While discussing the recent openings of Don Hill's, the Bunker and various other places with a successful nightlife operator, they mentioned their shock that so many places were open or opening in Manhattan and going after the same hipster crowd. To this person, it was sheer lunacy because not only does this crowd not "spend any money", they also "do really weird shit". Like what, we asked? According to our insider, "our hipster night is the only night I put extra security in the bathrooms, because they are always trying to write graffiti on the mirrors. Someone stole the soap dispenser. One time the door staff caught some guy walking out with a stack of plastic shot glasses in his pants. They just do it for a laugh or something." But is there anything to this?
If you recall, the Beatrice Inn opened as a reaction to the abundance of bottle service clubs like Cain, Pink Elephant, Stereo and Tenjune that had suddenly overwhelmed New York nightlife. Suddenly the biggest party in town had shifted from the clubs to a small, defunct Italian restaurant in the West Village. Hipsters and their ilk rejoiced, while the bridge and tunnel, fist pumping crew didn't really get it. Then the Bea went under and suddenly there was a vacuum in the marketplace, with existing and new clubs trying to grab a piece of the pie.
Fast forward a few years and the Manhattan hipster market has dispersed. Not only have most of the old bottle service places gone under, but the Beatrice owners and crew have gone their separate ways: Paul Sevigny opened Don Hill's and Kenmare, Andre has Le Bain and Le Baron, and Matt Abramcyk is about to open the Bunker. Factor in the Jane, Lit, Cabin and a slew of other bars that are all competing for a slice of a very small pie. And it's not a very lucrative pie at that. These customers aren't the bottle buying bankers that help pay the bills either. It seems to be a classic case of oversupply.
So what does it all mean? Our insider expects that a few of these places are going to be either closing or simply dropping off the radar within the next six to twelve months. But which ones? Le Bain seems safe because of its ties to the Standard, and the Bunker apparently has Steve Hanson's deep pockets to protect it. The easy guess would be the Jane and Kenmare, as those proprietors are concentrating on newly opened (Don Hill's) and soon to open (unnamed burlesque club). But it will take a few months for everything to shake out, so the situation will need a re-evaluation at the end of the year.
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]