Back in the day, circa 2002, before 27th Street caved in on itself, Bungalow 8 was in a class its own. No one ever got in and everyone wanted desperately to; inside, the 15-person line at the bathroom included more bold-faced names than your Buddakans see in a month. But that was then, this is now.
At around 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, Camille Zarsky, a jewelry designer, was enjoying a late night at Bungalow 8 with a few of her girlfriends. The D.J. had just put on “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates—a song Ms. Zarsky had requested—and all seemed right in the upstairs lounge area of the West 27th Street nightclub.
“Then this guy came up to me and asked me to join him for a drink downstairs,” Ms. Zarsky recalled. “I said, ‘No, thank you.’”There was a time, friends, when a "gentleman" such as this one couldn't have bought his way into Bungalow with a $1,000 bill and the promise of buying four bottles. Spoiler: “Giovanni” turned out to be, other than a bad dresser, a crook and scam artist and, upon returning to Bungalow 8 the next weekend, was arrested for 18 -- count 'em, 18 -- counts of grand larceny and three counts of stolen property. And that is the sad story of how Bungalow 8 finally wound up like every other club in New York.
The man, who identified himself as “Giovanni,” was short, dark and handsome—“Mayan-looking,” said another clubgoer—with tattoos on one of his fingers. He was wearing a leather jacket emblazoned with the Dolce & Gabbana logo and went on to explain that he was the nephew of Dolce & Gabbana (in retrospect, a somewhat mystifying assertion, considering the two designers are not related or married). He again asked Ms. Zarsky to join him for a drink. She politely declined for a second time.
“Then he was like, ‘Come on, come on. Let’s go downstairs,’” Ms. Zarsky said. “He was very aggressive. He was like, ‘Why don’t you be a lady and come have a drink with a gentleman?’—He actually called himself a gentleman!—‘I’m sure you need someone to buy you one.’”
· Designer Impostor! The Case of the Dubious Dolce & Gabbana Dude