Quor’ing Mark Birnbaum

January 28th, 2013 by abbe diaz



Nightlife impresario Mark Birnbaum asks: "What do you like the most about night clubs in NYC? What do you like least?"
So we thought we’d let him know.

Hi, Mark Birnbaum. Okay well, you asked for it.

First of all, just so you know, I worked for Limelight, Palladium, Club USA, Tunnel, and Spy back in their heydays. So you can rest assured there are no grains of salt around here anywhere that you need to take alongside this bad boy.

What I like least about nightclubs in New York now:

1- Obviously, "bottle service." And I’m pretty sure you know why, so I shan’t bore you with the redundancy.

Oh no wait, let me at least regale you with the anecdote of how long ago, I ran into Maxwell lividly leaving Marquee, because the waitress (who clearly didn’t recognize him) chased him and his friends out of their seats. Despite ALL the tables in the room being entirely empty.

Surely you can infer how that might be kinda annoying.

2- Hours of operation. I actually find it quite hilarious that all nightclub operators get all apoplectic whenever proposed ordinances restricting liquor sales past 2AM rear their ugly heads. While in the meantime, every nightclub is completely empty until after midnight, because everyone is home power napping– so they can wake up at 2AM and get all coked up so they can stay awake and drink until the sun rises.

Do you actually think people will give up drinking/partying if they can’t do it at 3AM? No, they’ll just readjust their schedules. And it will simply open up a whole new market of after-hours speakeasies. You know, like back when NY nightlife was actually cool.

In the meantime, monied, well-heeled, urbane, responsible working people like me, are definitely not staying awake just to go to nightclubs. Ever.

3- Stupid, arrogant, self-entitled door people. Let me cite for example, the time awhile back when I was entertaining one of the wealthiest men in Turkiye, during one of his frequent visits to NYC (he has a home here, too). Since there was "no place" to go after dinner, Serge Becker recommended we take a stroll up the street to Gold Bar. It was 10:00PM.

And wouldn’t you know, doorman Johnny Lennon ROLLED US AT THE DOOR. His exact words, as a matter of fact, when he was apprised that one of us "owns seven restaurants" here in the city was: "Is he asking ME for a favor? Then he needs to take care of ME."
Again, IT WAS 10:00PM.
Now, certainly that’s not necessarily a reflection of your places, but I think you can well imagine how that might reflect poorly on the industry as a whole.

And let’s not take into account other repulsive factors, like Sartiano’s and Akiva’s alleged distaste for Asians, for example. Or Baker’s occasional public pronouncements like: "Go blonde or go home." Don’t even get me started. Oh ha, too late.
But again, not the greatest reflection of your industry. (And I actually love Baker and Rabin.)

4- Why is the music so bad everywhere? Oh right, because good DJ’s are expensive. I’ll just let you mull that one on your own.

5- Too much hassle.
Remember when Boom Boom was so hot? And only the "elite privileged" few could get in? Well, I was one of those people. And yet, sometimes when I would trek my ass all the way to Meatpacking from my comfortable Fifth Ave apartment, I would still catch grief at the door. Where’s Kamil? Where’s Stefan? Where’s Lana or Ian? Hell, where’s Andre?
"You can text them" and then hope and pray they’re not too busy or too preoccupied to answer back immediately, while you’re standing outside in the freezing cold– with your three other wealthy worldly powerful foreign guests you’re trying desperately not to embarrass.

And all this, for the distinct honor of paying $24 per drink, plus 20%.

Come on now, Mr Birnbaum. Did you really need me to tell you these things? Somehow, I doubt it.


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One Response to “Quor’ing Mark Birnbaum”

  1. Guess Says:

    I just looked again and saw his comment in response. LOL

    “I seem to have dropped my ass, can you hand it to me please?”

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