Mansion hasn’t been getting much love so far — first dating columnist Julia Allison posts a short video clip from inside the club and bemoans the “sheer AWFULNESS” of the place, and now a Down by the Hipster tipster chimes in with further criticism: “Too many unfocused ideas implemented into one place.” (And that's before the Cougar Room full of sex toys is even open!) Another DBTH post says, “Truth be told, other than the ball-like chandeliers and some fire flames burning behind glass (like a Miami club I forget) it isn't much different than Crobar was.” Meanwhile, the hard-core clubbers at Clubplanet are bummed that Crobar’s ample dance space is gone. Of course, the club doesn’t fully open until Thursday, so if West Chelsea is even still on your nightlife radar, take these opinions for what they’re worth.
Earlier:Mansion’s House Is Not Entirely in Order
Last week we brought news that the Crobar space is set to reopen (with sex toys!) as Mansion. But before we celebrate the return of big clubbing to Manhattan, let’s remember this: The space is operating under a SAPA letter that allows the club to serve alcohol, despite its expired liquor license, while the State Liquor Authority considers whether to renew its license. Obviously the new owners are banking on the fact that Crobar’s alleged violations in 2006 — including inadequate supervision, five noise violations, three assaults, and eight instances of drugs on premise — won’t cause the SLA to revoke the license. However, a spokesman for the SLA says that revocation is a possibility. Though the community board has previously indicated a willingness to work with Opium Group (whose owner Eric Milon is, ironically, a teetotaler), district spokesman Bob Banfatto says the board has not made a recommendation to the SLA and doesn’t expect to until after the SAPA investigation is resolved. That could be a matter of months, but we’ll let you know if there’s anything new after one of the violations is addressed in an SLA meeting this Wednesday.
ABC’s Notice of Pleading for Crobar/Pink ElephantRelated:Mansion Will Bring Sex Toys to Crobar’s Old Home Next Friday Community Board Stymies Crobar's Plan to Reopen
The space that held Crobar will finally reopen as an outpost of Miami nightclub Mansion next Friday, with a party thrown by Jeremy Scott and D.J.-ed by the MisShapes. The 2,120-person, bi-level venue will be helmed by Opium Group honcho Eric Milon and Lotus owner Mark Baker. According to a press release, it will have the feel of forties Hollywood, with personal granite dance platforms at each Pucci-fabric sofa, a twenty-foot enclosed fireplace, and three separate lounge areas. The interior isn’t yet photo-ready (we’re the first to run this rendering), but we’re dying to see the “Cougar Room,” a chicks-only den with hairdressers, makeup artists, sex toys, and girlie drinks by mixologist Gregory Selder. Yes — we said sex toys. What else can you expect if you plunk down $200 to $2,000 for a table reservation? We’ve trimmed the press release to its essentials.
The Zagat family has put their empire of burgundy books on the market, with Goldman Sachs handling the search for a buyer who will have to drop at least $200 million for the acquisition. [NYT]
Stereo, the club outside which a patron was shot last week, closed after a weekend police raid. [NYDN]
Howie Mandel’s mention of the Waverly Inn on Live With Regis & Kelly made Graydon Carter’s restaurant a highly searched Google item. [Gawker]
All continues to be silent on the West Chelsea front, at least as far as Crobar is concerned. Last night Community Board 4 recommend that the State Liquor Authority not renew the darkened club’s liquor license. The board (which also recommended a denial of Pacha’s renewal application) may reconsider if Crobar submits an alteration application to show that it’s serious about plans to reduce capacity and make the club more loungy when Miami’s Opium Group takes over (it’s said they’re planning to class up the place with banquettes and 3,000 pounds of crystal and run it as an outpost of their megapopular club Mansion). Crobar’s license expires on October 31, but if the club petitions the SLA, which is currently investigating outstanding violations, an extension of the renewal application may still be possible. Sound a little byzantine? Now we know why the phrase “shut up and dance” was coined. —Daniel MaurerEarlier:Crobar Cleans House While Readying for Miami Makeover [Grub Street]
As Down by the Hipster reported recently, Miami’s Opium Group has purchased the Crobar/Studio Mezmor space, which has joined neighbors BED and Spirit in darkness. It remains to be seen whether it evolves into a satellite of one of Opium’s popular Miami clubs, Mansion and Prive, or whether there’s any truth to rumors on Clubplanet’s message boards that Opium will name and model the place (or its parties) after the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of raver nostalgia, Twilo and/or Tunnel. An Opium rep who answered the phone at Crobar’s number acknowledged the sale (and nothing else), but another rep refuted the Twilo/Tunnel rumor and told us, “It is not confirmed that we’ll be taking over the former Crobar space or any space in NYC at this time” presumably because a CB hearing on the space’s liquor-license renewal won’t occur until next Tuesday. (The current license expires on October 31.)
Boerum Hill: Reports that owners of WXOU Radio and WCOU Radio (the Tile bars) and the Magician are taking over the Brooklyn Inn and will lose the pool table. [Eater]
Carroll Gardens: Cash-only Quench perturbed some residents who claim the spot prefers men with shaved arms to their "kind of [atm-needing] people." [Brooklyn Record]
Chelsea: Former model Eric Milon, now behind Miami's Opium Group, overheard discussing the former Crobar space. [Down by the Hipster]Financial District: From a tipster: "FYI, Amarok, (or Marok Bar ) was closed by the health inspectors. I was there last night and there were yellow signs posted around the entire bar." [Grub Street]
Forest Hills: Latina Cabana Express now open, but will it become a neighborhood favorite, or be doomed by skimping on ingredients or being mean to its customers? [Forest Hills 72]
Greenpoint: Former Monsignor space on Lorimer seems to have avoided the corporate devil by becoming a Mediterranean bistro, not Starbucks. One prediction: Olive Garden. [A Test of Will]
Prospect Heights: A section of the former Ward Bread Bakery Complex, which will be demolished for the Atlantic Yards project, collapses before its time. [WABC]
With BED freshly closed and rumors floating that Bungalow and Cain are looking to flee West 27th Street, it's good to know Crobar, for one, is soldiering forward. It reopened last weekend as a new venue — now it's called Studio Mezmor — and it's doing double duty as an arts and events studio, and possibly a rock venue. (Don't tell that to the Bowery Ballroom guys, who are looking to open a music venue in the space that once housed Exit.) But other than the name, not a lot has changed. A few columns have been knocked down, sound systems upgraded, and the annex that was once cluttered with bamboo reeds will now be called the SideBar. The picture above is of the new, awfully familiar-looking VIP mezzanine. After the jump, the new, even more familiar dance floor. Daniel MaurerCORRECTION, Feb. 22: We've been informed that the above photograph is actually of the SideBar, which does indeed look quite different now that the bamboo has been chucked. Which basically undermines our whole argument here. Sorry about that.
Eater tries every which way of getting into the Waverly Inn short of just barging to a table. [Eater]
Lard czar admits eateries have "valid concerns." [NYP]
Cuozzo tells the city to ban transsexuals, not trans fats. Seriously. [NYP]
Eaters turning to small, local farms; Willie Nelson presumably psyched. [NYT]
Bruni ponders the meaning of "market price," chats with Danny Meyer "for a good 10 minutes without a moment of tension." [NYT]
Blogs buzz over the City Bakery bread that need not be kneaded. [Chow]
"Bordeaux guy" (and New York Magazine contributing editor) Jay McInerney, spotted at Cafe Cluny last night, likes his zins too. [NYS]
On West 28th Street: Crobar to shutter? [NYP]
On West 29th Street: Will the real Stereo please stand up? [NYP]
* Correction, November 17, 2006: The no-knead bread is made by Jim Lahey at Sullivan Street Bakery, not City Bakery as originally stated.