are often a platform for anti-nightlife advocates are facing a severe loss of funds as City Hall looks for ways to save money.

Have fun.

G

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bar Tips, Beatrice II, and Squadron Watch



The NYN Club Report for December 23, 2009
Compiled by
Gamal Hennessy

…I hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…
Coming Soon
(Eater)
The owner of the embattled West Village hotspot has new plans for SoHo…
Squadron Watch
Revising the 200 Foot Rule
(Metro New York)
State Senator Daniel Squadron could force dozens of bars to close down by tweaking the liquor license laws behind your back.

Advice
A.M. Bars
(Urban Daddy)If you have some time off this week and want to start drinking before lunch, check these places out.
Events
June 2010
Operators should make plans to visit the Javits Center this summer for the 11th annual nightlife industry trade show.

Have fun.
Gamal

Thursday, December 17, 2009

USL: Union Square Steps in a New Direction

Nightlife in Union Square is generally geared towards dating. It is tucked between the college atmosphere of NYU and the East Village and the high profile scenes of Meatpacking, Flatiron and Chelsea. It is an area rich with cozy restaurants and tiny wine bars. It is a good place for a couple to spend some time getting to know each other, strolling through the park and dodging the skaters.

But hidden from the main strip of venues on Park Avenue South, beneath the landmark Coffee Shop, a club is growing. Run by Michael Gogel, a veteran of Lotus, Double Seven, Bijoux and Merkato 55, the Union Square Lounge (USL) has the potential to become a fixture in New York nightlife for several years to come.

A flight of black steps leads you down into a dark cave. The main room manages to be spacious and intimate at the same time. The deep brown interior and furniture suck in the minute light given off by the fireplace and sparsely distributed candles. This means that you need to make sure the person you’re talking to is cute before you go downstairs. It’s probably too dark to tell once you’re inside.USL has a tapas menu that offers unique and subtle flavors borrowed from various parts of the world. The music drifts through various forms of house that plays well to the nightlife native, multi ethnic crowd. The staff is laid back and professional but they do strike me as a little jaded. I attribute that to the fact that they are probably veteran operators who have just served one fanatic too many.
The space has definite potential as either a lounge or a club. As it exists now, USL is more informal and relaxed than Olive’s and other union square spots. It is more upscale than Bar 13. Anyone looking for a good alternative to Underbar and Flute would to well to check out USL any week night. What can set this underground venue apart is the adjacent ballroom space. It is a huge separate venue that can accommodate 400-500 dancing, drinking and carousing patrons. While the ballroom space is currently being offered for weddings and corporate events, there are plans to offer nightlife events in 2010.

Whether you need a new place to take a date or you need to hear some house music, USL is worth visiting for a drink or three. If you get there and there is a huge line of dancers standing outside, then you’ll know that Union Square has moved beyond the date scene to emerge as a viable new club area.

Have fun.
Gamal

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Duvet, Provocateur and the Hierarchy of Operators



The New York Nights Club Report for December 16, 2009
Compiled by
Gamal Hennessy

…I hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…

Opening
Provocateur (inside the Hotel Gansevoort)
(Urban Daddy)
The former Ono space is resurrected as a model friendly indoor/ outdoor lounge

Controversy
Duvet NOT Closed
(Club Planet)
Apparently an alleged attack inside the Flatiron club was not enough to shut it down.

Insight
Nightclub Staff Hierarchy
(Eater)
Although it doesn’t mention anything about DJs, dancers or other performers who keep the party moving, Eater has provided a helpful flow showing who controls what in the world of operators.

Seize the Night
Seize the Night Cover Reveal
(New York Nights)
See the cover of the book that will shed new light on New York nightlife


Have fun
Gamal

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Seize the Night First Look



Seize the Night is a new book from Nightlife Media that takes an in depth look at the business and culture of New York nightlife.

Look for this cover on Amazon.com and in bookstores in January 2010.

Special thanks go out to the following people for creating this image.

Production:
Kevin McCray
Photography: Mike Chin
Make Up and Graphic Design: Tricia Budhu
Spokes Model: Staisha Hamilton

Have fun.
Gamal

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Amity Hall, Boom Boom Room, No Name Bar and The Norry



The New York Nights Club Report for December 9, 2009
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy


I hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…

Opening
Amity Hall
(Urban Daddy)
The Village gets a beer garden that has more in common with a cocktail lounge than a pub crawl destination.

The Norry at Kampuchea
(Martini Boys)
The LES gets a gastropub based on Cambodian street fare. That’s different even for New York.

Closing
No Name Bar
(Eater)
A fire has temporarily shut down this Flatiron watering hole.

Opinion
Boom Boom Room vs. Studio 54
(Guest of a Guest)
An operator from the Studio 54 era explains why the newest A list venue can’t have the same cache or energy as the legendary club.

Have fun.
Gamal

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Sexual Cycle of New York Nightlife




By
Gamal Hennessy

Nightlife is an atmosphere that revolves around sexuality. It is, in fact, a metaphor for sexuality on a city wide scale. You can understand the energy and flow of a New York night by examining it through the lens of a single sexual encounter. Looking at the night this way can help you figure out where, when and how you want to fit in.

Flirting: 4 - 7 p.m.
A typical New York night starts here with office workers moving directly from their boardrooms and cubicles to booths and bars stools. Drinks are normally cheaper during this period and the nightlife population skews to an older out of town set. Bars and some lounges are open, but the clubs will still be closed. Corporate events often start during this period, since it is relatively easy to get commuters to stop in for a few drinks before they need to catch their train home. Everyone here gets to play a little without doing anything that might make them feel really guilty.

Foreplay: 7 - 10 p.m.
As the drink specials end, many venues develop a vibe that is more about entertainment than social interaction. People park themselves in front of huge flat screens and watch different sports depending on the time of year. The musically inclined can catch live shows from every style of music in venues ranging from tiny piano bars to huge clubs. Late night oriented patrons often start their night here as well, eating, grabbing the first few drinks of the night and scoping out potential playmates.

Intercourse: 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Lounges are often in full swing now. You’ll find couples there who have transitioned their dinner date into drinks. Post game and post concert crowds will be basking in the after glow of their respective events. People start to loosen up as the drinks flow and the energy increases. Many clubs open their doors at 10 p.m., but the spaces are often empty for the first couple of hours, especially on the weekends. This is the time when serious dancers get the floor to themselves while
hustlers and operators settle in for a night’s work.

Climax: midnight – 2 a.m.
If the promoter, doorman, DJ, bartenders and other operators have done their jobs then the venue is full by 12:30. This is the period when the population of the nightlife environment is at its height. You can see it inside the clubs and in front of many venues as people smoke and stand on line still trying to get in. Whether the main activity of the night is dancing, drinking, flashing cash, flirting, hooking up or just watching, it’s happening now or it might not happen at all. This is the period of release that often makes the whole experience worthwhile. The energy of the city is on full display here, stripping away any illusions about
why we go out.


After play 2 a.m. – 4 a.m.
At a certain point in the evening, the energy starts to ebb. While many spots are still in full swing, a large number of patrons start to make their way for the exits. Maybe it’s because the Red Bull starts to wear off. Maybe it’s because her feet start killing her from dancing in four inch stilettos all night. Maybe he’s too drunk to stand up. Maybe it’s because questionable sexual decisions are being made through the haze of
beer goggles. Maybe it’s because 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. are the periods when venues are required to close according to the terms of their liquor license. Whatever the reason, the message is clear; you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Warning: This can be a clumsy, awkward and ugly time if you don’t really know what you are doing.

Separation: 4 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Nightlife fragments in the early morning hours. For those who still have some party left in them, this is the time to hit the after hours spot. For those who have a long commute back home, this is the time to make your way back to the outer boroughs and adjacent states. For operators and the very hungry it’s time to hit the diner. For anyone who left the club with someone they shouldn’t have, it’s time for the
walk of shame. By the time this period is over most, but not all, nightlife people have given the city back to the working world. The night is over and its time to head back to reality.

Brunch: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The rising sun doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the party.
Brunch is the new nightlife in New York. Whether you are just getting started after a good night’s sleep or you are still out from the night before you can find breakfast, bloody marys, music and mimosas. At this point, nightlife brunch isn’t a huge phenomenon. Many people allow trivial things like sleep, work and normal life to intrude on what would otherwise be a 24 party. But if you don’t have to work, you might as well keep playing.

Of course, these are guidelines not rules. Some people start the pre-game drinking at noon. Some people are doing the walk of shame at 9 p.m. As with actual sex, some people decide to leave out some steps. But the majority of nightlife flows in this pattern. A nightlife native can jump in or out at any point of the night on any night of the week. She could even engage in the 24 hour marathon that is New York’s continuous nightlife cycle, but this isn’t recommended for most of us. Nightlife is a metaphor for sex and sex can be amazing all the time, but we all need our beauty sleep.

Have fun.
G

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Year’s Eve, Penthouse 808, Vintry and Su Casa



The New York Nights Club Report for December 1, 2009
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

…I hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…


Controversy

New Year’s Eve Liquor Licenses

Various media outlets, including the
New York Post, Gothamist and Guest of a Guest, ran articles yesterday about the dramatic decrease in the number of 6:00 a.m. NYE liquor licenses for 2009. The New York Times reports that SLA responded by extending the deadline for filing the application so you can have some place to get more champagne when its time for breakfast…

Opening


(Thrillist)

The Financial District gets a new spot dedicated to two of the greatest liquids ever invented…


Long Island City gets a rooftop lounge opens up in the new Ravel Hotel

Changes
Su Casa
Last month I said this Village venue called itself a speakeasy but didn’t have a speakeasy vibe. The operators of the venue apparently agree with me. They are dropping the speakeasy concept in favor of catering to the NYU crowd.

Crime

Mele Violates Parole
(Times Record)
The man who allegedly took
Laura Garza out of Marquee and murdered her is going to serve jail time while the rape/ murder charges against him are being investigated.

International Nightlife News
Paris suffers from its NIMBY residents of its own
(Times Online)
New York isn’t the only city whose nightlife is being hurt by smoking bans and noise ordinances. Protests are heating up in Paris to save French clubs.


Have fun.
G

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bar Henry, My Little Secret and Super Dive



The New York Nights Club Report for November 19, 2009

Compiled by
Gamal Hennessy

…I hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…

Changes
Superdive

(New York Magazine)
The owners of the high profile dive bar are trying to sell it for a mere $350,000 down and $10,000 per month…

Coming Soon
My Little Secret
(New York Magazine)
Soon you’ll be lifting up basement grates in Little Italy to find the newest speakeasy...

Controversy
Police Shooting at Norwood Bar in Brooklyn

(Associated Press)
It started with a spilled drink and ended when police shot the bouncer and killed him...


Opening

Bar Henry
(Martini Boys)
Greenwich Village gets a new speakeasy/ wine bar/ bistro this week.

Squadron Watch
Proposed Technology Upgrades for the SLA
Senator Squadron is supporting changes to the State Liquor Authority budget and increasing his involvement with an agency crucial to nightlife.

Have fun
Gamal

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Death & Co, Neo-Speakeasies and Veranda


The New York Nights Club Report for November 11, 2009

Compiled by
Gamal Hennessy

Business
Venues on the Market
(Guest of a Guest)
If you’ve always dreamed of becoming an operator, and you’ve got some cash to invest, you might want to check out these properties…

Changes
Death and Company
(NBC New York)
The established speakeasy extends hours its hours for more cocktail goodness…

Opening
Veranda
(Urban Daddy)
The West Village is the site for the latest Mediterranean hookah lounge.

Opinion
Kill the Neo-Speakeasy
(Guest of a Guest)
Billy Gray argues that speakeasies have passed their prime. I think the
concept might have taken a wrong turn, but it can still be saved.

Personalities
New York Nightlife Icons
(Good Night Mr. Lewis)
Steven Lewis offers his list of today’s A-list operators.

Have fun.
Gamal

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Do You Go Out at Night?



By Gamal Hennessy

(Adapted from the upcoming book
Seize the Night)

If you are a sane individual then you usually have reasons for doing the things you do. You go to work to make money. You eat because you’re hungry. You fall asleep on the train because you’re tired. You may not consciously know why you do certain things, but if you stop and think about it, you can usually figure out the reason.

So why do you go out at night? It can deprive you of sleep, money and the chance to watch reality TV. If you spend time in bars and clubs, you put in time, money and energy. Do you get anything out of it?

I think there are as many reasons for going out as there are people who go out. After years of non-scientific, anecdotal, and random observation, I’ve devised eight broad categories to explain our motivations. Seven of them can be lumped under the concept of “having fun,” and one is almost a burden (but still much better than being in the office). Take a look and figure out which category fits you best.

Acceptance (The group we belong to):
Many of us have feelings and lifestyles that don’t fit the image of what is “normal” in American society. Maybe it is the way we want to dress or the way we want to act or who we are attracted to. When you go out during the day, you have to hide it. When you’re at home with your family, you might have to repress it. But you can find a party or a scene in nightlife with people who see the world in ways that are similar to yours. And that can make the rest of your existence much more bearable.

Consumption (The things we take in):
For some people, it’s beer. For others, it’s dirty martinis. Some of us want to eat sumptuous food and some of us want things that perpetuate the war on drugs. It doesn’t really matter what your particular poison is, a big part of nightlife is about eating, drinking and smoking freely. The reason specialty venues like wine bars, micro brew bars and hookah bars do so well because we are willing to pay good money to satisfy our hunger to imbibe.

Connection (The people we meet):
You can meet a friend at a bar for a drink when she wants to talk. You can go out for happy hour after work with your co-workers to bitch about your boss. You can have girls’ night out or you can cruise the hotel bars looking for cougars. Humans are social creatures. We have a need to connect with one another. At work and at home, you are constrained in your behavior and limited as to the people you can interact with. When you go out, the walls come down. You can talk and act more freely. You can meet people for a minute or forge bonds that last for years. The connections might be intense or shallow, but the energy is different at night than it is during the day.

Entertainment (The things we see and hear):
The chance to see, hear or feel something is a huge part of nightlife. You might be listening to an unknown comic one night and be part of the insane crowds at a Danny Tenaglia concert the next night. Nightlife entertainment can be something as innocent as watching a baseball game at a local bar or as corrupt as the champagne room at a local strip club (actually, it can get much worse than that, but you get the idea). It’s been said that one man’s pornogrpahy is another man’s art, and no time is that more true than at night. What you want to see and hear at night actually says a lot about how you see yourself as a person.

Flash (The wealth we display):
There are people who want to be seen spending big money on bottle service. They want you to see their Mercedes SUV. The idea of getting a discount or going to happy hour makes them cringe. Why? Because they are living the glamorous life and they want you to know it. Consumption here isn’t as important as being able to afford the consumption. If you have the money (or just want to look as if you do) you want the car, the clothes and the Grey Goose. What better place to display your status than in the club?

Obligation (The social debt):
There are times we go out when we don’t really want to. Your client is in town from Kansas. Someone has to take them out. Tag, you’re it. Your girlfriend’s brother is having a birthday party. She’s going, so you’re going. Tag, you’re it. Your friend just got fired, dumped or rejected for the cast of Real World 37. He or she wants you to meet them for a drink. Tag, you’re it. This is the only reason for going out that might not be much fun, but compared to being stuck in your office or bored at home, it’s not that bad, is it?

Release (The temporary escape):
Sometimes you need a break. You can’t sit in your cubical anymore. If your boss calls you one more time about TPS reports, you’re going to cut someone. You’ve tried to like Glee and it’s just not working for you. You need to dance. You need to spend time with your friends. You need to get away from the desk, the Blackberry and the TV for a few hours. Going out isn’t as long as a vacation, but you don’t have to be frisked by Homeland Security to get into the club.

Sex (The common theme):
Expressions of sexuality can be found in almost every aspect of nightlife. The clothing is tighter and more revealing. The conversation has more carnal energy. Inhibitions are lowered with alcohol. The movements on the dance floor don’t leave anything to the imagination. Nightlife is a sexual metaphor on a city wide scale. It can be simple or elaborate, fun or dangerous, satisfying or forgettable, mysterious or revealing, expensive or cheap. Whatever the experience, sexuality is the main reason why so many people keep coming back night after night.

Nightlife is a cultural setting that can be many things to many people. What you find when you go out depends a lot on what you’re looking for. The magic of New York nightlife is that, no matter what you are looking for, you can find the spot or the scene that fits your tastes. All you have to do is find it.

Have fun.
G

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beatrice Inn, Drop Off Service and The Manhattan Inn



The New York Nights Club Report for November 5, 2009
Complied by
Gamal Hennessy

Opening
Manhattan Inn
(Time Out New York)
Greenpoint gets a
gastropub of its own...

Developments
Beatrice Inn
(New York Magazine)
The recently closed West Village hotspot might be looking to resurrect itself further downtown…

Drop Off Service

(Urban Daddy)

The newest cocktail menu combines infused liquor with OTC cold remedies to create the Flu Menu…

Have fun.
G

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Greenhouse (again), Juliet, Le Souk, and Vanderbilt



The New York Nights Club Report for October 28, 2009

Compliled by Gamal Hennessy


Events
Halloween Weekend Parties
(Joonbug)
A list of events for the weekend if you’re all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Opening
Juliet Supper club
(Thrillist)
The former Prime space reopens in West Chelsea as a gastroclub

The Vanderbilt
(Martini Boys)
A high end venue opens in Park Slope
Closed
Le Souk
(Eater)
The community board has successfully shut a successful hookah lounge

Controversy
Greenhouse
(Gothamist)
In the wake of their racial bias suit, the Tribeca lounge might have been the scene of a stabbing

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greenhouse, La Villa Rouge and Q




The New York Nights Club Report for October 22, 2009
Compiled by
Gamal Hennessy

Opening

La Villa Rouge
(Nelly List)
A French Moroccan lounge opens in the LES this weekend.


Downtown Galway Hooker
The midtown Irish sports bar spawns a clone in the West Village

Q
(Black Book)
A new performance space rises out of Quo in West Chelsea

Controversy

Greenhouse
(Gothamist)
A new lawsuit claims the TriBeCa lounge engaged in a racist door policy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Carnival and the Persecution of Beer Pong



The New York Nights Club Report for October 14, 2009

Complied by
Gamal Hennessy

Opening
Carnival
(New York Nights)
Bowlmor Lanes spawns the newest theme bar in Union Square…
(Shecky’s)
It is officially too cold for Beer Gardens, so drink in these new spaces instead…
Controversy
Beer Pong Persecution
(The Gothamist)
The State Liquor Authority has recently ruled that the ancient tradition of beer pong is a violation of state liquor laws. At the same time, AM New York reports on a American College Health Association warning that beer pong and similar activities could increase the risk of swine flu. I guess it’s safer to just do shots instead…

Have fun
G

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ainsworth: The Venue with Something for Everyone?


by Gamal Hennessy

Nightlife venues used to be melting pots; microcosms of the city itself. Preppy, hipster hip hop, rocker, model, plain, professional, artsy, straight, gay all occupied different pockets of the same venue. The music would shift back and forth to cater to each crowd and mixing and mingling outside your comfort zone was as easy as crossing the room.

Niche venues and promotion companies that catered to a specific demo have largely replaced the mega venue melting pot. The multitude of choice has segregated the nightlife community into smaller tribes of like-minded patrons. This new era gives us more control over the type of night we want to have, but it doesn’t offer many opportunities to sample music and people from other walks of life unless we go to a new club.

Ainsworth might be a return to the venue that tries to be all things to all people. Billed as a gastropub (basically a pub or a sports bar that serves gourmet pub food), the 6,000 square foot Chelsea has a lot to offer. There are huge screens to watch sports. There is a pub menu that includes unique items like pineapple ribs, wild mushroom pizza, and miso duck spring rolls in addition to pub favorites like calamari and cheese fries. There is a DJ booth and a good sound system for music. There is a small place to dance. There is a space for bottle service. There is a brunch menu for the daytime crowd and there are specialty drinks for the ladies. The only thing the Ainsworth doesn’t have is an outdoor terrace. It might not do everything perfectly, but it does have the potential to do several things well.

The crowd is the most unique aspect of the space. Instead of instantly drawing in a huge sports crowd, or a big model and bottle crowd the operators are filling the room with a variety of patrons. The emo kids stood by the bar with the business suit crowd. The glamour girls hung out near the nerds. The DJ dropped a Michael Jackson tune and everyone went bananas. If you ignored the people staring down at their Crackberries, you might have mistaken the scene for the old melting pot venues of the 80s.

The novelty will eventually wear off and the free liquor will eventually stop flowing. When that happens, a specific group of patrons might eventually claim Ainsworth as its territory. You should get there before that happens. Who knows when you’ll find another venue that will let you mingle outside your comfort zone just by crossing a room.
Have fun
Gamal

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Simyone Lounge, CB4, Le Souk and the New York Nightlife Hall of Fame



The New York Nights Club Report for October 1, 2009

Compiled by
Gamal Hennessy

Opening
Simyone Lounge
(Urban Daddy)
An underground lounge opens on the border of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District


Community Boards
New Chair of CB4 on nightlife
(Chelsea Now)
John Weis offers up his views on the future of West Chelsea nightlife.


Le Souk
(Eater)
The successful and controversial lounge is trying to renew its liquor license.

Awards

New York Nightlife Hall of Fame
(Good Night Mr. Lewis)
Recognition is coming for the people and places that made New York nightlife legendary.

Have fun
G

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Female Safety in the Nightclub Environment



By
Gamal Hennessy

There are 65 million entries into nightlife venues every year. The vast majority of the patrons who go into our bars, clubs and lounges make it home safely every night. Unfortunately, on rare occasions, predators and fanatics prey on the isolated and the defenseless. The results are terrible for the victims and negative for the industry as a whole. The recent case of Luis Zambrano highlights both the need for awareness in an adult environment and offers guidance on the best way for ladies to protect themselves at night.

Last week,
Inside Edition ran a story about a man named Luis Zambrano. Mr. Zambrano went to Marquee, isolated a 23 year old girl, dragged her out of the club in full view of the crowd and the operators, took her back to his apartment and raped her. Because the entire incident was caught on Marquee’s security cameras, Zambrano was arrested and pled guilty to kidnapping and rape charges.

Experts state that this contained several elements that predators look for. First, the victim was separated from her friends. Second, the victim was either drunk when Zambrano met her or she accepted drinks from him that were laced with GHB or similar substances. This combination gives predators the ability to overpower and move a victim out of the venue. If she is too drunk or drugged, she’s not conscious enough to resist or even speak. Other random patrons can’t tell if the man carrying a woman out of a club is her boyfriend or her rapist. The bouncers can’t tell if they are best friends, if they just met or if they never met. The predator preys on animosity and isolation.

There is no practical way for women to alter or eliminate predators or fanatics in nightlife. It is often very difficult to even identity a potential threat in the chaotic environment of a club. But there are five steps that women can take to deter and avoid assaults while they are out; group movement, designated watchers, deterrence images, retained awareness and responsible indulgence.

Group Movement:
Lisa Friel is an ADA for the sex crimes unit in Manhattan. She has experience with cases of sexual assaults that begin in clubs and end in the predator’s apartment or car. She advocates that women use the concept of group movement, meaning that the ladies go out together, remain in the same general area and leave together. This prevents any one woman from being isolated and abused. Ms. Friel isn’t saying you shouldn’t dance, meet boys, exchange numbers and generally have a good time. She isn’t saying that the whole night should be one huge exercise in cockblocking. She is saying that there is strength in numbers when it comes to preventing sexual assault.

Designated Watcher: Ms. Friel also supports the use of a designated watcher. Similar to a designated driver, the watcher drinks less than the rest of the group and makes sure that no one falls unconscious, gets overcome by a group of fanatics, or stumbles out of the club at 4:15 without any idea of where they are or how they are getting home. Again, this isn’t an invitation for a wet blanket to play morality cop and ruin everyone’s night, but if you go out in a group and the whole group gets blind drunk, then the security of the group isn’t that effective.

Deterrence Image: If you are separated from your group, or if you are the designated watcher, you will need a way to drive off people who might cause problems. Sexual criminals in nightlife are similar to predators in nature. When choosing someone to attack, they often choose the person who appears the least likely to protect themselves. They target the weakest of the herd. In a nightlife context that means they will target people who are drunk, preoccupied, confused, or who project weakness through non verbal signals in their body language. Victimology experts Chuck Hustmyre and Jay Dixit suggest that attackers are less likely to choose targets that are organized in their movement, confident in their posture and comfortable in their surroundings are less likely to be singled out. The evidence supports this theory. Zambrano didn’t target the women who were full of energy and dancing around him. He went after the one passed out on the couch.

Retained Awareness: The Zambrano crime also shows that it is very hard to get out of a situation that you are not aware of. If you are surprised, caught off guard or blindsided, you are more likely compound your problems. If you’re going to get so drunk that you don’t know where you are, you are more likely to wind up someplace that you don’t want to be. A stumbling drunk identifies herself to every fanatic in the room as an
amateur and a potential victim. Maintaining awareness of your surroundings as you party is an integral part of being a nightlife native. You can have a good time and keep your eyes open, but you have to make that choice up front.

Responsible Indulgence: The basic concept that women can use to protect themselves is responsible indulgence. It isn’t about being afraid to go out or going out looking for trouble. It is about knowing your limits and being familiar with your environment so you can deal with a potential problem if it arises. There is such a thing as too much to drink. There are activities that aren’t worth the risk. You can enjoy everything nightlife has to offer and still remember it in the morning. Predators seek out nightlife amateurs and avoid nightlife natives because the amateur is easy prey. As more women become natives, sexual assaults against women will be even more atypical.

Sexuality is at the core of the nightlife experience. Women are the linchpin to the majority of nightlife business and culture. But that doesn’t mean that they need to feel uncomfortable, threatened or afraid when they go out. It does mean that they need to take some precautions to deter the Zambrono’s of the world.

Have fun.

G

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anja Bar, Le Souk Harem and Su Casa


The New York Nights Club Report for September 10, 2009
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Opening
Su Casa
(Thrillist)
Mexican crafted cocktails find a home in the West Village…

Le Souk Harem

(Urban Daddy)
The celebrated East Village hookah bar brings its to Greenwich Village…

Changes
Anja Bar
(Eater)
Legal conflict over the Buddha Bar name leads to a new name and a new chef…

Limelight
(Associated Press)
The historic nightclub will be reopened as a mini mall…and nightlife weeps.

HoHo
(Good Night Mr. Lewis)
Will the area between Houston Street and the Holland tunnel become a nightlife center?


Resources

Societe Perrier
A strong new voice in nightlife is supported by luminaries and backed by Perrier.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ainsworth, Loz Feliz, Sweet Afton, and Yerba Buena Perry


Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

The New York Nights Club Report for August 28, 2009

Opening
Ainsworth
(Urban Daddy)
A super sized high end sports bar pub arrives in Chelsea with a lot of adjectives…

Loz Feliz
(Urban Daddy)
When a tequila bar meets a speakeasy, you get Loz Feliz…

Sweet Afton
Astoria gets its own high end speakeasy…

Yerba Buena Perry
(Thrillist)
Another variation on the Latin cocktail lounge lands in the West Village…

Have fun.
Gamal

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beatrice, Le Royale New Bars for Fall and the NY Primaries



The New York Nights Club Report for August 20, 2009

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Closed
Le Royale
(Club Planet)
The revival of Luke and Leroy appears to have fallen on hard times.

Coming Soon
New Venues for Fall 2009
(Metromix)
Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens will play host to 14 new venues scheduled to open soon…

Community Boards
Beatrice
(New York Times)
An in depth story of how a few residents can shut down a successful venue.

Politics
The NPC Announces Its Endorsements for 2009
(Good Night Mr. Lewis)
Take the chance to put pro-nightlife representatives in office…

Have fun.
G

Friday, August 14, 2009

Great Jones Hotel, Knitting Factory and Attacks on the Nightlife Industry



The New York Nights Club Report for August 14, 2009
Compiled by
Gamal Hennesy

Coming Soon

(New York Magazine)
The new NoHo hotel will have three separate venues, including one with a retractable roof.

Community Boards
Avenue A
(New York Magazine)
Local residents are organizing another meeting about “the overabundance of bars”

Events
RHI Nightlife Safety Seminar
The national nightlife association is planning a series of nightlife safety seminars across the East Coast.

Law
The 500 Foot Rule
(The Villager)
Squadron and his anti nightlife lobby
override a judicial ruling on liquor licenses

Moved
(The Examiner)
The live music venue has relocated from TriBeCa to Williamsburg

Have fun
Gamal

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Berry Park, Bia Garden and Bongo



Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

The New York Nights Club Report for August 6, 2009

Opening

Berry Park
(Urban Daddy)
Now that we finally have hot summer days, Brooklyn obviously needs a new beer garden.

(Thrillist)
Another new beer garden for anyone who doesn’t want to go to Williamsburg…

(Thrillist)
Go for the oysters and cocktails after you’ve strolled on the Highline.

Opinion
(The New York Times)
Read professional opinions concerning drinking as part of your professional life.

Hot Girls as an Economic Indicator
(New York Magazine)
Where do all the cute bottle hostesses go when the demand for bottle service dwindles?


Have fun.
Gamal

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Reni Lane: The Evolution of Pop



By Gamal Hennessy

On the eve of her first album release, up and coming artist Reni Lane discusses Tastemakers, wardrobe malfunctions and the King of Pop.

Vital Information
Website:
http://www.renilane.com/
Hometown: Corvallis, Oregon
Latest Project: "Ready" scheduled for an early 2010 release
Next New York Performance:
August 21st at Le Poisson Rouge

NYN: I got a chance to catch your show over at Citrine. Do you always walk through the crowd and jump on furniture when you sing?

RL: (laughter) I’ve always been kind of a tom boy. Climbing on things is second nature to me. Once I started performing it seemed like a fun way to connect with the crowd and give them a fun time. Now I climb on furniture instead of trees.

NYN: Have you ever taken a bad spill or had a wardrobe malfunction during an on stage climb?

RL: (laughter) I’ve never had a wardrobe malfunction. I wear underwear when I perform so I should be safe. I haven’t fallen yet and I don’t really worry about it. If I fall, it’s just another fun experience for the crowd, as long as I don’t kill myself.

NYN: You get to perform all over the East Coast. How is a New York crowd different from a Philly or DC crowd?

RL: When I play for crowds in Philly or DC, it feels like I’m playing for regular, down to earth grass roots fans. When I play in New York I feel like I’m playing for the media, the PR companies and the tastemakers. It sometimes feels strange performing for people who have fabulous jobs and fabulous lives that I can’t even aspire to, but I love it. New York is the best city in the world to perform because of the energy here. Besides, if you don’t reach the tastemakers, it’s that much harder to reach the grass roots fans.

NYN: You have connections to both a small independent label and a major music company. In an era of digital distribution, major record stores closing down and the flood of competition, how do you plan to succeed?

RL: There are definitely benefits to being attached to a label, but I always try to remember that there are things that a label can do for you and things that it can’t. A label can make sure you get in front of the right people, but you still have to perform in a way that connects to the audience. A label can get you access to the best studio and producers, but it can’t give you something to say. I know the only way I’m going to succeed is to make songs that appeal to people, perform them as well as I can and establish a connection with the audience that lasts.

NYN: You’re about to drop a pop album during a time when a major pop star has died. What kind of impact did he have on you when you were growing up?

When I was growing up in Oregon, the only music I had access to was classical music, Disney music, Duran Duran and Michael Jackson. His albums helped define what music was to me. When I moved to the East Coast, and started high school, his music was one of the few things that the different cliques could agree on. Kids like me who were different drew inspiration from his ability to use music to be accepted in spite of his differences. He was definitely one of my inspirations to start song writing.

NYN: And what kind of impact do you think his legacy will have on you? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind when your career is over?

I think that MJ defined what a pop icon is. He was also a symbol for our obsession over the personal lives of celebrities and the media fascination with train wrecks. Hopefully his death will show the harmful effects that that type of relentless scrutiny can have on a person and on the people he comes in contact with. I’m hoping that there will be a swing back to focusing on the music instead of the imagery and the spectacle. If I can be a part of that change I think that’s the best legacy that I can ask for.

Have fun
Gamal

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bounce Deuce, Home, Guesthouse and Der Schwarze Kolner




The New York Nights Club Report for July 30, 2009
Complied by
Gamal Hennessy

Opening
Der Schwarze Kolner
(Thirllist)
Brooklyn gets a new beer garden to quench our thirsts

Closed
Bounce Deuce
(New York Magazine)
An East Village sports bar fails to make the cut.

Home/ Guest House
(Good Night Mr. Lewis)
A pillar of Outer Chelsea collapses under the weight of gentrification.

Have fun.
G

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York: Good for Singles, Not So Good for Nightlife?


By Gamal Hennessy

When tourists, graduates and other people choose where to visit or live, there are a lot of factors that they can take into account. Forbes, a well known financial magazine offers advice on this subject in the form of its annual list of Best Cities for Singles. The good news is that New York has risen to the top of this chart for 2009. The bad news is that our overall gains seem to come at the price of a weakened nightlife environment. Is NY nightlife really weaker than it was a year ago or does our nightlife have qualities that can’t be measured?

The Forbes Best List for Singles compares U.S. cities across seven different categories including culture, nightlife, number of singles and cost of living. Last year, NYC ranked 8th best city for singles beaten out by cities like Dallas, Seattle and Boston. The reason we barely made it into the top ten was because our cost of living is so high compared to other cities. Our nightlife was ranked number 1, even when compared to nightlife cities like Las Vegas, Miami and Atlanta because the number of venues in New York when compared to the number of singles was the highest in the country.

This year, New York is the top city for single people. Driving this determination is the fact that our cost of living, compared to the average salary for single people for New Yorkers has leveled during the recession. It is still expensive to live here, but you don’t need to be a millionaire to have your own place. The bad news is that the number of venues per capita has decreased from our 2008 numbers according to AOL City Guide.

The basic problem with the Forbes list is the same one that existed when we last covered the story. The methodology focuses on quantity as opposed to quality. It’s fine to count the number of single people or the number of bars in certain cities and rank them based on density, but it doesn’t really take quality or variety into account. Does each city have the same range of nationalities, education levels and backgrounds for singles to choose from when they go looking for a date? Is a bar in Charlotte count just as much as a bar in Vegas because they both serve beer? Is the experience the same when you can walk to fifteen bars in a five block radius instead of driving for 20 minutes just to get to one? If you think about single life by only tracking the numbers, you miss something substantial.

The Forbes study does point out a fact that New York and the nightlife industry needs to focus on. The recession,
the SLA backlog and the NIMBY push have led to a consolidation of the industry. We are losing more venues than we are gaining. That means the city as a whole is losing more jobs, more revenue, more taxes and more potential for cultural growth. Our reputation as a nightlife capital can fade away if operators and patrons stand idle.

The Forbes List is not the last word on the health of nightlife in New York City, but consider this; Milwaukee and Portland came in with higher nightlife scores than New York. If tourists and college graduates look for a city to flock to and somehow come to the conclusion that nightlife in those cities can somehow be compared to ours we are going to lose the energy and the passion that those new people bring. Lists like this are not definitive pronouncements, but they are warnings to anyone who enjoys nightlife.

Have fun.
Gamal