With the landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package now in the hands of the Senate, financial aid for struggling families and businesses is almost within reach. In fact, the embedded Save Our Stages Act earmarks $15 billion in grants to music and arts venues.
But for New York City's nightlife, this eleventh hour support may have missed the boat. Small restaurants and bars have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, and New York Post now reports even the city's top club owners have also been drastically affected by both closures and brand pivots.
Butter Group, which owns the iconic 1Oak brand, recently shuttered its Up & Down venture in West Village. The Tao Group, which owns properties worldwide, has also permanently closed two of its five New York locations: Vandal on the Bowery and Avenue. Two additional locations are staying open with the help of their attached restaurants.
"Nightlife is what makes the city so special," Noah Tepperberg, co-founder of The Tao Group, told the New York Post. “Without it, we will lose the city that never sleeps."
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Meanwhile, Noir in Chelsea has taken on a unique approach, developing out a menu and hiring an executive chef. Following a citywide pause on indoor dining, it reopened its kitchen on February 13th with tables sparsely arranged throughout its 5,600 square feet.
According to the Post, diners can now order from Noir's raw bar and sushi menu with an option for a "bottle parade": masked servers delivering champagne directly into their mouths. And, just last week, the club welcomed local DJ JADALAREIGN for an in-person "Blanc Brunch" live set.
"We had to reinvent ourselves," owner Phil Zelonky told the Post. “We are a place for people to let loose. People are still popping bottles, but at their tables. People enjoy the food and music and bottle service and have their own little party in a safe way at their table."
Source: New York Post