We weren’t surprised to read in "Page Six" today that Anna Wintour dined with LeBron James at the Waverly Inn. We passed their table on Tuesday, and when the ceilings are that low, it’s impossible to miss a six-foot-eight baller extracting himself from the center of a corner booth. James was patiently sitting next to the bathroom when we emerged, causing our waiter to remark, “You made LeBron James wait!” We couldn’t tell whether he was chastising us or congratulating us for no doubt costing the man a Benjamin of his time, but either way we felt a sense of accomplishment unknown since Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand queued up behind us at the Spotted Pig. The rest of this week’s sightings are heavy on the PDA.
So, recently, we had a bad experience at a club. It was one of perhaps one million bad experiences we've had at clubs, and it got us thinking about the universality of such events. We were waiting to get into Suzie Wong for a party for which we were on the list. We even knew the people throwing it. But for some reason, the doorman wouldn't let us in. Cell phones didn't work inside the club, so we couldn't reach our friends. We patiently explained the situation to the doorman, who responded with disdain and rudeness. (We're apparently not the only people to have trouble at this club.) We decided to sit and wait politely, which is humiliating but almost always works eventually. But as time went by, and we kept getting the "We're at capacity" excuse, even though the doorman was letting other (much more trashy, might we add) guests in ahead of us, we started getting mad. This guy may be an idiot, we thought, but surely he recognizes the face we are making. You know, the "I'm going to be patient, but you have NO idea who you are messing with" face?
We're not sure which was the bigger crisis at the Rag & Bone after-party last night at the Box: The fact that a fire alarm went off around 11p.m., prompting a visit from the FDNY, or the fact that the D.J. followed said fire scare by playing "Burning Down the House," prompting the already jumpy Box management to stomp through the balcony, proclaiming, "That's it! We're clearing out the floor!"
We’ve been razzing Suzie Wong for its familiar logo, so we thought you might want to see what the city’s first bottle-service club concentrating in sake will actually look like when it opens for a private party tonight and then Baby Phat’s sure-to-be-nuts party tomorrow. Sake bottles will range from $150 Muroka Nama Genshu to $400 Kakunko, and you get free dirty fortune cookies with them!! The waitresses won’t be dressed as geishas as originally planned, but there will be a Geisha cocktail on the menu as well as a Madame Butterfly. The chef is Junnajet Hurapan, who has served time at Ruby Foo’s, Pre:Post, Hue, and — ahem — Lotus. The menu and another interior shot, if you care to see them, follow.
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
Thought West Chelsea was dead? John “JE” Englebert and his partners at Pre:Post, Retox, and Myst (where Flava Flav hosts a party this Saturday!) apparently disagree: In October they’ll open a 4,000-square-foot lounge called Suzie Wong’s (no relationship to the restaurant, also serving light Asian fare, in London, or the late-night cafe that used to be in Lotus). They’re not saying where in the neighborhood it’ll go, but we’re thinking it won’t be the Cain space: We wouldn’t be surprised if it replaced Pre:Post just like Myst and Retox replaced their onetime club Quo. The fact that the waitresses will be dressed as geishas is nothing new — remember the ones at G Lounge? (Probably not) — but there is one relative novelty: JE is avoiding the bottle-service route by simply charging a $50 table fee that will include a bottle of sake and a platter of appetizers. Call it bottle service 2.0.