NYC Nightlife: Everything You Need To Know Today

by Ross Kenneth Urken · January 31, 2011

The Ace Hotel is hip, The Box moves to London, Canal St. looks to get swanky, and Soho gets a little help from the  L.A. based company, SBE. Its first NYC project? Taking over an old gas station! This plus more in today's nightlife round-up.

1. Are nerds the new hip it crowd? Check out the Times profile of Alex Calderwood, co-founder of The Ace Hotel [NYTimes]

“We’re not trying to be a quote-unquote hip hotel, per se,” said Alex Calderwood, a pale, curly-haired 43-year-old. Wearing a T-shirt, Levi’s and sneakers he designed in collaboration with Converse, he could pass for one of the stylishly unobtrusive guests. Mr. Calderwood is the face of the Ace Hotel Group, a chain that began in Seattle, expanded to Portland, Ore., and, in the last year and a half, opened ambitious new properties in Palm Springs, Calif., and this Manhattan neighborhood (so overlooked that it doesn’t even have a name —perhaps the coolest thing about it).

There's also this little gem on the culture of the Ace:

"The clientele there, and in New York, are self-selecting, and the Ace is less a gatekept democracy than an anarcho-libertarian paradise. Unlike, say, Soho House or the Standard, there's no sense of exclusivity; you don't derive status from membership, you get it by deciding to go in the first place. It's almost Calvinist."

It's an attractive analysis, but it falls short given that the "paradise" of Calvin's Geneva came in one of the most morally, rigorous codes of conduct that pretty much killed cool. But nice try on the writer's part.

2. Louche burlesque spot The Box is set to open a London outpost. [Guardian UK via Bowery Boogie]

[Simon Hammerstein and Andre Balazs]

LES risque spot will pump a little juice into London's Soho, which has fallen prey to gentrification and commercialization. But will Simon Hammerstein's dildo-play and geisha-tease hot spot be too much for the British to handle?

The Guardian UK said that residents of London's Soho believe the "famously rackety area of London is being transformed into a bland space colonised by chain bars and restaurants."

3. L.A. Hotelier Sam Nazarian's will open New York offshoot. [NY Post]

[Antonio Villaraigosa, Sam Nazarian]

L.A.-based SBE company will open an NYC hotel at 72 Sullivan St. (aka 140 Sixth Ave). He will operate two hotels and a restaurant under the Redbury and SLS brands, and this first one comes at the site of an old gas station.

4. Can Canal St. be about more than Chanel knock-offs, Faux-kley sunglasses, and Chinese food? [DNA Info ]

[Virginia Wettlaufer, Anita Martignetti, Anthony Martignetti, ?]

Tom and Anthony Martignetti have announced plans to open an upscale joint on "Haggling Row," right between Baxter and Centre Streets.

"The block was part of the so-called 'Counterfeit Triangle,' a group of 32 storefronts that have been covered in metal shutters since a city raid nearly three years ago...[The Martignetti duo] has hired chef Keith Harry, the consultant chef at Macao Trading CO. and longtime sous-chef at Chanterelle, to craft an Asian-inspired menu for the as-yet-unnamed establishment."

5. Bowery nightlife lightning rod mural, the Deitch Wall, now has amped-up protection [EV Grieve] Goldman Properties has hired 24/7 security guards to hold vigil over the vaunted, oft-bombed mural. The rampant graffiti on mural has been a constant bane to the famed art gallerist.


6. Storming the barricades. Are clubs responsible for stealing police barricades, amounting to $240,000 a year? [Gothamist]

According to police sources, over 20 % of all police barricades have gone missing in the last year.

"Sources tell the Post that many are stolen by businesses that could use them for crowd control, such as bars, clubs and the like."

As NYC The Tumblr reports, there's been a barrier at the corner of MacDougal and Houston streets forever.

7. Mayor Bloomberg may weigh in on the future of Tavern on the Green [Grub Street]

"Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg weighed in on Donald Trump's bid to revive Tavern on the Green, saying the city hasn't decided whether there will be a restaurant there again, but 'I suspect there will be. Maybe it'll be a small one, which might fit in a little better in terms of today's needs.'"

But the plot thickens.

"Steve Cuozzo thinks Bloomberg is 'in a pickle more delicious than anything from the 'gourmet' food trucks in the former Tavern courtyard,' since he's cozy with Peter Ward, the union leader Trump has struck a deal with, and yet 'letting Trump revive the place from the ashes would embarrass him.'"

Of course in the Post article, Bloomberg sees restaurants like Shake Shack as the future of NYC eating...

So much food drama.

8. Barry Mullineaux (owner of Juliet) made a cameo last night on Kim&Khloe "Take" Manhattan [@NY Nightlife]

The proprietor of the West Chelsea supper club goes all Kardashian and may need that hype considering recent news:

Speaking of Juliet, @NY Nightlife tweeted "Reason to believe Jon B is out of Juliet--a host tipped me off saying checks are being picked up at Juliet, NOT Greenhouse as usual."

Could it be that the famous promoter has been kicked to the curb? He may need an extra dose of the "Full Frontal," the joint's signature spicy grapefruit tequila. We wonder if Mark Barker of Lotus and Artan Gjoni of Norwood who were overseeing things had their relationship with Jon B. go sour.

Update: The Juliet Family tells us : Jon B. recently inked a deal to sell his shares of Juliet to existing partners so that he can free up time to persue new and exciting ventures. His departure from Juliet is amicable and as we speak he is having dinner with friends here. Artan Gjoni opening 'The Albert Hall' on 9th Avenue and Mark Baker is still the soul of nightlife at Juliet. It is all one big happy family and sorry if there is no drama here."

9. Restaurateur Scott Sartiano originally thought he'd become a politician! [Columbia College Today]

"Scott Sartiano '97 thought he'd end up as a politician. But rather than pursuing a law degree and entering the world of tailored navy blue suits and The White House, Sartiano found himself surrounded with bodysuits and house music. AS co-owner of Butter, the acclaimed restaurant-with-a-DJ in the East Village, Sartiano spends nights cavorting with the likes of uber-models Carmen Kass and Iman, Teen Beat demi-god Carson Daly and rapper Jay-Z. Not bad for a nice guy from North Carolina."

Big city dreamin' gone big pimpin'.