Club to Open in (Rather Than Flee) West ChelseaThought West Chelsea was dead? John “JE” Englebert and his partners at Pre:Post, Retox, and Myst (where Flava Flav hosts a party this Saturday!) apparently disagree: In October they’ll open a 4,000-square-foot lounge called Suzie Wong’s (no relationship to the restaurant, also serving light Asian fare, in London, or the late-night cafe that used to be in Lotus). They’re not saying where in the neighborhood it’ll go, but we’re thinking it won’t be the Cain space: We wouldn’t be surprised if it replaced Pre:Post just like Myst and Retox replaced their onetime club Quo. The fact that the waitresses will be dressed as geishas is nothing new — remember the ones at G Lounge? (Probably not) — but there is one relative novelty: JE is avoiding the bottle-service route by simply charging a $50 table fee that will include a bottle of sake and a platter of appetizers. Call it bottle service 2.0.
Tables Available at San Domenico; A Voce Mostly BookedIt’s 4 p.m., and that means it’s time to play Two for Eight. We just asked ten restaurants the best time they can squeeze a couple in for dinner; you need only make your chosen reservation. (As always, we make the calls but don’t guarantee the results.) Today: Gourmet Italian.
Pegu Club Shaking More Than Just Cocktails in SohoForest Hills: The layout for Trader Joe’s coming to 90-30 Metropolitan Avenue. [Forest Hills 72]
Midtown West: Sample cuisine from more than 50 restaurants including Aquavit, Buddakan, and Eleven Madison Park at tonight’s Taste of the Nation at Roseland Ballroom; tickets are $200 and benefit the fight against childhood hunger. [Cakehead]
Soho: Pegu Club accused of shaking down its customers by pouring drinks that haven’t been ordered. [Majikthise]
South Hampton: Dune should pick up the slack where Cain left off. [Down by the Hipster]
Upper West Side: The lobby lounge of the Mandarin Oriental now has a cart offering $75 flutes of Dom Perignon, but at least the price includes dried fruit. [NYS] Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe hopes to see a bidding war over Warner LeRoy’s Tavern on the Green between top “concessionaires” including Dean Poll of the Boathouse and Danny Meyer. [NYO]
West Village: Awkward zoning prevents Camaje bistro on Macdougal Street from setting up outdoor seating, though it’s allowed for virtually all its dining neighbors. [NYP]
Central Kitchen Down Until June in the West VillageChelsea: The big pink cupcake may have gotten all the press up until now, but how do the cupcakes taste? [Blog Chelsea] A man who claimed to be the nephew of Dolce & Gabbana was arrested at Bungalow 8 and not by the fashion police. [Eater]
Jamaica: Delta terminal 2 at JFK is getting a Balducci’s. [NewYorkology]
Southampton: Cain drops its plans for the Hamptons. [Down by the Hipster]
Upper West Side: P&G Corner Café getting harassed by its landlords; hence the no walls. [Lost City]
West Village: New York toasts Italy this weekend. Maremma and Otto are among restaurants serving special tasting menus by the chefs. [Bene Magazine] A tipster says its lights out for Central Kitchen, but a message machine says they’ll be open by June. [Grub Street]
Have Sex in an East Village Bar BathroomChelsea: Bungalow 8 and Cain may be outtie, but South Beach’s Eric Milon hasn’t abandoned plans to bring Mansion to the old Crobar space. [Down by the Hipster]
East Village: Bouncers at Drop Off Service bar (in a former Laundromat) hang drunken oafs out to dry, plus a killer happy hour lasts till 8 p.m. [Gridskipper] But at Angels & Kings on East 11th Street, the bathrooms are meant for sex. [NYP]
Gramercy: I Trulli’s outdoor garden opens today. [Grub Street]
Meatpacking District: Paradou kicks off “Mother’s Week” May 14: E-mail the restaurant with a dish your mom used to make, and if it gets served as a special, you win a free bottle of wine. [Grub Street]
Midtown West: A branch of ’wichcraft is coming soon to the shopping concourse below Rockefeller Center. [Grub Street]
Murray Hill/Kips Bay: Hsing Chen, executive pastry chef at Country, has reinstated a dessert trolley that could inspire a food-caddy renaissance; plus, she makes what might be the first popcorn ice-cream float. [Gothamist]
In the Latest Round of Clubland Musical Chairs…It’s possible nightlife blog Down by the Hipster shouldn’t have been patting itself on the back yesterday for relaying rumors that Bungalow 8 plans to move downtown soon and that Cain is relocating to 17th Street. According to a rep, Cain “moves to its new location later this year which, just for the record, is not 17th and Ninth.” Meanwhile Bungalow’s boy writes in to insist (again) that “Amy’s not moving. Bungalow’s staying on 27th Street.” While we’re on the subject of club migrations, the official word is now that it will be mid-summer before Double Seven’s new location opens in the former Rhone space on Gansevoort Street. Got all that? In the meantime, we’ll keep our GPS units handy.
Related: Bungalow 8 to Abandon 27th Street [Down by the Hipster]
Breaking News: Cain Finds Home [Down by the Hipster]
Earlier: Former Cain Space: Yours for $1.5 Million (Plus Rent)
Attention Nolita: BondSt Reopens This MondayChelsea: Cain will settle on 17th Street at Ninth Avenue. [Down by the Hipster]
Dumbo: Bubby’s owner has fired the chef at his Brooklyn outlet and plans to take over the kitchen himself, all in response to blogger dissatisfaction. [Brooklyn Record]
East Village: Avenue B sporting a new awning for Solo Pizza, details not yet known. [Slice]
Long Island City: Court Square wine shop now open, and a café is coming to Vernon at 50th Street, both welcomed gentrification. [LIC NYC]
Midtown East: Chikubu closed; owners back in Japan. [Eater]
Nolita: Bopping back from the burn ward sooner than expected, BondSt will be up and running this coming Monday, we’re told. It’s just in time for the ten-year birthday the sushi restaurant has been planning for the end of the month. [Grub Street]
Prospect Heights: Deli Cup guy beaten so badly last week by customers upset over a lottery loss that his teeth were falling out. Good news: Not only may police have suspects, but Cup is still selling beer. [Daily Heights]
Soho: New York’s oldest diner, Moondance, facing wrecking ball in May, despite pleas for preservation. [Eater]
Upper East Side: The prize for winning Tuesday Trivia night at the Gael Pub is a $50 bar tab, but you have stay all night to finish the game. [The Upper East Side Scene]
Former Cain Space: Yours for $1.5 Million (Plus Rent)Today “Page Six” informed us that Cain’s moving downtown to become more exclusive (we saw it coming in ‘06 when we broke news of the club’s Bahamas outpost). So how much will you have to shell out to take over the club’s current 5,000-square-foot space on 27th Street? According to broker Steven Kamali’s sell sheet, you’re looking at a rent of $16,974 per month. And, we should add, a $1.5 million up-front fee. We can already see Jon B, the Home and Guest House owner who tried to snatch up Spirit calling his banker and trying to convince him West 27th isn’t as dead as some might think.
Related: The Short, Drunken Life of Club Row
Buy Steaks Out of a Van Near Flatbush AvenueBrooklyn Heights: Jack the Horse Tavern now serves brunch. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Chelsea: Checking in on Balducci’s: “If Marilyn Monroe were to come back as a cupcake, this is probably what she would look like.” [Blog Chelsea] Also, Cain bails on clubland for downtown, near GoldBar. [NYP]
East Village: Seder storytelling happening at Mo Pitkin’s tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m.; a ticket also gets you gefilte fish and hard-boiled eggs. [Mo Pitkin’s]
Fort Greene: Sordid tale of greed may have forced Christian Dennery to sell Liquor’s restaurant, but whatever: Where will we get our Bloody Marys? [Clinton Hill Blog]
Harlem: Café Largo has reopened after an exhausting four-year renovation; the space is sexier, and new brick oven? Could serve three restaurants. [Uptown Flavor] Meanwhile, could a former Associated supermarket become a W Hotel? [Harlem Fur]
Lower East Side: Chef Shane Coffey will leave his head post at Alias Restaurant by the end of April and move to … Aspen. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: “You like meat?”: Omaha steaks now available from unmarked vans near the Associated! [My Life in Brooklyn via Gowanus Lounge]
GoldBar Finally Emerges from the Vault
You might have heard a little bit about GoldBar lately. It’s the hottest thing since Death & Co. two weeks ago and until Star Lounge goes into soft launch … this weekend. We were pretty confident the décor of this Cain offshoot would be gold, and the involvement of skulls seemed likely. But until last night’s opening to “friends and family,” all details were little more than informed speculation. Now, finally, the truth can be told.
Is GoldBar Readying Its Blowtorches for Cain’s Biggest Spenders?The plot grows thicker in the curious case of Little Italy hot-spot-to-be GoldBar: A tipster says the owners of Cain (who are joined in the secretive opening by David Tetens, former operator of Lotus) have been tracking that bar’s biggest spenders so they can give them VIP cards for the new place. (“As for Cain tracking top clients, of course they do …” e-mails a publicist. “But are Cain clients getting VIP cards to GoldBar? NO.”) So what can we expect when it opens on February 1?
Cain’s Not Moving, Just Expanding to the BahamasEarlier this week a broker revealed to us that GoldBar, the new project from Cain’s Robert McKinley and Jamie Mulholland, would resemble Pangea, prompting a PR rep to vehemently disagree. “Whoever said anything about bottle service?” the rep writes. “Couldn’t be farther from what this project is about.” (No word, of course, on what it is about.) Meanwhile, Mulholland himself refuted industry rumors that Cain is considering a move from West 27th Street, saying business is stronger than ever and he looks at three or four spaces a week only because “it’s good to have your ears to the ground.” One move we can tell you to expect: If all goes as planned, a Cain Beach Club will be opening in the new Cove luxury hotel complex on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Now we know where Bobby Flay, who’s opening a Mesa Grill on the island, will be throwing down. —Daniel Maurer
Earlier: Cain’s Secret Project to Bring a Whole Lotta Bling to Little Italy
Cain’s Secret Project to Bring a Whole Lotta Bling to Little Italy
Cain’s owner Jamie Mullholland says he isn’t spilling the beans on his new Nolita joint Gold Bar until it opens in January, but James Famularo, broker for the space’s former tenant, Odea, reveals that designer Robert McKinley (PM, Cain) has completely draped what’s to be a Pangea-like restaurant and bottle lounge in its namesake element: Gold-leaf ceilings, gold chains separating railroad-style rooms (unlike Odea’s enclosed areas), and the coup de grace, 3,000 gilded fake skulls covering the walls. Plus, there will be captain chairs at a low-slung bar. In other news, trendsetter La Esquina and newcomer Bar Martignetti will soon have more company in their area: Famularo says he’s talking to major operators about four other spaces within a three-block radius. “A year ago all the calls we got were for the meatpacking and West Chelsea. Now it’s all for the Little Italy–Nolita area.” Lot attendants, we suggest you learn how to park an H2. — Daniel Maurer