New York nightlife tries to sell itself as being full of happening people, the coolest music, and always on the verge of the next big thing. Then why do they keep recycling the same tired ideas?
Recently we've gotten wind that famed gay superclub The Roxy is trying to reopen in Chelsea and that gay dance den mr.Black is moving to yet another venue, it's fourth in as many years. Why don't all these people take their money, give it to some young whippersnappers with some fresh juice and do something new rather than trying to relive their disco ball memories?
A tipster snapped a pic of this sign on the door of The Roxy, the roller rink on 18th St that defined the Chelsea gay culture for years. It appears they applied for a new liquor license, their first since closing in 2007. Our spy ran into the owner, the notorious Gene DeNino, outside the venue and he said that he is going to reopen the club, possibly by December.
No matter what DeNino thinks, it seems like his notoriously harsh money tactics have crushed a deal he had with Neal Erman, according to Black Book nightlife columnist Steve Lewis, who says DeNino is talking to other parties. He speculates that it will be promoter John Blair, the former Roxy promoter who set up shop at Splash, the city's only large gay dance floor once Roxy closed. We've heard rumors for awhile that Blair—a nice guy and a sound businessman in a business full of flakes and crazies—had been planning something new. This could be it. But it wouldn't be anything new. It would be John Blair back at The Roxy, just like it was a decade ago.
As for mr.Black, the small club that is popular with the late-night gay hipster crowd and those who stay up until all hours with "assistance," it will reopen tonight at 35 E. 21 St. in the venue that used to house straight bottle service club Room Service. Things must be hard at Room Service there since I-bankers aren't as willing to pay $400 for a bottle of vodka and the opportunity to fondle some Eastern European breasts.
This is mr.Black's fourth home since opening at Broadway and Bleecker in 2007 (a space they lost because of a drug raid). They then settled in a space on W. 24th St, but the conditions were unstable, mostly, we heard, because DeNino owned the liquor license and was trying to get more money from the club's owners. mr.Black hightailed it to their most recent space on W. 30th St. and Eighth Ave, in the old Rebel, which is much bigger than the one they're moving into.
Recently promoters have had as hard a time filling the joint as door lady ConnieGirl gives the people on the guest list. Does that mean even the hard-partying recession gays are starting to feel the pinch in their Prada wallets, or that folks are just sick of following the club around the city?
The new move is probably best for the club. It will thrive in the tight venue (with little curtained off cubicles for "telling secrets") and will hopefully get back to its dirty, sweaty roots. But just because it's in a new space, doesn't make it new. With the same promoters, door staff, drag queens, bartenders, and, most likely, patrons, it's really just like reliving the same Saturday night ad infinitum.