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.

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
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.


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
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.

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

Have fun.

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.

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…

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

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

Nightclub Staff Hierarchy
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

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 and in bookstores in January 2010.

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

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

Have fun.

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…

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.

No Name Bar
A fire has temporarily shut down this Flatiron watering hole.

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.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Sexual Cycle of New York Nightlife

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.

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…


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…



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

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.


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.