Shocking absolutely nobody, the Playboy Club is closing just a year after its Midtown revival.
The Post reports that operator Merchants Hospitality plans to convert the space to a location of Merchants Steakhouse, plus a performance venue that’s branded as Live Nation Theatre.
Apparently the club had been banking on people visiting with their expense accounts. But, no dice: the Playboy branding wasn’t drawing enough business on the weekdays because “companies are no longer game to reimburse employees excursions to a club famous for its scantily clad women” in the #MeToo era, sources tell the Post.
The Playboy Club opened next to the Cachet Boutique New York hotel at 512 West 42nd St., between 41st and 42nd Streets, last September — returning the famous (and controversial) club to the city after a 30 years absence. It included a restaurant portion and memberships, with annual fees from $5,000 to $100,000. Those memberships will transfer to Live Nation, or Merchants will offer reimbursements.
The revival focused more on food, bringing on a Per Se and Bar Masa alum for the menu. Critic Robert Sietsema found “prosaic food of good quality at fantastically inflated prices” on his visit, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough to make up for the vibe: “It still feels like a ritualized humiliation of women, especially on the heels of the #MeToo movement, but with the modern trappings of an expensive restaurant aimed at tourists tacked on.”
Playboy Club will turn into the new restaurant and venue soon. Eater has reached out to the company for more details.