Simon Hammerstein Waxes Beard (Talks About It, Not Actually Waxes It)Jada Yuan cornered the normally press-shy Simon Hammerstein at City Opera’s spring gala, and among other things he revealed that during his birthday party at his club the Box, he was dragged onstage to have his clothes ripped off (and you thought a shirtless Anthony Bourdain was bad…). What we really love, though, are his musings about what a reporter from the Times of London once called his “Jesus beard.”
La Esquina and Box Player Sentenced to Prison and $35,000 FineThe saga of Cordell Lochin, the maybe-sort-of partner in the Box and La Esquina who was convicted of drug-smuggling charges, has finally come to somewhat of a conclusion. According to Guest of a Guest, a judge has sentenced Lochin to 39 months in prison and a $35,000 fine. That doesn’t fare well for partner Serge Becker, who expressed hope in a letter to the court that Lochin be allowed to “continue his work while paying his debt.”
Cordell Lochin Sentenced for 39 Months, Fined $35,000 [Guest of a Guest]
Earlier: La Esquina to Open in Miami; Becker’s Right-Hand Man in Legal Limbo
Serge Becker: Drug-Dealing ‘Consultant’ Is Not a Co-Owner of the Box, La Esquina
La Esquina to Open in Miami; Becker’s Right-Hand Man in Legal LimboAh, the tangled web of nightlife ownership. A while back, Serge Becker, part-owner of The Box and La Esquina, told us in a statement that Cordell Lochin, the young scenester who presented himself as a partner in Becker’s restaurants before being convicted of drug-conspiracy charges, was merely an “indispensable advisor.” A December 15 memo from a government attorney calls that assertion into question, pointing at an undated letter from Becker that describes Lochin as “more than just a business partner.” That letter pleads for leniency because his company is “in the design stage of our second location of ‘La Esquina’ in Miami Beach at ‘the Gale’ hotel.” Exciting news, innit?
Dave Chappelle Tiffs With the Wife at Coffee Shop, ‘Entourage’-ers
This week’s juiciest bit of celeb-sighting gossip was, of course, the Post’s report that after a performer dumped a drink on Demi and Ashton, Box honcho Simon Hammerstein sent an e-mail to his partner and a GM saying, “I can’t stand those two” — apparently because they’re “so far up their own arses” and “don’t spend anything” — “and I applaud whoever spilt a drink on them.” We’re thinking Kid Rock got kinder treatment when he went to Southern Hospitality, or there would’ve been a Tommy Lee–style throwdown.
Demi and Ashton Not the Box’s Favorite Patrons; PM Closing for JanuaryBox owner Simon Hammerstein is happy one of his performers spilled a drink on Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher this week. [NYP]
2008 probably won’t be the year that sees the establishment of a large, indoor public market along the lines of London’s Borough Market or San Francisco’s farmer’s market. [NYT]
Related: Batali Shows a Little Leg to Sex Up New Amsterdam Public
Gael Greene puts forth her list of culinary predictions for the New Year, including this gem: “Jeffrey Chodorow and Frank Bruni will have a food fight in Madison Square Park televised by the Food Network. If Bruni loses he will be required to review restaurants in Des Moines for six months. If Chodorow is the loser he will be forbidden to open a new restaurant for three weeks.” [Insatiable Critic]
Tom and Gisele Lock Lips at Nobu, ‘Full House’ Cast and the B-52sEarlier this week we linked to a Daily News item claiming Padma Lakshmi rudely refused complimentary dishes from Fiamma’s chef. A commenter wrote, “I was at Fiamma the night Padma was dining there and it absolutely did NOT go down that way. When the dishes arrived at the table, she thanked them profusely and apologized for being too full to eat any of them!” Whatever happened, Padma was just one of many celebs to chow down (or at least show up) at local restaurants this week, and here’s our gossip-column compendium of just who went where.
Ben Stiller Crashes a Party at Fiamma, Penélope Cruz Makes Out at
Every Friday a notable New Yorker tells us where they’ve been eating, but where are the rest of them chowing down? Starting this week we’ll sort through the gossip columns à la Ils Vont (RIP) to tell you who’s been seen where (casual sightings only — boring galas, vodka launches, and pluggy appearances don’t count). We’ll eventually compile a ranking of restaurants most often visited by celebs. Not that you care about that sort of thing! Oh, but if you do, won’t you please leave your own sightings in the comments?
The Box Is Looking for a Roommate
Considering they blew $2 million on the place, we assumed the proprietors of the Box had the building all to themselves, but apparently even the hottest club in the city can’t afford to live without a roommate. To that end, if you want a nice quiet workspace right above the S&M shows, it can be yours for a little over $115,000 per month year. According to the broker’s listing, “all uses [will be] considered”— so feel free to set up a fake VIP room and convince eager cover-payers they’re actually inside of the Box. After all, remember Noel Ashman’s “Upstairs at Studio 54”?
Walker Malloy [Official site]
The Box Appears on ‘Gossip Girl,’ Officially Jumps the Shark
We thought the Box lost its remaining counterculture cred when the Times, of all things, called it out on being pretty much any other club. Not so! The real point of no return came last night when it appeared, in the guise of club Victrola, on teenybopper drama du jour Gossip Girl. The place must’ve loosened its rules against interior photography, because the first scene has Chuck Bass (a son every bit as wayward as Simon Hammerstein) explaining why his father should support him by investing in the burlesque club: “No judgments. Pure escape. What happens at Victrola stays at Victrola” (until the Health Department shows up, anyway).
Big Dreams for Chodorow’s Next Showstopper; Perv Attacking Women Outside the BoxCuozzo fantasizes about the possible successes Jeffrey Chodorow could develop if he signs a lease on the enormous space at Broadway and 63rd Street. They include stellar risotto, traditional dim sum, and haute Lebanese — if only he doesn’t “blow it on another howler like Rocco’s or a limping dud like Kobe Club.” [NYP]
A Queens dumpling celebrity, a chef in northern China before transplanting to the U.S., has been persuaded to supply her specialty to TKettle on St. Marks Place. Get there early, though; she’s only agreed to hand-make 1,000 per day for the bubble-tea shop. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Two young female patrons of the Box have been abducted from outside the club and raped on separate occasions in less than a month, and the predator has not been apprehended. [NYP]