It's time to say goodbye to another year in nightlife and to look ahead to what's in store for 2011. If you have to sum up 2010 in one word, it would have to be Hipster. Yes, this past year was one where New York's old bottle service model was pushed to the side and replaced by sleek lounges with no bottle requirements catering to the tight pants set, creating a marketplace over saturated by new venues like Le Bain, Kenmare, Don Hill's, the Jane and the Bunker. Meanwhile, Lavo opened in Midtown to rave reviews (at least for the downstairs club), and proved that big spenders would go anywhere to dance with their arms in the air. Finally, the three biggest companies (EMM, Sartiano/Akiva, Strategic) continued their rapid growth with new restaurants and bars throughout Manhattan, and further cemented their dominance in the after dark market place. The pace will continue in 2011 with Lexington Brass, a new Butter and the Darby.
Looking ahead to 2011, expect the biggest openings to both happen way downtown. First will be the opening of Westway, the renovated former strip club right off the West Side highway that has already hosted a few private preview events over the past few weeks. Second is Le Baron, the long rumored New York outpost of Andre Saraiva's club that already has locations in Paris and Tokyo. Le Baron will be ready by February's Fashion Week, but we expect Westway to slowly open sometime in January to work out the kinks prior to Fashion Week.
Further predictions? We boldly predict that more bottle service venues will look to open and recapture the glory days of last decade. We predict that Mike Satsky and Brian Gefter will look to capitalize on the success of Provocateur and find a second location for an even bigger, house music friendly dance club somewhere around W. 27th Street in Chelsea. We also think that following the success of the restaurant task force and with Republicans in control of the State Senate, the City will look to improve the liquor licensing process for bars by reducing the role that Community Boards have in the process. Finally, we predict that Eater's coverage of this here nightlife game will remain top notch for another year.