Long ago, in a land not so far away—albeit not yet infested with as many out-of-neighborhood interlopers on weekend nights—there opened a lounge. A treasure, this lounge was: soothing music, relaxing places to sit, bartenders who knew their trade. But, like all good things, it got discovered. And then it got bad. Flash forward two years: the place was still open, but a shell of its former self. For good measure, long past the point of relevance, it swallowed its nominal parent, a New York institution next door, just for good measure. And then, mercifully, it closed.
The place? Lansky Lounge. The cycle, from boom to bust, ran about five years. But in this decade, can any place hope to evolve at such a Mesozoic pace? What brings this to mind is the appearance this past Sunday of The Back Room on the pages of Sunday Styles. Last summer, La Esquina went 44 days from Internet buzz to media saturation. (Media saturation definied, naturally, as a Sunday Styles mention.) How did the Back Room fare?
1) 9/30/05: DailyCandy launches the Back Room buzz appropriately: "Here we go again." Address is withheld from item (though, it seems, added on at a later date).
2) 10/3/05: Eater notes, "The Back Room isn't content just to go secret. It's going Double Secret... which means all of New York City will be hanging there by November."
3) 10/7/05: Eater photographer Noah Kalina gets inside for a look around.
4) 10/11/05 Gawker Stalker spies (co-owner) Tim Robbins manning the bar and denying clientele passage to the secret back room.
5) 10/30/05: The Back Room surfaces in the BoÃ®te column in Sunday Styles: "Someone forgot to tell the doormen at the Back Room, a new speakeasy-style bar on the Lower East Side, that the place is supposed to be a secret."
Time from first mention to media saturation: 30 days (new record). Congratulations to all.
· Eater Buzzmeter: La Esquina's 'Secret Basement Bar' [Eater]