Question: When the PR team for a restaurant starts focusing almost all their energy on the downstairs club and promotes the upstairs as a bar/lounge/party spot, is said restaurant officially dead? We're going to drop the hammer and say yes and declare that FROG—which PR people are now describing as a good place for a cocktail and a party (and if you get hungry a snack)— is dead. We have to hand it to the owners and the team at Steve Hall PR for learning how to adapt and for recognizing that a failure of a restaurant can be transformed into a somewhat successful lounge and club. That, friends, is how you survive a year on the Deathwatch.
That said, the operation over at 71 Spring is not leaving the hospice just yet. We're still waiting on early reports from public, but from what we could tell from the incredibly rocky launch party/press dinner last night, they aren't in the clear. Let's get to the hangover observations. (This might get dirty so we advise the folks over at Steve Hall PR to avert their eyes.)
1) We were surprised to find out that the dinner last night wasn't just a launch event for Origine. It was also the inaugural dinner for FROG's new strange series in which a different successful lady throws a dinner party every week and has a party afterwards downstairs. From the materials: "These women will act as hostesses by sharing their names and voices with this location in efforts to create a new energy in nightlife." Interesting.
2) Though the dinner was supposed to start at 7, guests weren't seated until 7:45 because the PR team was waiting on about a dozen latecomers/no-shows, most of whom were from the internet press (we're looking at you Thrillist).
3) At 8:30, a couple dozen uninvited guests streamed into the dining room and headed down the staircase to Origine. Why? Oh because someone posted the press event on Free Booze Report and attracted all the hoi polloi.
4) Food was...not so great. However, the drinks, while not at the level of some of the city's high end cocktail bars, were fairly impressive.
5) Origine appears like a run of the mill kind of lounge. It's anything but glamorous, but if Zev Norotsky can bring in the crowds, and more importantly the big name party goers, it'll do just fine.
So the event was a bit of a shitshow, the strange entrepreneur dinners seem like an unusual way to drum up business, and the food is nothing special. Basically the entire success of the revamped space hinges on what kind of buzz and following Zev can bring in.
· Origine: FR.OG's new Downstairs Lounge [~E~]
· Deathwatch: Fr.OG [~E~]