Monday, April 30, 2007

Gemma Getting Ready

Behind those lacy curtains is Gemma, the Bowery Hotel's soon to open Italian restaurant designed by Taavo Somer. The last time we passed by, the place was still pretty much under wraps. No more. A little birdy walked by and snapped this pic, saying "the restaurant is getting close to being ready. There are lace curtains hanging over all the doors and windows and when I peered inside, I could see the furniture had been delivered. Wasn't set up though." Dirty birdy. We think there are laws against peeping like that. It's OK. We won't tell. Looks like it's time to sit back and wait for our invite to opening night. We think we deserve it.

How About That

We've always wondered where the New York Times got all their story ideas from.

Now we know.

Guess that makes us the blog of record.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The DBTH Love Train

Yesterday was our 50th post. Not to toot our own Hipster, but it's crazy to think how quickly we have come so far. Many of you have reached out to let us know what you think, and DBTH would like to share some of that love with you. Below is just some of the juice. Anonymous of course.

"You're on to something exceptional." - Major Web Presence

"Dude, fantastic scoops . . . You're rocking it." - Blog Godfather

"The new industry expert." - Nightlife Player Extraordinaire

"Congratulations on generating all these hits on your blog." - Publicist to the Stars

"You have become a fixture in our RSS Feed and we find ourselves linking to you often." - Editor We Admire

"I really really enjoy your coverage of all sorts of things." - Superstar Blogger

We love all of you too. We wouldn't be doing this otherwise. Please keep reading and telling us what you think, and we promise to keep the good times rolling.



Thursday, April 26, 2007

Invasion From the South

Is New York ready for an invasion of Miami nightlife? Well, ready or not, here it comes. A little birdy checks in, saying "was eating lunch at Cirpriani Downtown and overheard Eric Milon discussing some available spaces in NYC. Specifically, he was discussing taking over the Studio Mezmor (formerly crobar)space." Interesting little birdy. Very interesting. Perhaps these Miami folks think they know something about the 27th Street area that NYC operators don't. For those who aren't familiar, Milon is a former model turned nightlife player who owns and operates the Opium Group in South Beach and is expanding into Vegas soon. Where have we heard that before? Will a New York version of a Miami nightclub fly? DBTH is betting on no. Unlike in Miami, we can't wear pastels all year long.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Twinkle In Your Rye

When it comes to spirits, we are a bit particular. You know this. But it doesn't mean we won't mix it up now and again. Especially with whiskey. Extra especially with rye whiskey. After all, it is the Champagne of 2007. So we were excited when a little birdy filed a report for our favorite new rye's coming out party. Tuesday night at the Four Seasons, Lenell's played host for a Manhattan flavored party for
Tuthilltown Spirits small batch rye. Says our birdy, "Lenell Smothers from Lenell's in Red Hook made the 'perfect Manhattan' at the tasting. It was 1 1/4 (maybe 1 1/2) shot of rye whiskey equal parts, 1 oz, dry (French) and sweet (Italian) vermouth. This is combo is the key that makes it a true Manhattan the members of the Manhattan club made it. The bitters that were used were Fee Brothers bitters from Rochester, NY, our local bitters maker. Then you have your choice of a cherry or burnt lemon peel. She went burnt lemon peel and it was amazing. I hate whiskey and I had two." The drinks obviously pack a punch, since it took our little birdy a full day to give us the scoop. Careful little birdy, that stuff is strong. Very strong.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On the Circuit: Burton 2008

Welcome to the first installment of a new DBTH series, On the Circuit, which chronicles a select few of the many sponsored events held in New York City on any given night. Books, fashion, music, movies or miscellaneous, if you can think of it, it's a pretty good bet that there is some kind of event happening. Usually, if you've been to one, you've been to em all. But some stand out, and DBTH will be On the Circuit to keep you informed. Because hey, free booze.

Our first installment: Burton 2008

We got word that LA DJ Steve Aoki had been booked to spin a Radar event at the Burton Snowboard Store in Soho to preview Burton's 2008 collection. After arriving at the store and finding it closed, a quick recheck of the invite showed that it was being held just down the street at the Burton showroom in a loft high above Broadway. Pass quickly through "security" (DBTH +1), we cram into the elevator to head upstairs and enter into the event that is already in full swing.

The skinny: The room was full to very full, and Aoki, most known for his weekly party with DJ AM in LA, was spinning to an enthusiastic crowd. The bars were plentiful, with a choice of jalapeno margs, vodka mixers and the like, while a kind wait staff passed out mini burgers and dessert to those who dig that kind of thing (No thanks, we already ate). Most fun: the instant photo booth in the corner. Most surprising: the event actually picked up steam as the night wore on, definately not the norm.

Instead of trying to pack the room with C listers and hired models, Burton et al put together a real party. Drinks, DJ and dancing, a tough combination to beat. If it wasn't for all the Burton gear on the wall that you couldn't try on, we could have been anywhere. But it was a showroom, and it wasn't a big deal. And we all got a new t-shirt to boot. How about that?

Be sure to check out some photos at our DBTH/Flickr page.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Finally, a Nightclub for Hippies?

More news from the club beat, and this time it's full of Earth Day inspiration. Over the weekend, a little birdy landed on our window sill. Since the sun is out, the window was open and we could hear the little birdy chirp, "word on the street is that Home and Guesthouse's Jon B (his bio is a must read!!) is opening an eco-friendly 'green' nightclub in the low 20's between 10th and 11th." We know green is the new black, but we didn't think it would make it to the nightclub business so quickly. Since he is such a trend setter, maybe Jon B is tapping into a new market of kids who are into music, the environment and going out, but aren't your typical club kids. You know, the wookies!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hipster Haiku

Springtime in New York
Another week wraps itself up
Down By The Hipster

Photo courtesy of Stu Ju/Flickr

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Reduxe: Mondrian Hotel

We recently revealed MHG's plan to open the Mondrian at 150 Lafayette, which is Chinatown's answer to the Bowery Hotel Row. But why now? And why the Mondrian? And why there? When in doubt, turn to your hotel guru to drop some wisdom. We did, and HG says:

Morgans wouldn't exist if it weren't for Ian Schrager's vision and creativity. But he got bought out and Morgans was taken public. Since then, they have announced grand plans for expansion, including franchising some of their brands- unthinkable under Schrager. The Mondrian Scottsdale was the first to open. I was there on opening weekend in January and was disappointed with the quality of the renovation of the Old James hotel. The next Mondrian to open will be in SoBe, followed by the NYC property, then Vegas (which Shrager is obligated to be a part of). No doubt Morgans will be bringing in the big guns for the NYC. The competition is stiff and they want their old leader to be slain by his own child.
Well, it's more bastard child. Or step. No matter, the battle lines have been drawn, with Morgans ready throw down against the Gramercy Hotel with its premiere brand. If hipsters had money to gamble, we'd be taking Shrager all the way. You know why?

Because Ian Shrager is an original, just like us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mixology 101

These days, if you want to open a world class restaurant, you better hire a world class mixologist. Some out of town restaurateurs are obviously aware of this, so they set up a meeting with Master Mixologist Alex Ott (Sushi Samba, Buddha Bar - Paris, Bao 111) to craft specialty cocktails for a few new establishments. Luckily, your friend DBTH was invited along to observe. And taste. And taste we did.

The location was a downtown dive bar where you wouldn't expect to find exotic drinks and NASA based technology. That's right, NASA. We walked in and were given a 12 page booklet and scorecard for the 55 drinks we would be tasting over the course of 3 hours. You do the math, because we are still tipsy. Alex not only comes up with unique recipes for your bar, he also comes down and trains the neophyte bar staff on how to make each drink. Hire him and a new establishment can wow you with exotic fruits, insane spices and world class cocktails that will go perfectly with your menu and keep its prices down. Genius.

The tastings were crafted for a new tequila bar and gastropub opening in Somewheresville, USA, so the menu was influenced by Mexico City trends for the former and classics for the latter. But Alex shook things up with some groundbreaking twists to leave the group, including an executive chef and sommelier, truly wowed.

We know, it sounds too good to be true. It almost was. Luckily, we have some evidence. So feel free to cruise over to our brand new DBTH Flickr Page.

YAY. Flickr.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Psst...DBTH Has a Secret

We have a secret. It's a big one, but it should be alright if we tell you. You just have to promise not to tell anyone else, ok? Swear? If you don't swear, how can we tell you? Ok, now we can tell you. See, 150 Lafayette has been mysteriously wrapped up for a few months. The place is being gutted, and we know why. The building, which previously was the Chinatown Dialysis Center, is being converted into a luxury hotel. And this isn't just any luxury hotel. This is the widely anticipated Mondrian Hotel - NYC. That's right, the Mondrian is coming to Chinatown. The project represents Morgans Hotel Group's triumphant return to New York City. Crazy right? We know. The work is being overseen by the conversion experts at HTO. They even have a permit! The hotel will definately have some big name restaurant and nightlife establishments, but no contracts have been signed with anyone.

Now remember, you swore not to tell, and a promise is a promise. Otherwise, we may not be able to tell you anything ever again.

Monday, April 16, 2007

An Evening At: Milk & Honey

It's time for another installment of the DBTH ongoing series, An Evening At:, where we document the ins and outs of New York City nightlife. Openings and closings, dive bars and lounges, hipsters and B&T, DBTH will be on the scene and letting you read all about it, because for better or worse, it's all we have.

Some local operators had brought in an out of town chef who may be taking over an out of town restaurant, and they were nice enough to bring us along. Dinner was over and the hour was early, and the visiting chef was asked what they wanted to do. Chef says, "I'm beat from the flight, maybe just a place to get a good cocktail." Enough said. Milk & Honey, Sasha's original haven in the Lower East Side, is still unique for its location, atmosphere and drink quality. The number recently changed, but there is no need to call anymore. A quick text to the bar with a table request, and the helpful staff is quick to respond. "Your table will be ready at 10:30, see you then." Perfect.

Our group walks over and steps up to the door, gets buzzed in and led to our back booth. The smiling server is kind enough to help guide Chef through the process, and since we know the skilled Tender knows his way around an Old Fashioned, we ask for a Tequila - Bartenders Choice. The wait period between order and arrival is enough to make a serious drinker shake with excitement, waiting to see just what we will get to taste. Ours was a Tequila Honeysuckle, a creative play on the wildly popular Bourbon version, with just enough honey, cointreu and fresh squeezed lime juice to make us want to have another (two).

There is no extraneous noise, no cell phones, no pushing or shoving. Just concentrate on the world class cocktail, your company and the fact that while the rest of the city is dealing with the madness, you have been granted access to the land of Milk and Honey.

We know the joint's rules on pictures, this photo is courtesy of

Friday, April 13, 2007

And on the Fifth Day

The Hipster rested.

Thanks for another great week.



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Breaking News: Cain Finds A Home

Normally, we wouldn't dream of two posts in one day. After all, we aren't Superman. But this news was so hot that we couldn't just sit on it. This morning, we told you that Bunaglow 8 was following its neighbor Cain off of 27th Street. Now, another little birdy of the night (Batman?) lets us know, "It seems Cain is moving to a spot on 17th street and 9th Ave." Sadly, we can't find the listing, but surely someone can. Expect Bunaglow to follow with some kind of Page Six leak about its pending move sometime in the next week.

Bungalow 8 to Abandon 27th Street

There has been a lot of Amy Sacco news recently. We don't want to overdo it, but there is just a little bit more. Grab a seat because it's a whopper. Some nocturnal little birdys tell us, "Bungalow 8 will be shutting down on 27th Street and relocating downtown." HOLY MOLY! The 27th Street original and Bunaglow flagship is abandoning its roots, with Sacco leaving the hood for the B&T to run amok. Sounds fun. All kidding asisde, Bungalow 8 was an area pioneer. Accordingly, It seems logical that Sacco made plans to abandon 27th Street before Cain, but kudos to Cain for getting the news out first.

So what does this mean for NYC nightlife's bottom line? By now, it's obvious that 27th Street is officially dead and the the new trend is clear. Downtown baby! With Gold Bar, the Box, 205 and the new Scott Sartiano and Richie Akiva joint opening soon, downtown has its grimy grip firmly wrapped around the neck NYC nightlife, ready to choke those uptown players out of the game forever. That's why Bungalow and Cain are giving up on their original homes, ready to make a move to re-establish their brand names at a new venue. A bold and risky move by any means, but one that had to be done.

If you live above 14th Street, it may be time to call your realtor.

Photo courtesy of Lock/Flickr

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is Stephen Starr For Sale?

It seems Starwood Capital CEO and hospitality visionary Barry Sternlicht's buying spree may not end with B.R. Guest. A little birdy let us know that Philly's most famous (and pompous) restaurateur may be the next target for Sternlicht's firm, saying "Starwood Capital may be looking to buy the Starr Restaurant Organization and then make a play to take back control of Starwood Hotels." Hmm, Starr just made a successful move into Atlantic City (Continental, Buddakan) and NYC (Buddakaan and Morimoto), and with Continental NYC coming soon, why sell now?

We needed an explanation, and since we our just a blog (but a great blog at that!), we turned to our hotel guru, who explains:

Long a loss leader in the hotel business, hotel restaurants have become an important part of of the future of the business. After the death of the hotel dining room, hoteliers and restaurateurs have had a hard time trying to figure out how to work with each other (witness Rande Gerber and Ian Schrager, Alan Yau and Schrager, Chodorow and Schrager, etc.). Some hotel brands have done long-term deals (witness W and Jean-Georges), but visionaries such as Sternlicht are realizing that restaurants done right can be vertically integrated into the hotel model and attract business.
Consider us impressed. Expect to see W hotels filled with Dos Caminos and Continentals popping up in towns near you (and you!) soon. Guess it's better than Barca 18.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Eating Good At The Cooper Square Hotel

The Cooper Square Hotel will soon be joining the rest of the Bowery Hotel Gang. Our Gawking friends announced some details involving the CSH's entertainment venues, but they missed out on some of the fantastic back story. Thankfully, a little birdy filled us in:

I happened to speak to one of Meridian Restaurant Group's partners last winter. Meridian(separate from chef/partner Govind Armstrong) is best known for LA's Table 8, opening Rok Bar LA (a tremendous failure) and L Scorpion Tequila Bar, both in Hollywood. Said partner told me he was opening a restaurant at the New Cooper Square Hotel with 'celebrity chef' (and Applebee's pitch man) Tyler Florence. That deal may have fallen through. Govind Armstrong has more appeal as a star chef, although he is much better known on the West Coast. He recently opened Table 8 in Miami for Meridian in a shitty space at the new Regent Hotel between Ocean and Collins, and it opened to tepid reviews. Best bet is Meridian is opening Table 8 NYC at the new Cooper Square Hotel and not just a Govind Armstrong restaurant.
While the pending opening of Table 8 NYC is exciting, we can't help but weep for the lost potential of a Tyler Florence space. Imagine, being able to sit in a new hotel's lobby and taste the tv star's take on riblets, wings and other Applebee's favs. That's what eating good in the neighborhood is all about!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Misstep for MisShapes

Monday monrings are rough, no matter how you slice it. We appreciate the little things that help kick start the long week, like a classic weekend report about everyone's favortite DJ's. A little birdy tells us:

I was walking west on Spring Street on Saturday night and as I was walking by Don Hill's, I noticed a dude passed out laying on the sidewalk with his head propped against the side of the building. It was freezing and nobody was outside and he was in a t-shirt. I also noticed a guy trying to revive/argue with him. I noticed the dude on the ground was one of the MisShapes and so was the guy leaning over him. No idea which was which, because they look like twin muppets. Anyway, one of two things was happening:

1) He was trashed
2) He was in a tizzy.

Maybe it was both. I'm not sure what happened, but they we're causing quite a commotion.

We told you it was a great way to wake up. It's going to be a fun week.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Week That Was

Friday. Damn it's cold out there. Kind of a bummer. Time to start a warm fire, get some adult cider going, and think back on the past week.

Let's see:

We discovered something new.
We took this thing international.
We welcomed back an old friend.

Mmmm, this cider tastes good. And these memories make us feel all fuzzy and warm. Things are looking up already.

Don't forget to layer up and we'll see you on Monday.



Checking In With the Bowery Hotel

It's been a while since we caught up with the Bowery Hotel. Since our last update, we have heard some very mixed reviews. A little birdy showed up one night and told us, "the place was dead, the drinks were fair, and there was no music. None. It was like being in an abandoned nursing home." Ouch. That's one angry birdy. We had to see for ourselves, so we grabbed that birdy by the feathers and dragged him back for a second visit. The results were mixed, since the place was crowded, dare we say packed even, and our little birdy notes, "the glasses seem new and improved." That's something. But we wonder why there is still no music, the service was so bad and why all of the furniture is so uncomfortable? For a space that begs you to sit and relax, the re-upholstered furniture forces you to want to get up. Someone call Jenny and get some couches down there!

But then we recall that the lobby is really supposed to just be a lobby. The Bowery has much more coming and soon. How soon? Very. But DBTH, how can you be so sure? Well, another little birdy lets us know, "the second floor bar space is just about ready. The bar is installed, but the hotel's elevators and a dedicated stairwell are not quite there. The space is huge, close to 10,000 square feet, and they are waiting for the weather to improve before opening for the public." Thanks little birdy. We'll keep that in mind.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Soft Shell

You may already know this, but we go out. Sometimes, we even go out in Brooklyn (gasp!). We go where the fun is, and sometimes that is across the river. As the night winds down, your party flags down some cabs and heads back over the Manhattan Bridge towards home, you remember that there is some delicious late night food waiting for you nearby. Great N.Y. Noodretown is already well known, but the proprietors have just taken things to the next level. Soft Shell Crabs are back. Fact. You stumble in, wait your turn for a table and order up a plate (or six) of the summer speciality. Even though the portions are smaller and more expensive than ever, NY Noodletown is the home of the best (and only) late night soft shells in town, China or other. The mix of salt and crispy crust make these buggers the perfect post bar food, at least until we wake up. They are only in season until late July, so get em while they're soft.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Another Retail Mystery Solved

We're getting pretty good at solving retail mysteries. We had worried that the St Marks Mystery Space had gone cold case on us, but this baby is now doing a slow burn. First, one of our instinctive commenters remarked "Maybe a hot dog stand. There was a giant paper-mache pluto-colored Clifford inside the store a few days ago." Someone must have rocked their SAT logic games, because a little birdy equipped with a camera provides the photographic proof, saying "the awning went up this weekend, place is called Good Dog, and their mascot is Clifford." Case closed. Maybe we should change our name to Down By The Hardy Boys.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A New York State of Rye

While design, music and crowd are all vital to creating a great nightlife destination, we believe that a truly great cocktail is ingredient #1 to an establishment's success. We've already displayed our affection for the Old Fashioned, the classic cocktail that any bartender worth his salt should be able to make. An Old Fashioned with bourbon is great, but a proper Old Fashioned with rye whiskey is something special. We were pleasantly surprised when we came across a New York State rye from the Tuthilltown Distillery, a mill that has been in operation since 1788. The mill, which has now been converted to a full distillery, has crafted a small batch rye that is destined to shake the high end cocktail market up. Tuthilltown is the first distillery to legally make grain spirits in New York State since Prohibition, and while pricey, packs a flavor that true cocktail lovers will enjoy. Besides, like a nightlife guru tells us, "Rye is the Champagne of 2007," making Tuthilltown the Moet of rye. How can you argue with that?

DBTH will never shill for anyone. EVER. When we find a product worth mentioning, we feel a duty to share and share alike. If there are any questions regarding this policy, please feel free to let us know.