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Fall Nightlife Preview

Room service, stripper poles, a VIP tree house and the return of La Esquina's Serge Becker are just the start.


Brooklyn's new rock venue Studio B.  

205 Christie St., at Stanton St.; 212-477-6688; opens September 14.
Serge Becker of La Esquina nudges former twenties-styled rock hangout 6's and 8's a few decades forward into the sixties: The screen-door façade opens up to a freight-elevator-type foyer. Upstairs, exposed pipes, plaster-patched brick walls, mismatched vintage furniture, and gobs of tin foil look to evoke Andy Warhol's Factory; downstairs, the low-ceilinged basement aspires to a bedrock lair lit by candles. Aaron Bondaroff (a.k.a. A-Ron) of the aNYthing clothing line has been brought on as programming director.

BB&R (Blonde, Brunette and a Redhead)
1720 Second Ave., between 89th and 90th Sts.; 212-987-5555; opens September 9.
Three childhood buddies have installed Galaga, Pac Man, and the Fast and Furious consoles in the 2,000-square-foot space that was once Manhattan Lounge. After adding a pool table and a photo booth, they rechristened it Blonde, Brunette, and a Redhead in honor of a conversation they’d had on the merits of each hair color. The bar staff represents all three, so Upper East Siders can carry on the debate while sitting at tufted brown-leather banquettes and noshing on organic pizzas from Slice.

The Box
189 Chrystie St., between Stanton and Rivington Sts.; 212-982-9301;; opens late October.
Richard Kimmel (The Wooster Group), Randy Weiner (The Donkey Show), producer Simon Hammerstein (son of Oscar), and busy Serge Becker (again) are spending $1 million to convert a historic Lower East Side sign factory into a dinner theater–performance space that will operate as a lounge later in the night. Inspired by the Wild West opera of Arizona's Birdcage Theater, designer Cordell Lochin of Suba has paired salvaged twenties furniture with mix-and-match antique wallpaper of flowers, flappers, and cherubs. Becker expects that the eclectic programming will focus on modernized takes on the classics.

(Rendering courtesy of Columbus 72.)  

Columbus 72
246A Columbus Ave., between 71st and 72nd Sts.; 212-769-1492,; opens October 7.
According to co-owner Marc Glazer, the perennial nightclub that used to house Star Club has undergone its first serious makeover in 40 years. The two dance floors and two lounges are going to be outfitted with upholstered furniture and will each have unique music programming: hip-hop, classic rock, eighties, and house. But what will end up defining Columbus 72 could be Glazer's partnership with Copacabana's John Juliano, the possession of the UWS's only cabaret license, or the enlisting of the man who played Crazy Eddie to spin Euro house and techno on Fridays.

353 W. 14th St., between Eighth Ave. and Ninth Ave.; 212-524-2500,; opens September 15.
Those accustomed to cramped comedy clubs may experience agoraphobia when they enter this renovated Strawberry Fields supermarket. Amid the marble floors, plasma TVs, and two waiting lounges (one equipped with a copper bar) in the 5,000-square-foot showroom, Bobby Collins and booker Wende Curtis of Denver’s Comedy Works promise to bring the likes of David Spade, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. They’ll need that level of talent if they hope to fill the 320 seats with $25-and-up cover prices. Great Performances staffs the kitchen slated to dole out fancy American grub.

Dirty Disco
248 W. 14th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves.; 212-488-2525; opens September 15.
With reggae-hip-hop hotspot 2i's long gone from the premises, Yuval Eder has arrived with this "miniclub"a bi-level space for rock, eighties hip-hop and house with a modest dance floor, a cabaret license, a step-up VIP perch, and a $100,000 sound system. It's considerably smaller than neighbor the Plumm, yet the operators, who also include former owners of Ruby Falls and model wrangler Danny Devine, assure no bottle reservations will be required to snag a low-slung pleather banquette.

Luna Lounge
361 Metropolitan Ave., at Havemeyer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; opens in fall.
Beloved Ludlow Street rock dive Luna Lounge suffered death by condo a year ago. Since then, longtime East Village resident Rob Sacher and wife Susan have banked on Williamsburg's lower rents and chiller community board to support their year-long conversion of a parking garage into a state-of-the-art concert venue. Bigger than Mercury Lounge, smaller than Bowery Ballroom, the new Luna Lounge looks to lure national acts as well as signed and up-and-coming local bands. Post-performance cover charges (usually around $15) will be waived.

R Bar
218 Bowery; between Prince St. and Spring St.; 212-334-0484,; opens September 5.
Without sacrificing the liberal door policy or the many beers on tap, the owners of Pioneer Bar have given the Bowery stalwart a clubby makeover by throwing a black epoxy resin on the floors, red light boxes under the bar, and squares of pleather on the walls. The old-school hip-hop and indie Britpop tunes emitting from the D.J. booth (modeled after a Chesterfield sofa) should complement co-owner- artist Benjamin Kay's paintings and photos of Mick Jagger and Deborah Harry. The icing on the cake? Stripper poles in a reservable private back room.

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