Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dutch Kills, Griffins and CBGB

The New York Nights Club Report for April 30, 2009

Dutch Kills
(Urban Daddy)
The modern speakeasy invades Long Island City (don’t worry its not that far)…

(Urban Daddy)
The Meatpacking District gets its first new club of 2009.

A documentary called Burning Down the House focuses on the impact of the iconic venue.

Cougar Hunting
(Black Book Magazine)
If the new reality TV show has you wanting a cougar of your own, check out these hunting grounds.

Have fun.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hudson Terrace, The Gates and Plumm

The New York Nights Club Report for April 23, 2009
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Hudson Terrace
Drink specials and a Hudson Riverview opens up on 46th Street.

The Gates
(Urban Daddy)
Ultra high end lounging drops into Chelsea

Very Closed
(New York Observer)
A judge has ordered management out of the Meatpacking venue due to unpaid rent.

Have fun.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

675 Bar, Mayahuel and Plumm

The New York Nights Club Report for April 15, 2009

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

(Urban Daddy)
A New York speakeasy with a Mexican twist opens in the East Village on May 1st.

675 Bar
(New York Magazine)
The former bottle service friendly Level V will be reincarnated as a not so bottle friendly bar.

(New York Nights)
Man about town
Carnell Hayes gave us a tip about legal troubles for this Meatpacking Lounge.

If you have information about a new spot or a spot that’s closing or any information about the changing nightlife landscape, drop us a line and send us a link. We will share it with the world.

Have fun.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Right Side of the Bottle

By Gamal Hennessy

There has been a lot written about how the practice of bottle service has become a scourge on nightlife culture. I know this is true because I’ve written quite a few of those articles myself. The recession has exposed a weakness in the business model that might put some operators out of business. But bottles are still flowing and some venues are thriving from it. So what is it that makes bottle service work for some venues and not work for others? A recent study suggests that it’s the patrons that hold the key to long term success.

Anita Elberse, Ryan Barlow and Sheldon Wong are students at Harvard Business School. They recently published a study called Marquee: The Business of Nightlife where they document the financial success of this long running venue and what goes on behind the scenes to make the venue work. One of the many interesting aspects of the study was the breakdown of Marquee’s bottle service clients. While this group is relatively small (40% of the patrons on any given night) they accounted for 80% of the revenue. And while any one could theoretically purchase bottle service, there were three main groups that Marquee provided this service to. There are celebrities who are so famous that they only have one name (think Diddy, Bono, and Paris). There are Upper East Side socialites who inspired the characters in The Devil Wears Prada, and Gossip Girl. Then there are the professionals who recently acquired wealth and were looking for a place to spend it. The last group has dwindled significantly, but between these three groups Marquee made more than two million dollars in their third year of operation.

The other point of interest in this dynamic is the time it took to cultivate the relationships that made bottle service work. The owners of Marquee, Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss claim to have spent half their lives developing relationships in the nightlife industry, interacting with potential clients in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and using Marquee as a national concierge service for established bottle service clientele. Their main focus was on the client who could consistently frequent the venue over several years, not the stock broker who would spend $100,000 in six months and then burn out. Based on the Harvard study, Marquee’s success is based on a decade and a half of work, not a flashy gimmick.

Marquee connects with people who have money to spend over an extended period of time. Among other things that they do, that practice has kept them running much longer than the average New York venue. Places that try to force bottle service on patrons who don’t have black Amex cards probably won’t last as long in this economy. And patrons who don’t have a name like Bono might want to think twice before trying to live this lifestyle. A prominent promoter I talked to last week explained it very well. ‘I don’t tell my customers what they should do with their money, but maybe the guys coming in from Newark who make $40,000 a year shouldn’t be spending $600 on a bottle of vodka. I think they can have just as much fun running a tab at the bar.’

Have fun.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Above Allen, Private Loft and Santos Party House

The New York Nights Club Report for April 1, 2009

Private Loft
Strippers unite to create an alternative erotic entertainment location

Above Allen (Inside the Thompson Hotel)
Location: 190 Allen Street(Corner of Allen and East Houston )

Space: 4
In any other hotel this lounge would be an after thought that guests of the hotel probably wouldn’t use. But with nice views of uptown and two balconies an otherwise average spot becomes pretty nice.

Service: 4
I expected a much more surly and obnoxious service. I didn’t get that at all. They might not have been nice, but they were professional and sometimes you can’t ask for more than that.

Sound: 3
I didn’t get the impression that AA was designed for constant performances from DJ’s or musicians. They have space to set up a DJ system and they allowed the DJs free reign on the night we went, but don’t expect that every night.

Price: 3
I paid about $12 per drink, which is pretty normal for a hotel bar but it might not be what you want to pay on a Wednesday night

Overall: 3.5 out of 5
AA is a cool spot for a little conversation and a little skyline watching, but you can skip it if the two doormen give you a hard time.

Santos Party House

Location: 96 Lafayette St (Corner of Lafayette and Walker)

Space: 5
Santos has taken a large space in Chinatown and tries to make the most of it. VIP areas are available that don’t limit the dance space on either floor and the multiple bar set up means you don’t have to wait long for a drink

Service: 4
If you’ve spent any time at Crobar, APT, or Lotus then you’ll recognize a lot of the staff. I got the impression that all of them are laid back, professional and maybe just a little bit jaded, but that won’t stop you from having a good time.

Sound: 4
People go to Santos to dance to old school hip hop. Because Q-Tip is attached to the spot they lean heavily on tracks from him and his contemporaries. My only caution is that sometimes the DJ goes off on a obscure tangent that knocks you off your rhythm.

Price: 3
Friday night prices hover between $12 and $15. If you work up a sweat on the dance floor, quenching your thirst can get expensive in the long run.

Overall: 4 out of 5
It is easy to go to Santos and have a good time. If you can dance, it’s great. If you can’t dance you can still bob your head and appreciate the music

Have fun