Around the Scene: April 1, 2010
Los Angeles maven Sam Nazarian can breathe a bit easier these days after securing a major credit extension for his SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, which includes the much-ballyhooed Bazaar restaurant. Opening in the height of the credit crunch, the property succeeded in bringing in a high-end clientele, especially with Bazaar, but the luxury hotel is rumored to have had major issues putting heads on pillows (although that trouble seems to be easing with the recovery of the economy). Along with an influx of cash and a reduction of the property’s debt, Nazarian also secured a 20-year brand extension for the property from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide’s Luxury Collection.
NYC Meatpacking District staple Cain closed its doors after five mostly successful years. Owner Jamie Mulholland invited friends and followers to a farewell party last week and is looking to sell the venue. The club’s management group, which also runs GoldBar in New York City and Cain at the Cove in the Bahamas, is reportedly turning its focus toward new venues that they hope to open this year.
While Las Vegas was focused on the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show and South Beach prepared for a Winter Music Conference invasion, the club scene in New York was captivated by its own drama involving the alleged assault of questionably respected nightlife blogger, Justin Ross Lee of Clubplanet, by Rich Thomas, the doorman from Avenue; the alleged incident took place at 1Oak. Apparently the doorman didn’t appreciate being named #1 Most Hated Person in New York Nightlife by the blogger and confronted him with a stomach punch while also allegedly stealing Lee’s video camera. At press time, Lee has pressed charges and police are seeking Thomas. Though new details have not yet emerged, BlackBook's Steve Lewisreports the story might not exactly have gone the way Lee tells it. "These stories have more legs than a 1Oak cocktail waitress and I’m just dying to tell you, but I can't say much more as of yet," he writes. We'll have to wait and see.