Inside ‘Aspen on Steroids’ and Webster Hall’s Reopening


Aspen Social, the restaurant Steve Lewis and partner Mark Dizon are designing for Greg Brier (of the Brier Group) in Vikram Chatwals Stay Hotel, is two weeks from being ready, and will open soon after with Amalias chef Adam Moss turning out small plates. Take a look at the renderings: In the front bar area a backlit tile-and-wormwood mosaic will reproduce a forest. In a narrow lounge accommodating about 25-40 people, a glass wall has been acid-etched to resemble an abstract forest. And in a dining room that seats 45, Jason Millers $100,000 ceramic antler chandelier is surrounded by barnyard wood for an effect that Steve Lewis describes thusly: Its as if the Incredible Hulk was standing on the roof of a restaurant and he pounded it. To Lewiss dismay (hes a PETA member), the chairs had to be leather since he only had two weeks to work on the place. Throw in an infinity forest in the dining room and what do you have? Aspen on steroids.

Lewis and Dizon tell us theyre also hard at work on restoring and modernizing Webster Hall for a mid-November reopening. The clubs emphasis wont be on bottle service, they say, but they are building 94 tables. A state-of-the-art recording studio will go into the basement so that bands can cut tracks from any of the five stages (there used to be just two). Theres a changing atmosphere in todays club economy, Lewis tells us, and I think its about time for a big club, with entertainment value and door admission, thats not necessarily bottle-service oriented an old-school music-type club where good music and attitude counts. A taste of that: An eighteen-foot wide Baroque-style iron and glass screen, located on the stage, will split open to allow burlesque acts and the like to emerge from their dressing rooms. Lewis says classic woods and wallpapers will reemerge Itll be just funky enough to where youll have a good time but clean enough to where youll feel comfortable in its environment.

Aspen Social, 157 W. 47th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-221-7200

Earlier: Greg Briar Will Open Another Aspen in Vikram Chatwals 212 Hotel