Friday, August 31, 2007

Wrap Up: Summer 2007

September 1. Summer is done-zo. We believe that we have done it dirty. You know this. And dare we say, this is the summer that New York City became a place to stay. Crazy stuff, but it's true. From river to river, the City was packed every weekend with more than European tourists and their foreign language Lonely Planets. 2007 is the summer when everyone decided that staying here when everyone else left was a good thing. We couldn't agree more.

Now we move on to fall. Lordy, it's going to be a big one. We can promise you that.

· We ramped up the intensity.
· You know we do it with love.
· It's time to bring the heat.
So as you pack up those share houses and bring your sweaters back from storage, please don't forget about your old friend DBTH. We promise more Little Birdy's, more original content, more features and more of just about everything. Because if we don't give it to you, no one else will.

Hope you had a great summer, and here's wishing you a great fall.



Photo courtesy of VTShep1/Flickr

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Virgin Box

There was quite the hullabaloo this past weekends at the Box. Good news! It looks like that is all over. A flock of Little Birdys filed a version of the same report, saying "was at the Box last night. It was a party to celebrate Virgin America's new LAX to JFK flight, complete with Sir Richard Branson, Thievery Corporation and Diplo. It was very corporate, everyone got these giant gift bags filled with travel goodies. Now I can say I have been in the same room as a billionaire." You sure can. Unfortunately, we can't. But, the Box is open, once again giving New York's resident ballers the chance to drop up $800 on a bottle for the honor of seeing an honest to goodness police raid. Where do we sign up?

CB2 to PM: No Go

Some more bad news for Kiki and Uniq and their Meatpacking District haunt PM. After first learning about a run in with the local community board, our Little Birdy come in with an update, and it's not good.

I just heard that the full board of Community Board 2 voted to reject PM's application to renew their liquor license. Community members have sent a ton of letters to the State Liquor Authority demanding that they deny the renewal. They've got State Senator Tom Duane on board as well. The SLA should issue a decision within a week but it doesn't look good for PM.

I also heard that PM is being sued by their landlord for back rent of over $500k -- that's a lot of bottle service to make up!!!
That is a lot of bottle service Birdy. We don't know how CB's pick one place over another to make a point like this. Maybe we never will. At least you will be able to find K & U at their new place if PM goes to sleep.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tailor Serves Friends and Family

It's time to wrap up our coverage of Tailor, Sam Mason's new spot in the Lower East Side. What better way to do it than to announce it's official soft opening. Without further ado, Little Birdy! "Soft opening (investors, friends, family) happened this evening (of august the 28th)." Thanks LB, and please, do tell us how the drinks taste soon.

Oh, and major bonus points for a cocktail menu.

Introducing You to John "JE" Englebert

We love to make new friends. So we were very happy to get this little number in our postal box. A semi formal introduction to John "JE" Englebert, the nightlife tour de force behind Pre:Post, Retox, Myst and the soon to open Suzie Wong's. JE is from the Shaolin and is a New York City boy at heart, but you better say hi soon, because his empire will be expanding to other U.S. cities and then Europe. Bonanza! Nice to meet you JE. Stay in touch.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Spotted Pig Goes 10x10x10

The owners of everyone's favorite gastropub The Spotted Pig are currently hard at work on opening their second location in the West Village. Well sourced rumors have it as seafood focused. Who are we to argue? Obviously no one. Heh. But when oh when will the Spotted Fish be ready to open? A little birdy sings, "Was at the Pig over the weekend and heard some of the staff gossiping over some recent turnover there and if anyone could pick up shifts when the new 'Ten Spot' opens. Another person in their group asked what was the date, and bartender said October 1st. I guess they are calling it the Ten Spot." Hmmm, the 10 Spot on 10th Avenue opening on the first day of the 10th month. It's got a nice ring to it, no? Let's just hope they don't charge 10 bucks for a pint of beer. They are dangerously close already.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tailor is All Sewed Up

We are glad to say our commenter appears wrong. Sam Mason's Tailor is poised to open on August 30, and the town is aflitter. Strange little notes keep flying coming in about the place, like one from a Little Birdy saying, "Fran Derby has recently rigged the kitchen of Tailor with a top-of-the-line surround sound speaker system and ipod connection so everyone will be on the same page during service. Ballin'!" If you say so. What's "ballin'!" to us is this rumor we are hearing from the cocktail menu. Beyond infused whiskey's, it seems Sammy has plans to serve a desconstructed margarita, breaking each of the ingredients down to highlight each of their flavors. Sounds fun. We like ours on the rocks with a lot of salt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gansevoort Park Unveiled

The folks at WSA sat down with the NY Times to reveal their plans for the second Gansevoort property in New York City. We wonder where C.J. Hughes found the inspiration for the story? Interesting tidbits are few and far between. Prime One Twelve has decided to dip their toes into Manhattan's over-crowded steakhouse waters, thinking they can bring some Miami sizzle to the City. Remember 112, City folk like their bacon thick and tasty. Here's what's most interesting:

Gansevoort Park’s top three floors, open to the public, will cover 8,000 square feet. They will include bars, decks and a pool, though the exact configuration is being kept secret, Mr. Achenbaum said, to prevent a competitor from trying to install a similar feature before the hotel is finished in the spring of 2009.
Oooh, a secret. Good plan Achenbaum. How many developers in this city are hoping to get a peek at your top secret roof plans? Could it be a roof pool with a bar? A roof bar with a pool? Maybe it's a lazy river ride with multiple bars. Now that would really be something.

Convalescing in Style

Say you live in a dingy downtown studio. A medical problem arises that requires a minor operation. Where's a person to go convalesce? Our Little Birdy with a busted wing chose the Bowery Hotel. So what was the best part? Little Birdy says:

The movies. Dead serious. I was bedridden for four days with a bottle of percocet and shit to do, and they came correct on the selection of dvd's, organized by genre, director, and year. among them: 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, Seven Samurai, Manhattan, Annie Hall, Dog Day Afternoon (we went through the "New York Stories" section pretty quickly), The Producers (the original), Grey Gardens, etc. Literally: every movie I would have in my dream collection, they had on file and brought up about two minutes after I asked for it. Again: solid.
Like a rock. Apparently the room service from the hotel and Gemma are on point as well, arriving fast and hot. Sounds pretty good to us. Glad to know your feeling better too. Sounds like LB will be back flying in no time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

White Star Supernova

After years of litigation, the little known Belvedere Winery had finally slayed the big bad Belvedere vodka. A judge had ruled that LVMH's clear, tasteless liquor had infringed upon the winery's precious trademark, and LVMH's had little choice but to change Belvedere's name and move on. LVMH chose White Star. They planned a big ol' marketing blitz to introduce the new product. And then nothing ever happened. So what went down? A Little Birdy, who doesn't much like singing in the rain, sang this us, "LVMH resolved the Belverdere issue with the California winery, buying the name outright. New Belvedere marketing campaign will hit full force in Sept." Resolved to us means they drove up to Napa with a big ass bag of cash and dropped it on someone's door. TCB, you know? At least our banker friends won't be confused when they get their bottle bills at Tenjune and see a $450 charge for something called White Star. Now we can all get some sleep.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Schrager Takes Boutiques Big Time

So the Mormons of Marriott have come knocking on Ian Schrager's door with the hopes of bringing the boutique hotel to the masses. Good for them. But is it good for the masses? The oh so boutiquey Gansevoort's expansion plan incensed a boutique hotel operator we know, who flittered off a note about the use of 'boutique' when it comes to these impostors hotels, especially Schrager's. This hotel guru says:

A boutique by definition is a shop or a firm that is small and specialized. The hotels I have owned and/or operated are independently owned and adhere to traditional hospitality principles of customer service and satisfaction. The hotel is the thrust of the business. That is a boutique hotel. Hotels such as this have been operating in Europe for over 150 years and this is the legacy that I aspire to be associated with, because it is these hotels that 150 years later are still in business.

Schrager takes credit for coining the term “Boutique Hotel” but he also deserves the credit for bastardizing the term. His biggest offense being the Hudson. 500 rooms, high design and poor service and he was marketing the hell out of the thing as a boutique hotel because it was trendy. Schrager applied this formula well when he created Morgans Hotel, the first boutique hotel he would have you believe, and he proceeded to roll out hotels that got further and further away from those traditional principles. If there is one thing I will say about Schrager is he is an absolute genius in the PR and Marketing arena, his ability to get out his message is second to none and people buy what he sells.
A little rambly but we couldn't agree more. Give Ian credit for creating a modern option when it comes to urban travel. But let's not make it seem like he had invented the wheel. It should also be noted that service and comfort are barely mentioned. To us, that is rule #1. If we don't get a great night sleep and over the top help from the help, why should we care about the note pads on the desk?

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments or via airmail.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Few of Our Favorite Things

It looks like we are in for some nice weather this weekend. We like nice weather. We like nice people. We like you. A lot of people are always asking what kind of things we do when we aren't blogging the world on fire. We thought we would share a few with you today.

· The addictive and insanely humorous ramblings of one crazed roommate trying to cope with his terrible house mate on the Bad Roommates Blog.
· The raw bar at Blue Ribbon in Park Slope.
· The Rainbow Sandals shop on Elizabeth Street in Nolita.
· The Tiger Tail cocktail at Mai House.
· The denim recycling campaign at Barney's.

Feel free to let us know what you are enjoying as the summer winds down.

Have a great weekend everyone.



Quick Hits: Bowery Hotel Service, Candy Cafe, Trouble at Tailor

Some fun Friday tidbits that we wanted to share with our first ever edition of Quick Hits.

1. Following up on the roof party at the Bowery, a commenter notes, "Now if only the staff at the Bowery would lose the pathetic attitude. The hostess at Gemma is only out done by the Einstein managing Bowery's outdoor patio." A little rough, but we know the feeling. Ordering a drink inside that hotel is a guaranteed adventure. And still no music.

2. A Little Birdy files a report from the recently rejiggered Candy Cafe, saying, "My girlfriend arranged to host a little early evening birthday celebration for me at the Candy Cafe. We had about 18 people for wine and small plates before we went out for the night. It worked out great." Glad to hear it, and sorry we weren't able to attend. We love birthdays.

3. Sam Mason's plan to craft brown butter whiskey sure sounds sweet to us, but are we ever going to get a chance to try it? A commenter throws some doubt on the fire, saying, "Inside contractor sites serious financial problems due to time overruns. Place may never open unless stable backer steps to the fore."

Blogging for a Flogging: Brack vs Brock

A Friday Flogging? It's a rough way to start the weekend but it has to be done. Even though that new glassy hotel on Thompson Street is definitely a go (barring the collapse of the financial markets of course), it seems we got the developer wrong. A Little Birdy who just loves to dish out punishment says, "The developers are Brack Capital Real Estate, not Brock Capital Group (whoever they are)...I got this straight from another hotel-industry source." And we got it straight from you. Still no renderings though. Now if you'll excuse us, we need to find an ice pack.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What a Wednesday

Two Little Birdy's with two tidbits from Wednesday night that we have to pass along.

1. LB numero uno reports, "I was walking along Bowery last night around 10:30 and noticed that the Bowery Hotel was having a party on it's roof space. There were no photographers, no grand rope scheme, just one blonde girl with a clipboard. I asked blondie who was throwing the event, and she told me it was a 'private event'. No shit."

2. LB numero two says, "I just passed by Cafe Bari and noticed that they had a velvet rope set up outside that second door leading to Upstairs. I didn't see a door man, but think there was one lurking behind the glass door. There was no crowd waiting to be let in either."
Let's digest. Noting the lack of event planny type staff and activity, The Bowery could very well be in soft open. Or it could have just been a private party since the space is available for anyone to rent for a one off. As for Upstairs, you didn't think a little publicity would shut the place down did you? Puhhlease.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is PM Out of Time?

Just as they were poised to open their new space, have Kiki and Unik run into some community board trouble with PM? Just across the telex, a Little Birdy reports,

Thought you should know that PM's liquor license came up for renewal last night before Community Board 2 and it looks like they'll vote against renewal (if they haven't already). Many neighbors bitterly complained about the noise from PM and their lack of responsiveness to the concerns of the neighborhood. PM's manager, Gordon Adams, was there with his attorney. Adams tried to explain that the noise had improved since they put in insulation and sound limiters in March but that wasn't good enough for the Board because PM had apparently signed a memorandum of understanding 3 years ago which detailed all the steps that PM would take to limit the noise. PM was supposed to do a whole bunch of things to minimize the noise but they never did.
Interesting. They aren't the first club to hit CB 2 trouble, and certainly won't be the last. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if PM does go down, another club will not replace it. The rents are just too high and landlords are looking to maximize revenue through leases before the overall bottom falls out. Consider this developing . . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gemma Cracks the Whip

A funny note came over the wire about the oh so popular out of the gate Gemma. It seems they are oh so strict when it comes to showing ID's. A Little Birdy, perhaps a humming bird, writes,

I walked into Gemma last week to meet my girlfriends for dinner. When I arrived, one of them was pleading with the bartender to be served. He simply refused to do so unless she showed him some ID, which she had left in her fiance's pocket. It's not like we are some 19 year olds or anything. One of the girls even said, 'Come on, she's almost 30.' Can you imagine? The bartender turned it over to the manager, who wouldn't budge, so we all chipped in to give her money for a cab so she could go get her passport. When she came back the bartender gave her a free drink, which was nice. Oh, and the food was pretty good too.
Slow down there Little Humming Birdy. Wow, that story is long. We haven't really heard about a restaurant being that strict in a long time. Good to know that the folks at Gemma really do respect the law.

Monday, August 13, 2007

On the Circuit: The Party of the Year

It has been well established that Daft Punk threw down last Thursday. We emphatically agree. Onward. After the show ended, those in the know headed to Studio B in Greenpoint for the official after-party. It isn't exactly close to Coney Island, but it was well worth the trip. The after-party was put on by Ed Banger Records, the label headed by French electro pioneer Pedro Winter, who just also happens to manage Daft Punk. Mr. Banger, who DJs under the name Busy P, took over the decks after the rare live DP show. Good move. Busy kept the Coney Island crowd moving, and what a crowd it was. The party brought together an old-school mix of eclectic New York - everybody from French house-heads to Williamsburg hipsters to the odd B&Ter. Not too long after we rolled out, the sun came up. We laid down and called it a night. By far, the party of the year. But it's only August, so we still have a ways to go.

Friday, August 10, 2007


We are starting to hear some very interesting coming from Sam Mason's corner of the Lower East Side. The former WD-50 man is getting ready to to open Tailor and his rep for messing around with molecules is already well known, so we know the menu will have a few twists and turns. It's a given. But what is interesting to us is the drinks. We hear Sr. Mason giving whiskey the once over, giving the American classic a new twist with multiple infusion treatments. An example: Brown butter. Say what? Like it isn't sweet enough without anything, this guy has decided to spike it with a dose of brown butter. Look out! We are always up for the new, but when you mess around with whiskey, you mess around with our soul. Infuser beware.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dune: White and Rythmless

Let's face facts. Summer is almost over. That means those super fun clubs that have established themselves out east are about to wrap it up. The fun has to end sometime. On that note, let's check in on the share house of summer clubs, Dune. One of our Little Birdy's was in the house this weekend and filed this report.There you have it. Dune, rhythmless and very white. Get there before time runs out!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Behold: Gansevoort Park!

After yesterday's bombshell, one of our lovely commenters kindly asked for a bit more information. Fair enough. We put in a call to our crack detectives, the Hardy Birds, to see what they could snoop out. It turns out not too much. But we did come across something ourselves. On the Hotel Gansevoort's lovely homepage, they have links to their other properties. Included in said links is Gansevoort Park. We pulled out our thinking caps and realized that this could only be the new name of their second Manhattan hotel. The link just takes you to a Coming Soon page. Oh well, we can still rejoice. Another mystery solved!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hotel Gansevoort Expansion Plans

The Hotel Gansevoort. It helped steer the meatpacking district to legendary shit show status. Its owners are close to opening the Miami edition. Los Angeles may get one too. So what is next for the most boutiquey of NYC boutique hotels? Why, it's another new New York City location. A little birdy tells us, "plans are well underway for a new Gansevoort to open on Park Avenue South in the low 20's. They will open Miami first and then fully ramp up construction on the new New York location." Wow. Consider this a slap at the well established W Union Square and a bit of Gramercy competition for Ian Schrager's Gramercy Park Hotel. As for an opening, we are still not sure. Let's put it at early 2009.

Friday, August 03, 2007

More Intensity

A lot of people wonder how we do what we do? And we thought about it. Then we thought some more. Then we came across this business card and were struck by the genius in it's simplicity.

You see, we just want to give the people what they want. And we want to do it with intensity. It seems like we have been successful so far. But that's not good enough for us. We need to change things up. So from now on, we promise to continue to give you what you want, only with more intensity.

Down By The Hipster, now with 100% MORE INTENSITY.

Have a great weekend,


Simone Reopens

Breathe easy East Villagers. After hearing that Simone may have closed, a Little Birdy from around the way sets the record straight. "I walked by Simone last night. It was open and crowded." Case closed.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

St. Marks Surprise

We just barely pulled through a close call on Spring Street. Do we have the strength to overcome another shocking closing? We just have to. Last night, an East Side Little Birdy told us, "I'm on my way to SSam Bar and just saw that Simone, that cafe/bar on St. Marks and 1st, is closed. There is no note on any of the iron gates." If it's permanent, and let's pray it's not, then it is a shame. Simone was always an easy spot to grab an afternoon drink, and this City can always use more of those.

Image courtesy of Maria Marie/Flickr!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Opium Group's Plan for Success

It seems there couldn't be a worse time to open a club on 27th Street. But that hasn't stopped some of Miami's hottest shots from setting their sites on West Chelsea to make their grand entrance on the scene. Remember, Mansion is coming to the old Studio Mezmor space. If New York's biggest nightlife players are ready to abandon ship, why does Eric Milon and the Opium Group think that they will be successful? It turns out they have a genius plan. Says our Miami Birdy, "they believe that if they put the tables for bottle service on the massive dance floor, they will have another Mansion hit." Tables on the dance floor? Ah, tables on the dance floor! We get it. We so get it. Can we also make a suggestion to increase profits? Here goes. What about charging at the door? That way people pay to come in and pay for drinks. Look out J.P. Morgan, we think we have our next billionaire.