At one point, club operator turned designer Steve Lewis was the guy to get if you were opening a new venue. We’ve been wondering what happened to him ever since he worked on Amalia, but now he has resurfaced as — what else? — a blogger! We’re not going to lie: His interview with the owners of Mansion is silly shilly (“New York needs Mansion just as we need Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana, and Lincoln Center”) and includes a lot of familiar bellyaching about the state of nightlife (promoters, bottle service, and bankers turned owners have hijacked the business; every club in the last six years has been a knockoff; there’s no personal service anymore), but we got a kick out of Miami-based Mansion partner Eric Milon’s dismissive survey of his competition.
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
Don’t expect to get into Mansion tonight without an invite – or anytime this weekend unless you’re a model or designer. But you can experience their sex toys firsthand on Valentine’s Day. [Down by the Hipster]
Related: Mansion’s House Is Not Entirely in Order
Frank Bruni thinks Allen & Delancey and Sfoglia are romantic choices for Valentine’s Day. Too bad you won’t be able to get in. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Restaurant Week may be over but there are still some (relatively) good deals to be had in this town. Case in point: on February 19 you can get a four-course meal at Café Boulud for the price of three courses. [Zagat Buzz]
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.
When we walked by Avalon on Saturday night, we saw this “important notice” (important to fans of pecsibitionism, anyway) that Hunk-O-Mania is no longer in the house. A call to Hunk-O-Mania reveals that the former Limelight is “closed for renovations,” possibly for a couple of months. The State Liquor Authority’s Website indicates the club’s liquor license expired on January 1 (although it is apparently free to sell booze under a SAPA letter while the authority considers a renewal), but we’ve been told that the closure might have more to do with a possible change in ownership. The club’s financial woes and its landlord’s desire to turn it into a retail space (perhaps with a restaurant) were well documented in a Villager article about a year ago, so this doesn’t come as a huge shock. In fact, if indeed it does get a new owner capable of restoring it to its Limelight-era glory (hey, a clubber can dream), it could be welcome news.
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]
Chelsea: Opium Group’s secret weapon to save clubland and launch Mansion: “tables for bottle service on the massive dance floor.” [Down by the Hipster]
Greenwich Village: Milos and Molyvos alum Christos Christou is now running the Greek kitchen at Gus’s Place. [NYS]
Lower East Side: Neighbors are said to be incensed about Fat Baby owner Rob Shamlian supposedly forging their signatures on a petition to get a license for his new restaurant, Evan Ford. [NYO]
Sagaponack: Townline BBQ is not only well organized, but the pulled pork and beef ribs are also delicious. [Writing With My Mouth Full]
West Village: SushiSamba 7 just redesigned its roof deck. [Grub Street]
Williamsburg: The retired Domino sugar plant is already a landmark, but it’d really be sweet if it turned into Tate Modern West. [Lost City]