by Patrick Heig - 324 Reviews - 95 List
Nightlife on the west side of Manhattan had, until recently, taken a downward dive. Either it was the wine bars and old-school dives of the West Village or the Meatpacking District's sparkler-driven clubs, which were better suited to New Jerseyites than New Yorkers. But thanks to a string of new spots from some of the city's top operators, the kind of anarchic, anything-might-happen bathroom shenanigans-type parties that are unique to New York are back on the west side. From Don Hill's to the Bunker, here's a rundown that'll serve as your new weekday-night circuit, and a handy guide for any Village elders who want to be reminded of why they moved here in the first place.
Updated: June 21, 2011
Nur Khan and Paul Sevigny revamped this iconic rock club, adding penis graffiti, a banging sound system and spacious bathrooms they hope you'll have sex in. After a huge opening week with performances by rock icons like Iggy Pop, however, the door's tougher than Keith Richards' liver.
Opening any day now in the Meatpacking District is this former bomb shelter, which got immediate raves from the nightlife elite for its sick layout'the 4,000-square-foot space has both a couch-laden foyer for chill conversation and a massive dance floor?and is even generating some ?new Beatrice Inn? murmurs. Fitting, considering this is former Beatrice partner Matt Abramcyk's baby.
Though a busy commuter intersection makes an unlikely location for a swanked-out cabaret and supper club, The Darby (from the 1OAK /Butter team) shrugged off reasonable doubts by opening with a birthday fete for Beyonce thrown by Jay-Z himself. Expect dapper ladies and gentlemen digging into decadent food (think oyster-stuffed steaks) while bopping to jazzy music and generally getting their Sinatra on.
The Standard Hotel's new rooftop club opened during the sweltering summer and has been hot ever since. With a grassy, water bed-equipped outdoor space and a black-on-black club with a hot tub-sized pool for topless cavorting, Le Bain's got it all--though $15 drinks don't exactly court the creative class, and the door can be hard to crack even with a seasoned nightlifer's skeleton key.
Though its reopening last spring was seen as sort of a victory, the Jane hasn't been the same after its neighbors silenced it via community tribunals. Lately, however, there have been some amazing parties, so it seems this beautiful space's days of library-quietude and mid-week tumbleweeds are over. In fact, with all of these options nearby, the chastened Jane should find herself a major player on the party circuit once again.