Bungalow 8's demise has been rumored for a couple of years now—and years since it's been a serious hotspot—but the venue that helped revitalize the western edge of Chelsea (and turned it into a mob scene) is finally finished, a source tells us. Amy Sacco's lounge supposedly closed "for renovations" a couple of weeks ago. But after nearly nine years in business, we've been told that Sacco does not have any plans to reopen the club that served as celeb central in the early to mid-'00s. We contacted Sacco's publicist by phone and email for comment and have yet to hear back. But a call to Bungalow 8 confirms the obvious: The line has been disconnected.
It's been a rough couple of years for the woman once dubbed the "Queen of NYC nightlife." In 2006, Sacco's first venture, the Chelsea restaurant Lot 61, closed down; and her second foray into the dining biz, Bette, exited the scene last summer. Sacco's attempt to branch out in 2007 by lending her name to a condo development in the financial district never amounted to much, particularly as sales dried up during the early days of the financial crisis. And Sacco experienced personal financial trouble last year, according to press reports. That her last remaining NYC venue has now closed doesn't mean the Bungalow 8 brand is entirely finished: Sacco opened a London branch a couple of years ago. But while the Brit outpost remains in business, it, too, has seen better days and no longer attracts much of a crowd.
What impact Bungalow 8's closing will have on the reality show Sacco was working on with Bravo is unclear. As recently as August, she was filming "test episodes" of the show inside Bungalow 8, although she indicated that the show would track her progress in opening a new club on 17th Street. It's possible that Sacco closed Bungalow to gear up to open something new. But it isn't clear if the test episodes even resulted in a full-fledged deal to produce the TV show, particularly since Sacco reportedly had difficulty snagging the celebrity talent that she'd hoped would take part in the production. And there's no question that Bungalow had turned into a major moneyloser for Sacco in recent years. The venue that was once packed with the rich and famous and, according to New York, "defined the glamour of a decade" much the same way Studio 54 did 20 years earlier, had long been a shadow of its former self. (The fact that it closed for renovations a couple of weeks ago and no one seemed to notice speaks volumes.) And Sacco wrote off the neighborhood more than a year ago when she bemoaned what had become of West 27th Street in recent years.
And so it goes. The club that defined New York's pre-recession go-go years has, at last, given up the ghost. But there are a crop of new venues that, at least for the moment, have people buzzing about their celeb patrons and impossible doormen. If you can't get into the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel tonight, take heart: It won't be long now before the crowd moves on.