Friday, June 26, 2009

Nightlife Community Party, Vesper Lounge and Ward III

The New York Nights Club Report for June 26, 2009
Compiled by
Gamal Hennessy

NPC Launch Party
(New York Times)
The nightlife community starts its political campaign the only way it knows how…with a party.

New York Bowling
Writer Paul Gogen gives his review of the major bowling venues in Manhattan

Ward III
Come to a place where your own specialty cocktail is kept on file.

Vesper Lounge
(New York 1)
A local Fort Greene Bar is crushed when the building collapses.

Have fun

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Best Bartenders, Independent Spirits and Super Dive

The New York Nights Club Report for June 18, 2009

Complied by Gamal Hennessy

Best Bartenders in New York
As mixology becomes more prominent, Forbes has picked these professionals as the top of the pack…

(Urban Daddy)
The Lower East Side gets a better quality dive bar (if that isn’t an oxymoron)…

Independent Spirits Expo
June 24th 6PM-9PM at Touch
The CMJ of liquor hits New York next week so you can find the rising stars of alcohol…

Have fun.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Zagat Takes the Pulse of New York Nightlife

By Gamal Hennessy

The first name in restaurant reviews moves into its 40th year with its annual nightlife guide today. In addition to a broad based look at venues in all five boroughs, the book looks at the trends emerging in both patron behavior and new venues. While some of the data reflects the impact of the recession, the overall picture shows that New York remains a prime location for nightlife.

Zagat started in 1979 as a collection of reviews for New York restaurants. Over the next four decades the company has expanded to dozens of cities and offers books and websites on shopping, dining and nightlife. The 2009/10 Zagat Nightlife Book used a survey of 6,000 nightlife patrons to determine that while people have changed their behavior because of the economy, nightlife as an industry has proven resilient to the downturn.

According to Zagat,
New York City currently has more than 1,300 nightlife venues, including 100 new venues added in the past year. This finding is supported by our own Club Report that has continued to track new venues opening almost every week in spite of the economy. While there is no mention of how many venues were lost in 2008, the number of new venues is remarkable considering the economy and the stiff competition for drinking dollars. When you look at the contraction of other local industries in the past year, the Zagat data shows the strength of nightlife as an economic force in the city.

When it comes to the behavior of nightlife patrons, there is a definite shift toward less extravagant evenings. People are
opting to go to less expensive venues, ordering fewer drinks when they go to their normal venues, or going out about half as much as they used to in an effort to save money. There was no information on the impact on bottle service, but anecdotal conversations I’ve had with promoters and other operators back this up this finding. In 2007-8 the average spent per person on liquor used to be $50-75 per night, now that number is down to $25-40.

The Nightlife Book also tracked other trends. It found that rising areas of popularity for nightlife include LES, Harlem, Park Slope and Williamsburg. It found that more new venues are underground speakeasies as opposed to the rooftop bars that have been in vogue for the past two years. It also found that the speakeasy trend is supporting a parallel rise in mixology in both new and established venues.

The 2009/10 Nightlife Book is available today and has updates that can be delivered to your handheld.

Have fun.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rooftop Bars, The Bar Show and The Grand Ballroom

The New York Nights Club Report for June 11, 2009

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

(Urban Daddy)
The Jane Hotel brings a new event/ drinking space to the West Village...

If it ever stops raining, you can check out these open air venues...

The New York Bar Show (June 14th and 15th at the Javits Center)
Visit the place where professionals discuss new ways to get you drunk...

Have fun.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Angels and Kings, Avenue, The Gates and Le Souk

The New York Nights Club Report for June 4, 2009

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

(Urban Daddy)
The successful Marquee crew bring a new lounge to Chelsea

Le Souk
(The Villager)
A judge decides to give the Alphabet City lounge another liquor license.

Angels and Kings
Pete Wentz’s East Village bar was closed for serving liquor to minors again

The Gates
Address: 290 8th Avenue

Space: 3
The interior design of the Gates is upscale and luxurious. Everything from the bar fixtures to the seating looks expensive. The minimal space is maximized for bottle service and being seen. The physical location of the space is isolated from other nightlife venues. It’s between the West Chelsea strip and the Flatiron venues which will either raise its exclusive status or hinder its attraction for club hoppers.

Service: 4
The doorman, host and bartenders were quick, courteous and professional. But keep in mind I saw the place during a press party, so everyone might have just been on their best behavior to avoid bad reviews. Still, I’ve been to press parties will poor service, so we’ll give credit where it’s due.

Sound: 3
The music selection of the evening seemed to be Top 40 hits from the 50’s and 60’s. While some of the men in the crowd might have been alive or recognized this music, I’m sure almost none of the twenty something women in attendance knew any of those songs. Having said that, the DJ worked the system enough to fill the room but not too much to keep people from talking…and he scored points for being different.

Cost: 2
I paid $16 for a Black and Coke. I’m under the impression that all the drinks cost $16, no matter how simple or elaborate.

Overall: 3 out of 5
The Gates might succeed as a high end lounge if enough the patrons want to get away from the other club areas and enjoy opulence behind an impressive fa├žade.

Have fun.