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The Gatekeepers: Kia Warren

On we go with The Gatekeepers, a photo series we've commissioned from Michael Harlan Turkell. For the next several weeks, we'll be presenting portraits of The Gatekeepers: the very folks that stand between you and some of your favorite impossible-to-get tables.


Stanton Social will turn two in April. Whereas many restaurants of this age begin to see thinning crowds, Chris Santos' temple of haute small plates and assorted tapas-ized fare (kobe sliders, french onion soup dumplings) grows more popular as the months go on. Waits were once 30 minutes for a week night dinner; now the same table will cost you a 60 minute wait, unless you know Kia Warren.

Kia: I’ve received $250 for a two top. A $20 offer has been the standard for a busy night. My coat check girls get $5 for a single article of clothing. I’ve also been given designer clothes, bags, the whole outfit.

Michael Stipe was here with Keith Richard’s daughter. There was a large table in the middle for Goldman Sachs. Adrian Grenier and Thurston Moore were in the back, and that’s all in one night (which is typical).

I have an eagle eye for celebrities. We call our VIPS “Hans Solo”, so when there’s Star Wars talk abuzz, there’s someone in the house.

We don’t save tables for walk-ins, though people give up their reservations. It’s always worth a call. We make callbacks between 11AM – 3PM, so a good time to call us is right after we’ve made all our confirmations for the night.

There have been times when it’s a 30 to 45 minute wait even with reservations, because you never know how long a table may really take. We hold reservations for no more than 15 minutes past your designated time, so don’t be late.

Browse previous Gatekeepers.

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