The summer season is always a great time for nightclubs and promoters to try new things especially in the gay scene. If you're just coming back for the fall semester, then I've got tons of changes to tell you about. If you plan on partying hard this fall, then keep reading and keep this as your nightlife survival guide.
In a nutshell, it seems that the gay nightlife scene is migrating away from weekends and more toward weeknights. We're talking about all types of venues from mega clubs to cozy VIP lounges. Even though they've always been there, promoters have never put so much emphasis in week night partying. Yes, I'm referring to wild nights that fall between Monday and Friday.
Weeknight parties have always been reserved for the elite crowds while weekends were known as Bridge & Tunnel.
Defined: Bridge & Tunnel /'brij,'tu-nel/ (adj.): Used to describe party goers who commute into Manhattan from New Jersey and the outer boroughs using a bridge or a tunnel. (Ferries apply too).
That doesn't seem to be the case any more. It seems as though everyone wants a piece of the VIP pie, and promoters are noticing. Let's take a tour through New York City's new hot spots and find out what's really going on at each party!
Tuesday nights have somewhat taken over as the start to the party week. In one night you can choose from East Village bars, downtown lounges and even a Chelsea mega club.
If you're looking for Boysroom, don't worry... it didn't go out of business, it simply moved. That's where you can find Steve Sidewalk and the GaySocialites on Tuesday nights. Owner Mistress Formika has taken Boysroom to a much nicer space at 211 Avenue A (on the corner of 13th street). Every Tuesday night, Steve Sidewalk celebrates the best of the 80s, 90s and today with Tragic Tuesdays. I also host the lounge in the back complete with a big screen TV and old school Nintendo. There are classic blasts from the past playing on the TV screens and only the hottest college boys from each campus. There's no cover here with 2-for-1 drinks all night. This spot is 18 to cruise, but you've gotta be 21 to buy booze. You can get more info on this party at gaysocialites.blog.
Bowery Bar is still a long running hot spot for the trendy crowd who likes to get an early start. This party is very much known for its no-frills approach, but it’s definitely still a good place to see or be seen.
If you're not a 9 to 5 type person, across town 80's club icon, Susanne Bartsch has the perfect treat for you with her all-nighter, Happy Valley Tuesdays. Happy Valley was nothing until Bartsch came out of retirement to create a Tuesday night party that might blow your mind. If you can wait until late to get started and not worry about the repercussions the next day, then you should check it out. Bartsch has added a star studded line-up of hosts including Richie Rich, Amanda Lapore and Kenny Kenny. This is perfect for those looking for something a little more upscale and don't mind a selective door. Happy Valley is located at 14 E. 27th Street between 5th and Madison or online at happyvalleynyc.blog.
Things don't slow down on Wednesday nights either; as a matter of fact they seem to pick up a little steam. A night that had practically no nightclub events last spring has become one of the hottest nights to hit the town. The early crowd joins me each week at the hottest new lounge in New York City, 49 Grove. In an attempt to offer something that no one else can, the Gay Socialites have teamed up with the people who brought you Pop Rocks to introduce a free, guest list required VIP weekly party. There's no cover if you ask for the Gay Socialites list at the door, and this swanky venue serves up free vodka drinks from 10-11pm followed by $6 drink specials all night. If you're looking to impress someone this is the place to go. You can reserve a table and bottle for 1/2 price all night too! 49 Grove is located in the heart of the West Village at 49 Grove Street (at the corner of Bleeker and Grove).
Also on Wednesday nights right uptown in Chelsea, Mimi Imfurst lights up the night with her weekly Ass Circus at XES. There's no cover here either, and it’s a great place to catch a late show and unwind on hump day. XES is known for playing host to the craziest drag performers and the late night Chelsea-boy crowd that can't seem to get enough partying! XES is online at www.xesnyc.blog and the bar is located at 157 W 24th St between sixth and seventh avenues. Mimi Imfurst is best known for her rendition of the Virgin Mary earlier this year that attracted religious protestors at its Off-Broadway theatre. I've heard she's bringing it back for Christmas, so be on the look out.
Thursday nights are basically dominated by one party, Campus Thursdays at Splash. You may have gotten a taste of this party when it kicked off in the spring, but if you're just coming back to school you'll definitely want to mark down this hot spot as your Thursday night hangout. Alan Picus, the promoter who brought you Heaven Saturdays and Spirit Sundays, teams up with the hottest college cuties to bring you a weekly bash that is guaranteed to make you skip classes and call out of work on Friday.
Picus announced earlier this year that he would vacate his post on Thursdays at Stonewall to create the biggest Thursday night party in the city's history. He has managed to bring all the hottest nightclub celebs including DJs Steve Sidewalk, Seth Gold, Vito Fun and Mikey Raves. The line-up of hosts has also changed. With rumors circulating that Stonewall will soon close forever, host and hostess J-Roc and Miss Alixandria both jumped ship leaving the Stonewall Detention party to help add to the mayhem of 20+ go-go boys and drinks specials that seem to cause the liquor to flow like water. I must confess that a Thursday night at Splash is guaranteed to ruin my Friday mornings! (And that's not necessarily a bad thing!) For more info on the boy bash, head over to www.boiparty.blog. Splash is located on 17th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Detention still runs at Stonewall on Thursday nights, but from what we hear the place is being closed down because the landlords didn't pay the rent. We've tried contacting the management and several promoters from Stonewall, but the current staff hasn't returned our calls. We have managed to catch a few former Stonewall promoters who tell us their parties have either ended or moved because the club is 'struggling.' Although once known as the place to be on Thursdays, Stonewall has been plagued with trouble all summer long after loosing most of its staff and patrons to Picus' new party at Splash. Details for Stonewall can be found at www.detentionnyc.blog.
Looking for the Friday night craze fest known as Area, Opaline, Shelter, etc?? Let’s start by clearing things up; the party's name is Area. Opaline was its first location in the East Village and Shelter was its second in Midtown. The new location this fall is at 150 Varrick Street in Soho. Mistress Formika is known for taking this party off the beaten path. This venue is a bit different than the others with one extra large dance floor and a lower level lounge. On the main dance floor you can jam to Steve Sidewalk and Jon Jon Battles spinning pop, rock, dance and everything in-between. DJ Adam offers an edgy alternative on the first floor. The place is packed with college cuties and a hint of Johnny McGovern and his well-known debauchery. You can get more details about this party and other parties at the new Boysroom online at www.tripwithus.blog. Formika keeps us wondering why he bounces this party from joint-to-joint... some say it’s because his parties are too wild for the venues others say it’s to keep us guessing. Whatever he's doing seems to be working. Just don't get caught in the bathroom with your pants down... you never know where pictures can end up!!
Friday night is a bit saucy up at Krash in Chelsea too. If you need like to party with the hot Latin boys from time to time, then you have to check out this Friday night insanity. DJs SuperDave, Mike Cruz and more spin high energy house and hip hop music all night long. Even though, I'm not big on weekend parties, I have to check out Krash Fridays occasionally! Its generally very low drama and the chulos love a good white boy every now and again! They're online at www.krashnyc.blog.
In the past Saturdays have been known as a safe bet to have a wild time. Over the summer, Saturdays have had their ups and downs leaving everyone wondering what's going to happen this fall. Roxy is basically the Saturday night staple, but the management there has been battling to hold on to their liquor license all summer long.
Heaven is always a safe bet for the 18 and over crowd on Saturdays. It is the consistent party where you know you won't ever get turned away at the door (as long as you have an ID!!) Steve Sidewalk is on the main floor with a rotating list on the second floor including John Marto and DJ Tek E. The management there has changed hands a few times over the past few years, and now its sole owner is Frank -- the owner of Sophia's upscale Italian restaurant in the theater district. Rumor has it a face lift is coming for the joint, and that's just what it needs. The crowd is extremely high energy here every Saturday, and Mimi Imfurst and I team up to host crazy variety themed shows.
Sundays are pretty much dominated by Alan Picus and New York's most well-known promoter, John Blair. Over the summer Blair and Picus have built up a wild following at Spirit hosting well known DJs on the main floor and making names for others by putting them in as headliners. Vito Fun maintained the hip hop lounge and everything was hoppin'... until... the straight people messed it up for us. A few weeks ago cops closed the door at Spirit for good after repeated drug and alcohol charges. Now, the dynamic duo is moving their party back to Avalon. It seems as though Blair has had his ups and downs with the partners at Avalon, but I must admit I'm really excited to see what it will be like to party the night away at Avalon on Sundays again. The first party starts on Sunday, September 10th. For more info check out www.jblair.blog.
That means you've gotta cram all your studying, resting, sleeping and working into Mondays. Good luck and enjoy your party packed fall!