Nightlife Millennial Swanks Up – The New York Times

A recent cold evening, a procession The 30-year-olds, wearing peacock feather coats and high heels beneath puffy tops, pushed through a curtain and entered the elegant red tavern of Nines, a new piano bar in Manhattan’s NoHo section that aims to make fashion like a downtown Bemelmans. A pianist plays hilarious covers of David Bowie and Chaka Khan to guests nestled in fancy parties. Everyone seemed to be sipping on a martini served with a sidecar.

The lively crowd, eager for a pandemic night in town, may have remembered Acme, the groundbreaking restaurant that closed quietly in 2020, which once occupied this space on Great Jones Street. Or maybe they once spilled drinks on their coats at the basement nightlife venue, Acme Downstairs, which is still going strong a decade later.

But nostalgia does not become air. Everyone is too smitten with toast and potatoes laden with Russian caviar (called Kaspian Potatoes and priced at $95, it pays homage to the Caviar Kaspiatypical food in Paris) to think a lot about the past.

As they enjoyed the subtle fantasies offered at Nines, a man in a black velvet tuxedo jacket named Jon Neidich kept a close eye on things. Mr. Neidich is the chief executive officer of Golden Age Hospitality group and maven is behind the establishment. Omicron wave or not, he predicts the confidence of someone who has opened up hot spots in New York before.

“I like the uncertainty of opening night,” he said. “It’s an act of faith that I want to embrace.”

Mr. Neidich opened Acme in 2012, started a fever about New Nordic cuisine in the city. But it was Acme Downstairs, the nearly inaccessible underground lounge he opened beneath it, has gone on to define an era of millennium downtown nightlife. Now, a father in his 40s, his dominion extends across Great Jones Street.

Mr. Neidich has continues to build a strong collection of trendy pieces across the city. In the West Village, there are Happiest hour, a beach-resort-themed cocktail bar (its underground cocktail lounge, Slowly Shirley, closed during the pandemic). On the Lower East Side, there are Tijuana Picnic, a chic and fun Mexican restaurant, and also Ray’s, a classic dive bar he opened with stuntmen like Justin Theroux, Taavo Somer and Carlos Quirarte.

Mr Neidich’s stature as a player on the scene was heightened two years ago when he opened the French brasserie. Le Crocodile at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, which quickly earned three stars review on the New York Times. On the sixth floor of Wythe, he also runs Bar Blondeau, naturally bar with a view of the glittering Manhattan skyline.

But Mr. Neidich said his sleek new NoHo piano bar may be his most important endeavor, at least for him personally, because it was at this location that he incubated his beginnings. for his hospitable kingdom a decade ago.

The son of a real estate financier, Mr. Neidich grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and graduated from Hotchkiss and later Brown. He was a young bacchanalian then, and he open Special Acme not banned Moments of New York nightlife that now exist almost exclusively in blurry Blackberry photographs that exist to tell the story. He managed Le Bain and Boom Boom Room before rising on his own, and when he did, he found himself feeling in his hands at the age of 30.

Grouping up with Indochine’s Jean-Marc Houmard and Huy Chi Le, he hired a chef Mads Refslund, a founder of Noma in Copenhagen, to run Acme’s kitchen, and the restaurant began serving a growing class of diners who were suddenly craving clams and scallops in foam served by waiters wearing ties and tight jeans. Contemporaries like Aska and Atera soon join the scene.

But this is also the era of Grumpy cat and Robin Thicke’s”Blurred lines“And Roberta’s in Brooklyn doesn’t sell frozen food Pizza Still, and things felt a little more carefree, so Mr. Neidich opened Acme Downstairs below the restaurant. Crowds begin to form outside Acme at night, and if people go through the door, they’ll enter a dark cavern where there’s a ballroom and tiny cramped bathrooms that invite nothingness. responsibility.

As time went on, Acme Downstairs became a nightlife mascot of a generation of New Yorkers.

There’s a popular podcast now,”We met at Acme, ” To look at the trails of annual dates in the city and as the production company M&Ms recently announced that it is revamping its green M&M, replacing the high heels her neck with sneakers, Rolling Stone published an article. salvo defended her shoes as a feminist fashion statement and declared that she deserved a “blackout” and undiscipline “in the bathroom at Acme on Wednesday”.

“That’s right,” said Mr. Neidich, sighing softly when asked about the Rolling Stone article. “A friend sent it to me.”

As Mr Neidich moves further into the limelight of the city’s elite hospitality scene, he can express amazement at the legacy of what he was born to at Acme Downstairs., but he says he’s proud to have witnessed a legendary era in millennial New York nightlife.

“All that era, since Bungalows 8 with Beatrice to the Standard, it felt like it was just a moment, and Acme was right there at the top,” he said. “The advent of the camera phone as we know it today took away the anonymity of going out at night. People still have a feeling of not being known and feel they can be freer.”

“We were one of the last to change the culture of how people hang out in New York,” he added. “And downstairs, we felt there was safety and an escape.”

Although Mr. Neidich has barely cooled down his nostalgia for midtown Manhattan circa 2012.

He was backpacking in India at one point to purge himself from the intensity of his nocturnal lifestyle. Two years ago, he accepted sobriety and is now running a free counseling program for staff at his hotel group who may be struggling with substance abuse. Non-alcoholic cocktails are becoming the mainstay of his menu.

“Acme is the epicenter of New York, and a decade later, it continues,” said the “Succession” actor. Strong Jeremy, a close friend of Mr. Neidich, in a phone interview. “There’s been a change in Jon’s life and work that I’ve witnessed, and what a real journey from Acme Downstairs to Nines is.”

“McNally, Jeff Klein, André Balazs,” he added, “I finally see Jon in that orbit and I think he craves it.”

In 2014, Mr. Neidich married Alessandra Brawn, a public and social activist, and their wedding in Italy featured auto mechanics and flamethrowers and was written in Vogue. (They have separated but are still friends.) He now lives in a loft on Lafayette Street and raises his 4-year-old son, Nash, with Ms. Brawn. He is working on developing a pub in Chinatown and a French cafe and raw bar in Williamsburg. And most of all, he aspired to open a hotel.

“I see an opportunity to create the next great hotel in downtown New York,” he said. “All the great hoteliers, like Jeff Klein or Sean MacPherson, they make products where I can see their soul and I see an opportunity for someone to be the next generation of that. .”

On opening night at Nines, Mr. Neidich’s parents, the financier Daniel Neidich and jewelers and philanthropists Brooke Garber Neidich, went into a red stall for dinner, and as Miss Neidich stuffed in a potato stuffed with caviar, she took a look at her son’s journey from when he used to help with host gatherings hers in East Hampton.

“The host is his blood,” she said. “It all goes back to when he was a boy serving appetizers at our parties in Wainscott. ”

“Acme is where he comes from,” she continued. “We still have friends who ask us to help get their kids in. I would call him but he would ask me, ‘Is it just a boy? Because I can’t let them in if it’s just a boy. ‘ He’s strict even to me ‘.

While a pianist played bluesy tunes, and the image of the elegant legend of the Nines continued throughout the evening, Mr. Neidich attended with his guests. And as night fell, crowds of young people began to gather outside in the cold, hoping to get into the Lower Acme.

If they do, Acme’s sparkling disco ball awaits them, defiantly continuing to spin. Nightlife Millennial Swanks Up – The New York Times

Fry Electronics Team

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