Lotus partner David Rabin has confirmed rumors that Tenjune's Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm will be involved in the club. “The plan for the new venue and the timing are not set yet,” he writes in an email to us, “but it'll be a JV [joint venture]. We are enthused about Mark and Eugene’s involvement. Fortunately, Lotus is still holding its own.” So much so, in fact, that as we pointed out yesterday, new nightclub Suzie Wong might just have taken inspiration from Lotus’s logo. “The similarity in logos is more than a bit odd,” Rabin says. “Maybe they want to buy our old Suzie Wong neon sign at a discount? I hope they have better luck with the concept than we did.” Adding to the intrigue, Down by the Hipster e-mails to point us to the logo of popular cocktail bar Suzy Wong in Amsterdam, shown above. Cue “Double Vision.”
Earlier:Suzie Wong Gives Us a Case of Déjà Vu
When we first told you about Suzie Wong, the lounge “nightlife lord” JE Englebert and his partners are opening this Thursday in their old Pre:Post space at 547 West 27th Street, we noted that Lotus once had a café named after the fictitious hooker with a heart of gold. That said, you’d think Lord Englebert would make sure his logo looks nothing like Lotus’s! Or are we the only ones who see the resemblance? And are we the only ones who are hesitant to visit a sake lounge that spells it “saki”? Sure, it’s technically an acceptable alternative, but we’re not surprised it’s the preferred spelling of someone whose other club is Myst [sic].
Earlier:Club to Open in (Rather Than Flee) West Chelsea
A tipster tells Down by the Hipster that Michael Satsky, owner of the recently raided Stereo, approached Tenjune partner Mark Birnbaum at Houston’s and “walked directly up to him and hit him ‘openhanded’ out of his chair. He then proceeded to put him in a headlock.” The catalyst of that brawl, the source says, is that Tenjune stole DJ Suss One away from Stereo. We asked both parties for comments, and they were quick to offer statements.
Meatpacking District: Tenjune’s Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum are reportedly poised to take over Lotus from David Rabin after eyeing the space back in September, but we’re not sure of the fate the waitress who dubbed the club a "tourist attraction." [Down by the Hipster]
Midtown East: Café St. Bart’s may change its name to Inside Park at St. Bart’s by early 2008 when the restaurant reopens to show off its new renovations. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Lime, the new bar opening on Flatbush, has hoisted a sign, which has been described, possibly with sarcasm, as "pretty damn spiffy." [Across the Park]
South Bronx: The produce is speaking for itself at the smallest food co-op in the city, which began operations in September and now has 30 members. Who wouldn’t want better-priced tomatoes whose "juices just burst in your mouth and you have that sensation of loveliness growing in your mouth”? [NYT]
Tribeca: Murray’s sibling Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish, on Chambers near West Broadway, had its grand opening this weekend. [Grub Street]
Last week "Page Six" reported that Tenjune owners Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum were eyeing Lotus and Pizza Bar. Sure, even Lotus’ waitress considers it a “tourist attraction” and the owners do have a lot on their hands (their new Mexican restaurant Los Dados is now up and running and Double Seven, previously slated for a mid-summer reopening is now scheduled to do business “in the next few months,” according to a rep), but is Lotus really for sale?
The Box is back in action and even hosted a corporate event last night for Virgin America airline, clearly meant to bring the venue one step closer to becoming a "cultural institution." [Down by the Hipster]
The $94.7 million sale of New York–based Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, which includes Quality Meats and Park Avenue Summer, to the national corporation Patina has been finalized, but there's still no word on a timetable for Park Avenue's fall makeover. [Nation's Restaurant News]
Related: The Secrets of Steakhouse Riches
Is Top Chef’s Brian into threesomes? Of the kind less celebrated in popular culture? [Amuse Biatch]
Tyson Wong Ophaso, who you may remember as the chef at Chinatown Brasserie whom was beat up by three drunks in front of his own restaurant last year, had some good news to tell us when we ran into him the other night: Six months after leaving the Brasserie, he’s been hired as corporate chef by Domaine Restaurant Group, which owns Dakota and 25 Degrees in the Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, as well as two Red Pearls, a kind of California version of Spice Market with “fresh, clean, and lean versions of Asian street food,” as Ophaso tells us.
Vikram Chatwal, who tells us Dream Downtown is about a year and a half from landing in the meatpacking district (he’s in talks with a Barcelona chef about the restaurant), reveals to us that he’s teaming up with Geoffrey Zakarian and designer Thierry Despont (who did the Carlyle Hotel and Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London) on his other project, the Lamb's Club, opening at 130 West 44th Street in August of next year. Zakarian was hesitant to discuss his involvement but indicated that David Rabin and Will Regan of Lotus were also partners. Rabin certainly has his hands full these days between the relocation of Double Seven and the opening of Los Dedos, the Mexican restaurant he and chef Sue Torres are launching next month in the old Meet space, but he found a moment to clue us in about the hotel.
For the past year School of Visual Arts student Melissa Barnes has been a server at Lotus. The fashion and design major hasn’t met Jessica Stam there — she says the former hot spot has become “a tourist attraction, basically”—but the club has done something for her budding fashion career. “During Fashion Week Lotus has a bar in the tents,” she says, “So the bartenders that work there make friends with the security people. This year the security guys let us go into some of the shows.” So how does one sneak past the velvet rope at her place of employment? “It’s not hard to get in at all,” Melissa confesses.