Grand openings, pre-openings, previews, sneak previews, walk-throughs, soft openings—how many excuses for a party do you need to “officially” launch a venue? In my book, the more the merrier. Last night saw the debut of three spankin’ new nightclubs: Room Service
, and Retox
. Even the menacing cavalry of cops with their trusty steeds and glaring spotlights couldn’t scare the crowds away. Take that New York City Council
Like a phoenix rising from a nuclear waste site, Quo shut down, divided in half and has given way to two completely different venues:
, a rock bar brought to you by the same owners who opened the city’s other nouveau rock lounge, Snitch, and Anthrax guitarist, Scott Ian. Enter down the long glossy Hollywood-set hallway past the ruby chandelier to this slithery slicked-back vampire den. Red lights accent the perimeter, while scantily-clad go-go dancers writhe to Joan Jett atop the tribal-tattooed bar. You can head towards the back to catch the night’s live band on the raised hardwood stage, but watch your step when heading downstairs to the pseudo-co-ed bathrooms.
Much like its 21st St. predecessor, Retox attracts a motley crew (hehe) of spunky LA-type rockers hopping back and forth over the reptilian-skinned seating. Think spiked hair, faux vintage tees, and blazers—more Brent Bolthouse and Tommy Lee than MisShapes or Justine D. If all the torn jeans, Keffiyeh scarves and frosted tips rub you the wrong way, slide through one of the manned doors leading to the old Quo’s other half…
occupies the front side of the building, keeping Quo’s infamous backlit bubble-tube display to ooh and aah newcomers to the space. The crowds glistening under the incandescent glow and the surrounding optical walls add to the jellyfish-like dream, but all reverie is shattered as soon as the DJ pumps “In Da Club” for all the stripey shirts and i-dressed-myself-in-the-dark sorority chicks.
Don’t be discouraged, though. As with all new clubs, the hipper promoters will snatch Myst up in a jiffy, adding the obligatory star and A-list boost to the clientele... for a few months at least.
Speaking of boosts, the old Rock Candy underwent a much-needed facelift and has reopened as the opulent gentleman’s (and gentlelady’s) fantasy, Room Service
. The honey-hued space is divided into thirteen “rooms”—privacy courtesy of sheer panels of fabric draped between hardwood pillars. Each mini-lounge comes equipped with a stocked fridge, drawer of condoms, television, and the requisite bottle service amenities. Apart from the rooms, the chocolatey seating, rotating chandelier, faux snow and gold-trim accents make the space a delight for the senses.
As far as atmosphere goes, Room Service is by far the leader in the pack. This Thursday’s grand opening party transplanted Suzanne Bartsch’s and Kenny Kenny’s kaleidoscopic crazies between its padded leather walls, while Imperia Vodka’s towering platinum spokesmodels lured the few remaining straight dudes up to the prodigal “presidential suite.” Honey, a party this fierce
only comes ‘round once in a blue.
Oh yeah, and we hear Avalon is back open. So lawmakers, it’s silly to speculate that the New York’s club industry is dying any time soon. If anything, this year’s new crop of venues are breathing new life into the city’s nightlife landscape.