We can be pretty sure that when Atlanta Hawks basketballers Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic went to the 1OAK nightclub on Tuesday night last they didn’t intend to end up arrested. Nor did Chris Copeland of the Indiana Pacers intend to end up stabbed in the stomach at the same nightclub. And we can be doubly sure that the proprietors of the Chelsea based nightclub could have done without the publicity. Their aim after all is to provide a place where celebs can let down their hair in relative freedom while they have a roaring good time and spend pots of money.
The whole event which eventually featured Sefolosha and Antic being marched out the 1OAK door with cops on either side in the cold light of Wednesday morning, shone a light on the gap between nightclubs in NYC where celebs hangout and nightclubs where everyone else can potentially hang out. There is no hard and fast division between NYC nightclubs but the strictness or otherwise of the door policy is a huge pointer. At places like 1OAK, The Darby, Boom Boom Room, Avenue, PHD and No 8, if you ask a friend, “Will I be able to get in?” and they say “Good Luck with that” you have it right there.
You can assume with the above listed nightclubs and about 10-15 others, that unless you actually know someone with influence who can put you on either a guest list or a VIP list, and you look the part, you won’t get in. Look the Part? Yup, let’s be realistic, barring outrageous celebrity and a bottomless wallet, the next best qualifying characteristic is to front up looking gorgeous, both physically and sartorially and this applies to men and women.
All good nightclubs have a door manager who sets the rules on who gets in or not. They will be weighing up at any one time who is on their all important lists, how many people are already in the club, what the mix of people already in there is like, how much you are likely to spend and how much you fit the vibe. If you qualify in the looks department, you say you are buying Bottle Service and you are unfailingly polite and patient you may squeak in. You will be nixed immediately if your arrogant, entitled self shows up.
Bottle Service is indicating you are willing to meet the club’s policy on alcohol spend per head, which can be anything from $75-$200 and then you and your party will be ushered into a table. Five or more people in a group swings it, preferably with more ladies than men. That spend per head still has to have taxes and tips added in so spending less than $2000 for the night is not going to be easy.
So, in relation to high end NYC nightclubs the formula seems to be, dress superbly and look great, yes you are buying ‘Bottle Service’ (you offer your credit card and ID as proof), and be very, very polite to the door manager. There are luxury nightlife concierge services in NYC who say they can get you onto guest and VIP lists and sometimes they can do that and then you still can’t get in. Check very carefully on what you get when you spend money on such a service.
Of course there are stacks of NYC nightlcubs where celebs rarely show up but you can have a really great time and while you still need to be dressed for the occasion, and the drinks will be expensive, getting in isn’t quite such a Mount Everest climb, think Cielo, Marquee, Webster Hall and Kiss and Fly. Have a really, really great night out.