André Saraiva’s new three-story Mulberry Street den of revelry.
32 Mulberry St., nr. Mosco St.
The grimy strip club turned grimy nightspot.
75 Clarkson St., nr. West St.; 212-620-0101
Le Baron: The pink-hued lighting, salaciously clever wallpaper, and comfy couches evoke a brothel minus the sinister undertones
Westway: The old strippers’ runway and dance floor are what pass for ambience in an intentionally pared-down space
Le Baron: Pleasantly odd French tunes and pop surprises cut with happy house
Westway: A bar mitzvah’s worth of crowd-pleasing tracks. So. Much. Rihanna
Le Baron: Two bars on two floors keep lines to a minimum
Westway: Two bars and generous pours
Le Baron: Tables can sometimes create barriers to introduction
Westway: A delightfully democratic free-for-all
Le Baron: Tough but reasonable— if you dress well, don’t arrive in a group that resembles a walking frat party, wait patiently in line, and aren’t rude to impossibly handsome, smoldering doorman Will, you may still not make it in, but you’ll be treated with respect
Westway: Also tough but reasonable. Fancy clothes and commitments to spend heavily are not particularly valued— just be polite and wait your turn
Le Baron: There are taxis out front, but if you’re there especially late, you may find yourself scouring Pell Street or Doyers Street for a ride home
Westway: Plenty of cabs on Clarkson Street, plus it’s not far to Greenwich Street or Hudson Street, where you’ll find leagues of cabs and cars fleeing the meatpacking district
Nothing against Westway, whose seedy, dancy vibe can make for a great night, but Le Baron is a blockbuster: extravagantly envisioned and perfectly executed.
Smackdown: Scenester Clubs
From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).