Displaying all articles tagged:

Nightlife

Most Recent Articles

Neighbors Accuse Death & Co. of Noise, Evoking Nazism

Sasha Petraske’s new wine and beer joint wasn’t the only boîte that took a royal drubbing during Tuesday’s CB3 meeting. Neighbors of Death & Co. protested that the cocktail den, which serves a menu of small plates like macaroni and cheese on silver spoons, is only masquerading as a restaurant and deserves to have its liquor license revoked. The most vociferous protestor was upstairs neighbor Joe Hurley (who happens to be the front man of a bar band). In addition to complaining about noise, Hurley said that neighborhood seniors are scared of Death & Co.’s name (apparently, they’re okay with Rogue’s March, the name of Hurley’s band). Though Death’s name comes from a Prohibition-era anti-drinking propaganda piece, neighbors (according to those who spoke at the meeting) find it reminiscent of Nazi fascism and believe the stark cedar exterior recalls an Auschwitz rail car. “A restaurant with no windows seems like an affront,” Hurley said.

CB3 Loves Petraske, Hates His Plans

One thing was clear at the Community Board 3 meeting last night: The East Village board loves Milk and Honey proprietor Sasha Petraske. "He is probably the only owner in nine years who has run [his bar] according to his representations," said committee chair Alexandra Militano, who also noted he's received no complaints in nine years, as Daniel Maurer reports on Grub Street. So does all that good behavior and good will mean they'll allow him to open his planned Mighty Ocelot wine and beer bar on East 5th Street? Of course not. Noisily angry neighbors flooded the meeting, complaining that Petraske's establishment would create too much noise. And the board voted to recommend the State Liquor Authority deny his application. The full tale is at Grub Street. Neighbors Tell Milk & Honey's Sasha Petraske, 'Welcome to the East Village, Now Leave [Grub Street]

Neighbors Tell Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske, ‘Welcome to the East Village, Now Leave’

Little Branch and Milk & Honey owner Sasha Petraske may have moved into his East Village bachelor pad a week ago, but last night the community board’s SLA committee said not-so-fast to his plan to turn the two floors below it (formerly Jack’s Luxury Oyster) into a wine and Belgian beer bar called the Mighty Ocelot. (That name, previously reported here, may now change since cat-loving Sasha discovered the bar next door is called Leopard Lounge). Not even Petraske’s two adorable character witnesses — his mother and the mother of his cheese guy, T.J. Segal of Artisanal and Picholine — could save him from the wrath of block association members armed with a petition signed by over 140 noise-fearing neighbors.

City Proposal Could Limit Bars to One Homicide Per Year

20070213bar_sm.jpg
The City Council is reportedly mulling a curious proposal that would shut down bars as "public nuisances" if more than one person is killed there within a year. That's right — one murder is fine, but two are pushing it. How very Deadwood. Apart from that eye-catching provision, however, the proposal's language frees authorities to close places for pretty much any repeated violations (for instance, regular pot smoking or three "violent felonies" on the premises). Club owners, including the folks behind Sol and Crobar, are crying foul: According to them, the nuisance legislation's language is so vague it can slap the n-word (nuisance, that is) on a bar for virtually any infraction. Which could be a problem. While we're all for the thinning of the progressively vile 27th Street herd, we'd prefer that the culling be done constitutionally. Council Mulls Bill To Tighten Curbs on Bars [NYS] The Short, Drunken Life of Club Row [NYM]

Pre-Valentine's Product Testing: Do Pheromones Work?

20070212pheremones_sm.jpg
When the publicist for a company called Pure Romance called last week to offer a pheromone-based perfume called Basic Instinct for potential Valentine's Day coverage, we were, of course, drawn in. So we slapped the stuff on a dedicated New York reporter and sent her down to The Otheroom, in the West Village, to see how it worked. (We also forbade her from paying much heed to the slight allergic reaction it caused on her ears, nose, and throat.) Five men at the bar gave her a whiff. Did it work? Well, at the very least, we now know that telling a man you're wearing pheromones can make an effective pickup line.

Hanging in the Box’s S&M Restrooms

During the year and a half Simon Hammerstein spent converting a former abattoir (and later, sign factory) into his dinner theater the Box, he hauled in an imposing set of doors from an insane asylum using his pimpmobile. We suspected the restroom décor would be similarly eccentric, and sure enough, the door to the wheelchair-accessible ground-floor WC comes from an old public schoolhouse. Then again, we’ve seen that before. The real action lay on the other side of the portals found down a narrow staircase, and at the end of the same sconce-lit hallway that leads to dressing rooms intended for circus freaks, S&M performers, and acrobats — whenever the place finally opens, that is.

Per Se Mixologist to Light a Flaming Lemon Peel Under Bemelmans’ Ass

Sasha Petraske of Milk and Honey recently put his stamp on the drinks menu at the Carlyle Hotel’s Bemelmans Bar, but let’s face it, the place still isn’t what it was when it was helmed by legends Dale DeGroff and, later, Audrey Saunders. Brian Van Flandern, former head mixologist at Per Se, hopes to change that. Within six weeks, the star stirrer, known for making his own ginger beer and tonic water at Per Se’s stand-up bar, will unveil a revamped menu. Along with holdovers like DeGroff’s Whiskey Smash and Saunders’s Gin Gin Mule, it will include cocktails like a variation of his Flaming Dutchman — a concoction of cognac, sherry, gin, lemon juice, and bitters (finished off with a spectacular shower of lemon juice over an open flame). It's the same drink that prompted a Dutch company to rank him the No. 2 bartender in the world. And rest assured, the murals by Ludwig Bemelmans aren’t going anywhere, nor are the bartenders who’ve been there for years — some of the drinks may actually be named after them. —Daniel Maurer

GoldBar Doesn’t Want You to Steal Its Soul

We thought we had witnessed the height of GoldBar’s arrogance when we peeped the oil paintings of the owners opening night, but walking by recently, we noticed something else: The de rigueur velvet ropes have been replaced by gold chains barely fit for blinging out a sucka MC. We would’ve photographed them, but according to not one but two plaques, there is NO PHOTOGRAPHY PERMITTED. What does this place think this is, the Vatican? And what’s next, a no flip-flops rule? —Daniel Maurer

Bartender Shown the (Unmarked) Door

One of the marquee bartenders at a recently opened East Village luxury cocktail den has been given the boot. The reason? According to a source, the dapper dude was doling out too many top-shelf freebies to love interests and other moochers. One lucky lady received five free drinks one night and a bottle of primo bourbon the next. Lesson: If you’re going to go comp crazy, get a job at a place that smiles on it. The tips might not be as good over at Doc Holliday’s, but … —Daniel Maurer

Spitzer: Budget Cuts for Everyone!

20070205heds_sm.jpg
• First hospitals, now prisons. Governor Eliot Spitzer considers closing or consolidating some correctional facilities, in part because crime has plummeted in New York City. But he'll face opposition from pols upstate, where the clinks employ thousands. [NYT] • And he also wants to cut $328 million in aid to the city, which has Bloomberg none too pleased and on his way to Albany to complain about it. [NYT] • Seabiscuit meets Snakes on a Plane in a bizarre grand-jury probe of whether Saratoga racehorses were doped up with painkilling serpent venom to enhance their game last summer. [NYP] • The Reverend Al Sharpton may file a racial-profiling lawsuit in response to new NYPD stats that 55 percent of cop stop-and-frisks in the city happen to blacks. Such data were mandated after the 1999 police shooting of Amadou Diallo. [NYS] • Talk about rolling out of bed: An actor on the HBO hit Oz was arraigned in the death of a Bronx man who fell five flights to his death down the elevator shaft of trendy Chelsea nightclub BED. [amNY]

GoldBar Finally Emerges from the Vault

You might have heard a little bit about GoldBar lately. It's the hottest thing since Death & Co. two weeks ago and until Star Lounge goes into soft launch … this weekend. We were pretty confident the décor of this Cain offshoot would be gold, and the involvement of skulls seemed likely. But until last night’s opening to "friends and family,” all details were little more than informed speculation. Now, finally, the truth can be told.

Weird Deliveries Demanded by Club VIPs

Because we’ve only visited Room Service to use the loo, we’ve never taken advantage of the concierge service that allows clubbers who give 24-hours' notice to get anything they want delivered to their curtained VIP cubicles. Still, we couldn’t help but wonder what exactly the rich and lame-ous were ordering. As a list of every single item requested over the course of two weeks reveals, it ain’t the swordfish at Le Bernardin. More like gummy bears, K-Y Jelly, and the Paris Hilton sex tape. So which one of these items did Mary-Kate Olsen order? We’ll spill, after the list …

Miss USA Still Likes the Nightlife, Says Miss Universe

20070202universe_sm.jpg
Has disgraced-Miss-USA-gone- wild Tara Conner — who entered rehab to curb her crazy ways, including cocaine use, underage drinking, and kissing Miss Teen USA Katie Blair in public — completely given up her partying ways? Not entirely, according to her roommate, Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera. "We still party, yeah. Sometimes. We're just trying to be careful about what we do," she said at Wednesday night's benefit gala for amFAR. Besides, pageant owner Donald Trump "trusts us," Rivera says. "I'm a person who shows my real self. If I like to go party, like a young girl do, I do it. Why not? I can't drink. I'm 19. At least not in the United States." Rivera is from Puerto Rico, and "In Puerto Rico I can." And she does get treated better with the sash on. "If I compare when I was in Puerto Rico as a student in college, it's different. Very different. I get into clubs, yes." —Jada Yuan Update: Miss Universe and her flack call us to deny everything!

They Like the Nightlife

20070131nightlife_sm.jpg
At Monday night's Nightlife Awards, honoring cabaret, jazz, and comedy, performers dished about life on the boards. And about gift bags. Swag bags, pro or con? "I never take them. Every gift bag I've ever gotten has gotten three kinds of hand cream, a CD of Aida, and a copy of In Style magazine. Give me free Botox or free hair transplants, or a $2,000 gift certificate to Armani for some underwear. Although nowadays, a flu shot would be good too, and harder to come by than Botox." —Charles Busch, playwright and drag queen What's in your fantasy swag bag? "A kazoo, a can of SpaghettiOs, and a forty of Colt 45." —Daniel Reichard, Jersey Boys actor

No Art for You, East 13th Street!

20070124opus_sm.jpg
It turns out art-loving, gluten-fighting bar Heathers, the plight of which was documented in last weekend's Times "City" section, isn't the only unlikely undesirable on its East 13th Street block: Stephen Choi, an artist and former owner of Mondo Cane blues bar, and Erica Rubin, a schoolteacher and opera singer, planned to open Opus NY, an intimate art gallery and classical-music, blues, and jazz venue just down the street, in the former Filthmart clothing shop, in September. "I'm interested in the arts, not in crazy people getting drunk," explains Rubin. But despite assurances that she has thoroughly soundproofed the venue and will be working with respected maestros like Mara Waldman to promote music education, neighbors are working to keep the spot from opening, wary of noise and skeptical that the pending wine-and-beer license will be used merely for a concession stand ("like at Lincoln Center," says Rubin).

Happy Valley Owners to Launch Pizza Empire

What are a couple of career nightlifers to do when the economic realities of the club business are giving them grief? Joe Vicari and Salvatore Imposimato, last seen running the late Happy Valley, have, for the moment, left models and bottles behind, but they haven’t strayed far: Last Friday they opened a pizza joint on Ludlow Street, the first of five they hope to introduce in the next year and a half. (Clearly, they mean to lure Rosario’s customers with this one.) Their formula is simple: thin-crust, gas-fired brick-oven pies like their aunts and uncles from Italy made (the Grandma is made with fresh cheese, garlic, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes from the San Rosano region). In addition to a margherita, a Sicilian, and a few other varieties, the joint stocks the usual assortment of calzones, zeppolis, and garlic knots — plus (as if the arcade across the street at Max Fish weren’t enough) a Street Fighter machine in the back. Those late-night revelers too smashed to wait for their slice to come out can buy bags of fresh dough for three bucks a pop. — Daniel Maurer Pizzeria De Santo, 173 Ludlow St., nr. Houston St.; 212-533-3337.

Do the Restrooms at Death & Co. Have a Pot to Piss In?

We're not saying that cocktail lounge Death & Co. is the new Milk and Honey (for one, they’re willing to make you a Sex on the Beach, albeit a very highfalutin one), but there are certain undeniable similarities: the curtained, unmarked entry; uniformed barkeeps deploying squeezed juices and an arsenal of bitters; jazz on the speakers. We couldn’t help but wonder, then, whether the bathrooms lived up to the notorious ones at Sasha Petraske’s joint. Camera in hand, we peeled ourselves away from our top-shelf mescal to find out.

Is GoldBar Readying Its Blowtorches for Cain’s Biggest Spenders?

The plot grows thicker in the curious case of Little Italy hot-spot-to-be GoldBar: A tipster says the owners of Cain (who are joined in the secretive opening by David Tetens, former operator of Lotus) have been tracking that bar's biggest spenders so they can give them VIP cards for the new place. (“As for Cain tracking top clients, of course they do …” e-mails a publicist. “But are Cain clients getting VIP cards to GoldBar? NO.”) So what can we expect when it opens on February 1?

Simon Hammerstein's Personal Pimpmobile?

Last night 205 and neighbor the Box, which opens in a couple of weeks, had a veritable door-off: A 205 list keeper unsympathetically turned away skater types who came to celebrate Vice's “Girls” issue while a doorman at the Box iced down uptowners trying to huff and puff their way into the Me magazine party (sample bluster: “My sister was a model in this week’s magazine. She must be on the list”). Passing both scenes on our way to admire the taxidermy collection at Home Sweet Home, we snapped a pic of the Boxcar (“The Box, 189 Chrystie St.” a decal on the door reads). Is this the personal pimpmobile of Simon Hammerstein, enfant terrible of the theater-owning Hammerstein family and proprietor of the Box? And is that tear in the side fallout from the Freemans–Box showdown? We’ll say this much: If you pull up in front of the place in this hooptie, at least you’re getting in.
—Daniel Maurer

Death & Co.: The Players, the Menu, the Magic

There’s been a bit of intrigue about who’s behind the imposing wooden door of Death & Co., the two-week-old cocktail lounge and restaurant recently mentioned in the Times’ piece about not-so-secret secret bars. Though already slammed by a Friday-night crowd that has forced them to keep a waiting list, first-time owner David Kaplan and his partner Ravi DeRossi (who told us he was tripling the size of his other bar, the Bourgeois Pig) were perfectly willing to do roll call. No, the Reaper is not a partner: Head bartender Philip Ward of Pegu Club and Flatiron Lounge is joined by dapper drinksmiths Brian Miller (Pegu), Jim Kerns (Pegu and Freemans), and another chap who currently works at two high-end restaurants known for their cocktails (no truth to rumors that a Milk and Honey alumnus is involved). The startling lineup isn’t the only thing we came back with: We also scored the new drinks and dinner menus (the chef is the motorcycle-riding Frenchman Jacques Godin, former owner of B3). As for the cocktails, we’ll leave aside Kaplan’s claim that “it’s been 100 years since anyone made a cocktail worth a damn” and say merely that, from a newfangled old-fashioned that incorporates smoky mescal, agave nectar, and a flamed orange peel to a hot buttered rum made from butter that’s whipped and spiced in-house, their twists on the classics are worth a hot double damn. —Daniel Maurer Death & Co., 433 E. 6th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-388-0882 Cocktail Menu Dinner Menu