Last night we finally got inside Griffin, Adam Hock and Chris Reda’s much-anticipated relaunch of the old PM site. The space is laid out to look like what would happen to a nineteenth-century salon if today’s well-heeled Eurotrash invaded, which means long velvet couches (good luck keeping those stain-free) and a chandelier centerpiece made of tons of little chandeliers that gives the whole room a cheery, non-sleazy glow. Music was loud enough to prohibit conversation, but Sting really seemed to enjoy it, bopping along and making tantric sex with his eyes at many a young lady in one of the elevated booths with blue banquettes on the right side of the club. Apparently Kate Hudson, Nas, Lindsay Price, Maxwell, Rachel Zoe, Alexandra Richards, Oluchi Onweagba, and too many socialites to name were also hidden away in the elevated booths, but it’s pretty hard to see what’s going on in there from the floor.
Amy Sacco, a good friend of Hock’s, stood at the front of a booth near the entrance, greeting guests with a hug and an offer of Champagne. Felix, a bouncer from Beatrice Inn, wandered the crowd, politely keeping everyone in check. Owing to an exceedingly annoying line at the bar, we failed to secure any specialty cocktails from the Milk & Honey vets, but we did manage to score a seat atop one of the couches, which is kind of a coup in any busy club. It’s hard to tell from an opening-night party, but what struck us most about Griffin was how pleasantly democratic it felt. Sure, there’s a VIP balcony and those elevated booths, but the action’s on the main floor and we didn’t have to navigate through a maze of tables to get from one end of the room to the other, or spend most of our evening smashed against a wall because there was no room for the common folk. And it never seemed too packed that there wasn’t room to dance. Who knows if they can keep this up, but if last night was any indication, Griffin might just make it tolerable for New Yorkers to visit the meatpacking district again.