Ever since Studio 54 conquered the spoiled hearts of New Yorkers in the late 70s, a cult for numbers in the venue name evolved, and gave birth to such swanky havens as Chloe 81, 230 Fifth, 1 Oak, 101 Lounge, and, of course, Club 205—which evokes retro New York nightlife most of all due to its association with the legendary Factory. Either lounge and club owners went completely lazy on creativity, or there is indeed some magnetic power attracting chic patrons to nightclubs, lounges and bars named after addresses.
Adding to the packed nightlife scene of the Lower East Side-- which begins to resemble Six Flags of night-time debauchery-- Club 205 offers a hip and hipster-friendly décor, and an environment worthy of showing off your recent Marc Jacobs splurge. The owner, Serge Becker, knows how to add an edge to a lounge and set it apart from the cookie cutter style of the lower Manhattan, as proved by his two popular bars—La Esquina and The Box.
At Club 205 he used the existing vibe of what used to be a rock dive, upgrading the main room with small, wooden box tables, bright orange booths and a state-of-the-art sound system that does not go to waste hosting the biggest personalities of the off-mainstream spin-ology (specializing in disco and house). The downstairs stage at the club welcomes local bands every once in a blue moon. The walls of the low-ceilinged basement den are covered with personal ads scribbled in black paint and bringing to mind a room of a disturbed Goth teenager. The faux-shabby décor goes as far as leaks on the walls and ceilings (yup, those are there on purpose). Meanwhile, the file cabinet bar, foil elements and silver-painted exposed-brick walls bring to mind a re-vamped industrial loft in Brooklyn and constitute a perfect homage to Andy Warhol and his Factory. Who said there is no hunger for art these days?
On the practical side, unless you are good with name-dropping, you’re going to spend some time on the wrong side of the velvet rope at this NYC club. It takes patience to be able to mingle with the highly fashioned-up crowd of socialites that put Club 205 on their list of worthy joints. The handsomest specimen flock in lines of high heels and dark pants in order to show off their Bebe dresses or Zara shirts inside.
Booze-wise, you can count on one of the bottled beers gracing the door-less refrigerators behind the bar, or a well-mixed concoction served by a staff of bartending pros. The amount of ice varies depending on the night of the week and the size of the crowd, but, overall, the drinks are pretty basic (read: vodka and soda), which means you are likely to catch quite a kick upon leaving the bar at New York’s Club 205.