Eight years from now there will no longer be a restaurant or a nightclub here because the rents have skyrocketed to the point where it’s $450 a square foot on the ground as opposed to $30 a square foot. When you look at the comparables, the Pizza Bar’s rent becomes $55,000 a month. Two months ago it was being rented for only $8 or $12,000 a month. When these leases end there’s going to be nothing but Barney’s and Bloomingdale's. All these big retail brands are going to come in here. Our job now, in our opinion, is to look for the next area that isn’t highly residential to be a destination so people will go and catch it, because you are going to get priced out anyways.
On a slightly less depressing note, Birnbaum confesses that he was once the odd man out, not always the consummate tastemaker:
I remember me being the customer looking on and being like, I wish the owner of the club would come out and give me a handshake and a hug and walk me through the club and move people out of the way… I was just doing the finance and I was always watching.
Which raises the question: Considering that Beatrice, too, is owned by two former finance guys, are clubs in this day and age just a way for bankers to get an upper hand on the cool kids?
It's Tenjune...Do You Know Where Your Bottle Is? (Part One) [Good Night Mr. Lewis]