Nightclub 1 Oak, which has been accused of reacting with total indifference to a gay-bashing incident and of allowing an alleged assailant to escape untouched, is now saying it tried to stop the attacker. Reports the Post: "Club sources say the night was not promoted as a 'gay night' and that the attacker was restrained by security but broke away." The club's flacks are also now saying that "this incident was handled by security and staff immediately," which was not mentioned in their statement to us yesterday. That differs sharply from what one eyewitness told us yesterday:
When the Meatpacking District club 1 Oak opened in December, it was the toast of the Manhattan nightlife scene. It was founded by a quartet of club veterans including Butter frontman Richie Akiva , Lotus co-owner Jeffrey Jah, and former Ashley Olsen boyfriend Scott Sartiano as a "kind of boutique space" for the elite. But a tipster tells us that everything is not well at 1 Oak; last week, they say, there was a vicious gay-bashing incident in the club—forcing one victim to go to the hospital—that club management tried to sweep under the rug. The eyewitness' full account of the violence, and the club's response to our questions, after the jump.
Whenever you think you've truly gained access to an exclusive club of some sort-particularly in New York-think again, fool. There is always another inner sanctum far too exclusive to admit the likes of you. That was a great piece of wisdom passed down by Graydon Carter long ago, and confirmed in former Gawker-er Josh Stein's new article in Page Six Magazine, which takes a peek "Beyond the Velvet Rope" at the hottest spots in the hottest city where the hottest people go. And you want to know the even bigger secret? The most exclusive places in the city are just as boring as everywhere else you've ever been:
Now readers of blogs can choose to not read books the cheap way. Elizabeth Wagley, a communications adviser for Doctors of the World, has founded the Progressive Book Club, which hopes to harness the power of the Internets and is already off to a good start by complimenting the vast competitive conspiracy: "The right has always understood the power of ideas, the power of books as legitimizers of ideas," Wagley tells the New York Times. Unfortunately, at about $1 a book, her left-wing pricing is as mercenary as the middle-aged and grumpy Conservative Book Club. Also, Michael Chabon, Erica Jong, and Todd Gitlin choose your monthly selections, so hope you like chess-playing Zionist sex fiends obsessed with the sixties.
There's a new hotspot in The Bronx that you simply won't want to miss unless you hate sex and lunch meat. It's COUSIN VINNY'S LITTLE SECRET! Tell us: where else can you pay just $50 for six hours of hardcore lap dance action, unlimited fountain soda, and a footlong sandwich of your choice, all in "a discrete and totally safe atmosphere to indulge in your carnal fantasies": namely, a former Subway sandwich franchise. In the Bronx! We've been sent a transcribed version of the flier that "Cousin Vinny" Agnello—owner of a stripper service and the self-described "King of Bling featured as a "Celebrity" on the DIGGS WEBSITE" (two Diggs!)— is reportedly passing around the area. Our tipster says the local merchant's association is...concerned about Cousin Vinny's new venture. But we predict this will be a hot alternative to seeing Sex And The City. "MEMBERSHIP HAS IT'S PRIVILEDGES!" Vinny's full, quirkily awesome invitation, after the jump:
Andrew Klapper, a New York plastic surgeon, applied for membership in Soho House, the private Meatpacking District club. But he was turned down, because Soho House said it prefers to cater "to an 'artsy' clientele." Uh, pretty loose definition of "artsy," Soho House! The membership manager there said "We would rather have a great person from IMG versus a plastic surgeon." Perhaps they're looking for a new angle; spies have said the club has been rather dead on recent weekends. (Disagree? Email us). Doree Shafrir once memorably said the club's pool "when not filled with children and their pee, is filled with money managers, mortgage brokers, and Eurotrash." Which sounds like a fairly accurate representation. And how can they say Dr. Klapper isn't artistic when he not only invented the Klapper Breast Scissors, but also pioneered the use of the Davinci (artist name!) Robot system?:
Take a journey, if you will, into the secret inner chambers of New York's cultural elites. It's an exclusive club where well-dressed "raconteurs and bon vivants" chatter urbanely while tuxedoed waiters scurry about. Of course, their meetings are at noon on Tuesdays, their members are mostly over the hill, and they didn't admit women until 1991. Welcome to the Dutch Treat Club, the Algonquin Roundtable for 21st-century Manhattan olds who still like to drink and ogle girls!
Don't expect to roll mobb deep to the club with Hills star Spencer Pratt unless you're ready to spread around some serious cash, my friend. In his closely-read advice column in Radar this week, the boy wonder responds to a needy fan—whom we envision wearing a tight shirt and a year-round tan—who's in anguish over only being able to hit the town with five of his boys at a time. "You can't roll in anywhere with more than five guys holding your hand," he explains. How can he satisfy all of his other homeboys who want to hold his hand in the club? Spencer says: Money money money money, monnneeeeyyyyyyy:
Hulking literary doorman Rob the Bouncer's assertion: short guys (or "Wee 'Pocket Men,'" as he eloquently puts it) flock to clubs, where they start more trouble than normal-sized men because of their little Napoleon complexes. "All I see, all night long, is all these angry little dudes coming up here. I feel bad for them. Sometimes I want to bend down and say, 'Hey little fella, what's the matter? Why don't you go inside and turn that frown around?'" Ok, we'll give you that one. It's true. Another good reason to leave the club to the bouncers, while the short guys visit the homes of the bouncers' girlfriends for surreptitious assignations! What now, giant? [Clublife]
Bungalow 8 founder and Manhattan nightclub soothsayer Amy Sacco is being humble! "Most everything's overrated [about NYC nightlife]," she says. "Even I'm overrated!" She thinks that London is now "much more interesting than NYC." Funny, because last time we checked in on her London branch of Bungalow 8, local reviewers were calling it "empty." Surely those days are past? Well, recently they haven't been calling it empty, exactly—just overpriced, overcharging, and helmed by an ill-mannered doorman!:
We learn alternate uses for ordinary household products practically every day, it seems. More words of wisdom from Rob the Bouncer, author of Clublife: Preparation H, the hemorrhoid treatment, is making the rounds as the hot new product to rub on your chest. (It makes dudes look "ripped.") Amazingly, the dudes doing this are straight. Less amazingly, they come from Jersey and thereabouts and party in the Meatpacking District. Says a manager of a Long Island CVS drugstore about the trend, "I don't give a shit what these slapdicks are using it for. I wish they'd stay out of my fucking life."
[Clublife blog, image via Club It Up]
Ashley Dupre, Eliot Spitzer's call girl and special friend, is back on the town! She's feeling safe enough from the hordes of paparazzi to venture out to the clubs once again, and that seems only fair. Dupre was reportedly out partying at Marquee last night [Steve Lewis], where "she sat very inconspicuously on the back of a banquette waving her arms and partying like a party girl." We're offering a $100 prize for a picture of her (cell phone camera or otherwise) at the club. Email us. And some nightclubs are so excited, they'll even settle for anyone vaguely resembling New York's most famous political party girl:
Drug-and-celebrity-laden downtown nightspot The Box can add to its ongoing problems the fact that an unknown disgruntled person is posting angry fliers around town alleging that the club's doorman is a "DRUG PEDDLER who RAPED TWO WOMEN" last year. The Daily News reported today that the anonymous flier guy has been arrested. But today the "BOX-KILLER" weighed in on the comments section of a blog post to declare that he was NOT arrested because posting such fliers is free speech, and furthermore, he still thinks the doorman is an "animal" and a "criminal!" Anonymous fliers and anonymously sourced gossip items and anonymous blog posts: all the makings of a solid story. [Animal]
The MGM Grand is rushing to fill in what Las Vegas has been lacking: a massive poolside nightclub that is a thinly veiled destination for celebrities to do coke and have semi-public sex. More specifically, it's "WET REPUBLIC," and it's Vegas' first "ULTRA POOL," and "water is the leitmotif." "Swanky"! Enjoy its "sultry lounge" and "sensuous South Beach ambiance" and "delicious atmosphere" and "massages by skilled therapists" and "seductively modern vibe" and "illusion of a never-ending flow of water." And while you're doing that, the VIPs will be upstairs getting naked in their cabanas with six groupies and a big pile of blow, without having to physically swivel their chairs.
So a middle-aged couple that lives in Las Vegas decided to splurge and take their daughter and her friends out to a hot nightclub (owned by the same people whose bouncers make half a million a year) for the daughter's 21st birthday [LV Sun]. Dad lines up reservations, and is led to believe he'll spend $1,000 for the night. Instead, he gets run through the wringer and extorted for tips by every bum employee in the place, until he's spent twice as much—including $120 for bathroom tips, and $100 to a security goon to "ensure their safety." Now he's pissed! It's easy to make fun of the old-people-at-a-club meme, but these were parents trying to do something nice for their daughter, and getting hustled by shady club people who saw them as easy marks. We must support them! It's like somebody taking advantage of your mom and dad.
Former NYC club king turned amateur blogger Steve Lewis gets the scoop today on Danny A, the "Super Promoter" who was also the dude driving Leo Dicaprio when he got pulled over the other day (big news). It's tempting to mock this nightlife circle jerk, but we actually kinda like Steve Lewis' style, which is to tell it like it is because he clearly doesn't feel like he has a damn thing left to prove in his chosen industry. Feel free to read all about Danny A if you want, but far more entertaining is Steve's intro, where he accurately breaks down the connection between clubs, celebrities and regular people (sheep):
Oscar Batori is the 21 year-old "image director" (*snort*) on the Meatpacking district club circuit profiled by the Times yesterday. His job, apparently, is to go to clubs, convince other rich, good looking people to go to clubs, and wear extremely expensive clothing. A $1,500 Gucci overcoat! A $1,000 Prada coat! He does this while simultaneously talking lots of shit about those around him: a guy in a diner is the biggest loser in the world, a fellow model wrangler is "small time," he can't stand bookworms. The mystifying part is that Oscar Batori continues to engage in his reckless coat-wearing, mouth-running, and media-whoring without comeuppance, despite being, quite simply, a skinny ass punk. As these modeling shots of him will attest:
On this morning's Yo on E! show, DJs Graham Funke and Stone Rokk, frequent masters of record-spinning ceremonies at celebrity-infested local establishments like Area and Les Deux, are induced into talking some smack about the famous clientele to whom the clubs' buzz-craving owners slavishly cater in hopes of keeping their venues from falling out of favor with Hollywood's incredibly fickle starfucking crowd.
A Box patron sent in the following in response to our query: "I happened to be at the Box night of raid. Very shocking to say the least. Didn't know what was going on as cops checked liquor bottles behind the bar with flashlights and went through every nook and cranny of the place. Still people were drinking and dancing like nothing was going on. Cuba made a quick exit as we were all hanging out at his table." Yeah, maybe it was a sound complaint, but maybe it was also not a sound complaint.