New York Nightlife Dead?? I don't think so! And, I spent the better half of my afternoon yesterday on a mission to prove the naysayers wrong. I presented one of my favorites, Blue Ribbon, and now you all deserve to know where the coolest people (for lack of a better word) are hanging out after hours. So, I asked A Rising PR, A Nightlife Columnist, A G9 Connoisseur, A Dapper Business Man With a Penchant for Expensive Things and Beautiful Women,The REAL Izzy Gold, An Indie Worshiper of Rock, A Creative Jeweler, A Couple of Trust Funders "In Transition", Two Party Starting DJ's, A Paid "Predictor of Trends", A Venture Capitalist, A Cool Cravat Cat, and A Hipster Magazine Editor where their favorite night spots were (excluding the known Beatrice Inn, The Box, 1Oak, Martignettis, Rose Bar, Gold Bar, The Eldridge, Bowery Hotel, etc.), and here is what they came up with:
Apotheke The newest hot spot, in the rising Chinatown neighborhood, has hit JACKPOT. This place came up on almost everyone's list. And why not? Who wouldn't love a nice absinthe cocktail after a tough day of being cool? And, as we all know, New Yorkers like to feel "special"...well, try being part of the "Trummer Troupe". Mixologist Albert Trummer, best known for his fireballs of absinth he spits into the air, is handing out secret keys to select customers, which will allow them access to the bar via an unmarked door in the adjacent apartment building. It's about time we stopped having to suck up to the doormen.
Double Seven. "We will all be rejoicing when they reopen". Double 7, owned David Rabin is set to open in the old Rhone on Gansevoort Street, just east of Florent. I am actually a little bit scared for my health with the reopening of this place. I can already forsee more than a couple of hungover weekday afternoons.
Mr. West. With a DJ as the owner (DJ Jus Ske), you can bet that solid music is a major motivation behind this newest club on the very west end of 22nd street (ex-Opus 22 location). If you need more convincing, Zac Posen was among the first to throw a party there. Fabrizio is at the door and they too serve Absinthe Cocktails....A reoccurring theme.
Lovely Day's Cellar I pass by this kitschy and very cozy (tiny) little spot almost daily and could not be more delighted that they are working on opening up a basement lounge. They will be competing with their next door neighbor Peasant and her cozy dungeon, though I'm expecting (and hoping) for very good things.
Chloe. This little gem is flying under radar from most of the online world, though it's creating a lot of buzz amongst our very hippest of our Guests. It's below the French restaurant Casanis at 81 Ludlow (@Broome). Shecky's deems it a "worthy substitute for the crowd displaced by the revamping of Bella's at Bar Martignetti's" but we hear it's the Beatrice Inn regulars that have OD on Bea who are sprouting up at Chloe. Go now before it catches on and before you know it, she shows up.
Kingswood's Basement. Aussies (and New Zealanders for that matter) are better fun-makers. Anyone that disagrees with me is just plain wrong. Sunday night are apparently the best precursor to the debauchery that continues well into the night at Bea. Mikey Mike Nouveau is spinning then.
Rusty Knot. Still going strong after opening last March, this westward bar was destined for greatness. By Spotted Pig's Ken Friedman, Freeman's Taavo Somer, Milk & Honey's Tobey Maloney and a Momofuku alum thrown in, the result is "a detail-rich, high-pedigree Manhattan cocktail spot colliding with a kitsched-out cruiseliner and an old-school tiki room" [Urbandaddy]
Hudson Bar and Books. This hot spot in the West Village is a secret too good to NOT share. It's old New York at it's finest. They let you smoke and play original James Bond films on the tvs 24/7. The Girls wear little red dresses (ask for Telly) and they have amazing scotch. "Light up, drink down, curse Bloomberg's cruel legacy; if you're going to die a hideous death, you might as well feel stylish doing it." [Blackbook]
Smith and Mills. This Oldie but Goodie from Matt Abramcyk and Akiva Elstein, (partner in Beatrice Inn and Employees only), is the tiny bar in what used to be a former carriage house in the netherlands of Tribeca. The place surprisingly (or unsurprisingly given De Niro's hotel is across the street), has a fair amount of bold faces for a place the size of most kitchens, and has basically no door policy.
Antik. We hear Wednesday nights are cool at this unpretentious hot spot on Bowery street. If Antik gets too crowded, downstairs is the even more understated British pub King's Cross.
Bob's. A few doors down, yet a world away from The Eldridge. For the past 7 years this has been one of our favorite "diamond in the rough" spots. Essentially it's a dive lounge that plays the best hip hop in town and has zero attitude.
Santos Party House. This two level, 8000 sq foot music venue is sure to get even the stiffiest hipped friend of yours to shake around a bit. "Blurring the lines between music and art culture, the venue is designed to function as a concert hall, dance club, and lounge"
The Randolph. I love the place because it's steps from my apartment. It's also the new Bella's as far as I'm concerned. Well, at least until the Martignetti Boys open their newest spot down the street (set to be called "The Magestic").They have unique mixed drinks made by a special mixologist (have an eskimo kiss-they are awesome) and are launching a delicious food plan that has excellent panini's within the next two weeks. Great music and ambiance the Randolph is stylish spot to hang late night.
Le Royale. David Baxley's spot on 7th ave carries with it a coveted cabaret license and may just bring nightlife out of the doldrums.
Other answers included: Any of the rooms at the Gramercy Park Hotel after the Rose Bar closes, Dorrians on Tuesdays, Nell's, Dorsia, The Panopticon (new space in hell's kitchen), Malady's, Sway, The Anchor, Bijoux, La Esquina, Submercer, Hog Pit, Big Sur, Little Branch, Blue Ribbon Wine Bar, Bemelman's Bar in the Carlyle, oh, and DJ Nick Cohen is reinventing Bungalow 8, our inspiration.
I Am Looking forward to:
Lessons learned: a little bit of Absinthe keeps the masses happy...and, that there is little need to visit uptown.
Long Live NYC, Long Live It's Nightlife!