The weather outside is bleak, but not as bleak as the economy, which has a dreary outlook and only looks like it will get drearier for a while. But if you’ve recently lost your job to the recession, don’t tear up the pink slip that your boss handed you just yet; instead, head down to The Delancey. Next Monday, and presumably for many Mondays to come, this aptly-named Delancey Street Bar will be giving out a free shot of tequila to anybody able to bear proof of unemployment.
With the dark shadow of the recession bearing down on us harsher than the January winds, its now more important than perhaps any other period in our lifetimes, perhaps any period in history, for us to attain and guzzle down free booze. And one courageous website is courageously standing in defiance against the gloom and doom to show us the light and lead us on an illuminated path to all of the free alcohol your heart (or liver) desires. It’s called myopenbar.com and it does the public a great service by having several listings every day about bars, clubs, and other establishments in New York City that will be giving out free drinks, substantially discounted drinks, or other enticing deals. It is also convenient to utilize in that it provides information about these types of events that are coming up in the next week or so, thus making it the perfect way to plan out an economically viable weekend bender or just a fun jaunt out on a Wednesday night.
Nowadays, it’s hard for us to imagine a doctor recommending that one of their patients drink hard liquor, and it’s even harder to imagine a doctor spending his spare time painstakingly experimenting and tinkering around in his laboratory until he had created the perfect liquor. But apparently that’s exactly how Zwack, the newest liqueur to hit New York, was born.
According to the Intoxicologist, one of the web’s most trusted and esteemed sources on all things alcohol, “The history of Zwack began in 1790 when Dr. Josef Zwack, the Royal Physician of Habsburg, presented this dark, mysterious liqueur to the Emperor. ‘Legjobb!’ the emperor exclaimed, Translated, he said ‘Most good!’ and thus was born the national shot of Hungary. Royal Physician? Sounds sort of like the enlightenment-age Hungarian equivalent of the United States Surgeon General. For a modern day equivalent of this scenario, picture the newly named Surgeon General, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, eagerly presenting President Obama with a shot of homebrewed liqueur.
There’s some good news for anybody who’s been mourning the closing of the Holland Bar. The longstanding Hell’s Kitchen mainstay was forced to kill the lights and shut down in November, when the building’s landlord decided he could make more money renting the space out residentially. However, much to the joy of the regulars at what has been described by No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain as one of New York City’s “best dives,” it looks like his plans did not work out because the bar is slated to reopen within the next few days.
The New York Times described how, “For decades, the Holland Bar, on Ninth Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets in Hell’s Kitchen, made a name for itself serving cheap beer to loyal drinkers who did not mind squeezing into a tiny crusty room barely wide enough to fit the bar and the stools in front of it.” This type of bar may not appeal to everyone, but it was a place that the regulars cherished and were sad to see go; one of them recently told the owner Gary Kelly that without the Holland Bar, “I feel like a homeless person without a cardboard box.”
If you’re anything like me, you realize that sequels are always a tricky venture. Yes, you’re glad to see another incarnation of something you know and love, but, how well will the new episode hold up against the original? So, with the closing of midtown hotspot Mansion and the revelation of its “sequel”, M2, the same trepidation is applicable.
Just a year after opening, a game of ownership hot potato and a bankruptcy court proceeding last week, M2 as it is now called, has changed ownership and will be the vehicle of a new era of grand party plans. Owners Eric Milon, Bruce Dunston and Mark Baker hope to move in a far more dynamic direction with their newest venture - speaking rather hopefully about plans of grand events, gala productions and celebrity sightings.
Ambitious sequels are the name of the game, but then again so are let downs. Let’s hope this new venture is more Godfather 2 than Rocky V (Really Sly, what were you thinking?).
With a lot of NYC nightclubs recently closing their doors, some restaurants have decided to take full advantage of it by getting into bottle service. The Frog Café in SoHo will now operate as a café until 9pm Monday-Thursday or 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays and then change over to a lounge Wednesday-Saturday night. The door is “predominantly exclusive,” and bottle service guarantees entry, the music ranges from mainstream to hip-hop to jazzy. Call 212-966-5050 for reservations.
Scene: Trendy Lounge
Like a modern day club Snitch on Manhattan's West Side, Mr. West is a relatively small, upscale dance lounge that turns the volume up as high as it can go. Intensely clandestine, the outside of this place is simply black, with no sign, just a line of the young and hot clamoring to get inside. Inside, the walls are covered in heavy curtains which- we can only guess - serve to soak up some sound. A dramatic bronze mirror runs the length of one side of the space. The club's signature decorative touch is a ceiling fixture made of lampshades that blink and pulsate in time with the beat. Black velvet banquettes line the walls, girls take to the couches, and bottle service is the norm. Mr. West offers seasoned party goers a quintessential New York dance lounge, minus the snobby attitude, and plus a sweaty-drunk dance floor.
To say that Barack Obama’s historical inauguration yesterday was a cause of celebration is more than an understatement. Never before have so many demographics – age, religion, political affiliation, gender- been united. The result? More parties than a documentary on the 70s.
In true form, celebrities were out in force. The broadcasted inaugural balls showcased more superstars than I care to get into, but Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Bono, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Fallout Boy and Jennifer Lopez come to mind. Hope may have been the major theme of the night, but celebration definitely came in a close second. Even off air, the spectacles continued.
Come Friday, the Thompson LES will soft-open its incredibly exclusive seventh floor members-only bar. That’s a lot of adjectives. Aptly named Above Allen, the space is currently covered, but courtesy of a retractable roof, summer events will feature open air. The design space is minimal and features upholstery from Stephen Sprouse, while drinks and small plates will be made available via Shang, which is also located in the Thompson LES boutique hotel.
In accordance with its sister venue, A60, one will need a membership card to gain access. No precise word as to when they will be issued, but March looks like a best guess. If you are interested in indulging exclusivity, be aware that the capacity for the space is just over 150. Act now or forever be deemed uncool. [nymag]
Recession specials are spreading to bars as well. The Anchor, a once celebrated hotspot turned general local hangout, is launching Recession Thursdays. From 7 p.m. till 9 p.m., its $20 for any spirits you want and all you can drink. Who says economic collapse is all bad? [nymag]
310 Spring Street
(near Greenwich Street)
New York, NY 10013
The New York Times has proclaimed Las Vegas as the “Frugal Destination of the Year”. Known for it’s catering to vice and perhaps more so, its extravagant and costly venues, Sin City has apparently fallen on hard times. No other city in America has been hit by the economic crisis quite as dramatically as Las Vegas, where more than two decades of outsize boom have turned into a big-time bust. Unemployment hit 7.9 percent in November, and Clark County’s foreclosure rate is one of the Nation’s highest. As a result, the city now boasts jaw dropping prices that refute the idea that the house always wins.