While the rumored death of Bungalow 8 was just a wee bit premature, it does lead to some thoughtful contemplation. Many seemed divided over what a world without Bungalow 8 really meant, while others feigned surprise that Amy Sacco's den of debauchery was even still open. Getting inside was once comparable to winning an Olympic gold medal, but tastes and times change, and Bungalow 8 just doesn't draw the same crowd it used to. So while Bungalow's still kicking, it seemed appropriate to look at a few other venues from the earlier part of the 21st century that were at one time Ground Zero for nightlife, and are now just going through the motions.
· Butter - If you were looking for the biggest Monday night party, then you would eventually find yourself outside of Butter, Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano's restaurant and lounge on Lafayette Street. The food program was always serious and the lounge did excellent business throughout the week, but it was the Monday night party that put this place on the map. Madonna, Ashton and Demi and Diddy came to get down; it seemed like each week drew more boldfaced names and attracted more civilians who aspired to get in. Now, Sartiano and Akiva have opened 1OAK and are redoing the former Nell's space with chef and Food Network personality Alex Guarnaschelli as poor Butter marches on as the forgotten child.
· Sway Lounge - Sway was Nur Khan's first project after selling Wax Bar and offered just the right mix of the downtown scene, celebrity and music. The lounge was designed to resemble a Moroccan hash den, and helped bring together the Beatrice Inn team. Nur eventually left Sway to run Hiro and then Rose Bar, and while the lounge still hosts its insanely popular Smiths/Morrisey Sunday night party, it no longer attracts any kind of consistent crowd to its quiet Spring Street location.
· Marquee - After all this time, is there any more that really needs to be said about Marquee? The 10th Avenue Lounge picked up where Bungalow 8 left off, and ushered in the bottle service era, spawning way too many imitators and forever changed the business of New York nightlife. Owners Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss have continued to grow their business with Avenue, Tao, Lavo and eventually a pizza company, and their celebrity and big spending customers would rather spend time at the new venues. Marquee saunters on, still attracting large crowds who, while lacking the cachet of the customers that flocked there during its heyday, still spend serious money dancing inside its hallowed halls.
This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have a suggestion, drop it in the comments or let us know.