Last Wednesday I accepted an invite from a promoter named Alana to visit and guest DJ at a new weekly party called Dark Kabaret at the very far down and to the left club DEMI MONDE. Demi Monde is located at 90 Broad Street, which is very close to the Staten Island Ferry in what I guess is called the Financial District. I went with Hotel Chantelle honcho Tim Spuches because I wanted his input, but mostly because I wanted someone to split the cab ride with. Demi Monde is an investment. It works hard to make sure that your trip is worth it. The design is slick and modern, the place is laid out well with intimate seating groups lightly separated by Japanese bondage rope dividers. The bar is ample and well-manned. I tried a (non-alcoholic) celery soda and will try to decide between the other house-made sodas, including the Strawberry Tarragon. Grapefruit, tonic, and sarsaparilla on my next trip. Yes, there will be a next trip and probably more after that since I enjoyed my experience at Demi Monde a great deal.
I saw other promoter types at the party, scratching their chins obviously, trying to figure out how to move it closer to civilization or how to make it work for their crowd there. I asked one (who asked to remain anonymous) what they thought and the answer was "it’s perfect…except…" the except being, of course, the location. Someone said it felt like they were on vacation in some wonderful club, far away. Although the room was filled with familiar faces, they greeted me like they were running into me in Miami. It’s like that.
Like many things in life, inconveniences like distance and toothaches, bad mates, and being short of cash are things people can get used to and I believe this could happen with Demi Monde. The theory behind destinations is that they have to deliver every time. If a person makes that trip and has a bad experience, they are unlikely to try it again. Demi Monde seems to get that and the staff – starting at the door, where Kimyon’s amazing smile greets you, to the not so pushy and friendly waitrons inside – set a tone.
The cocktails were great and the music provided on Wednesdays by veteran rocker Peate Suzuki was wonderful – accessible but not commercial. There were The Love Show dancers, Adrienne the aerialist, Natasha King and Lena Marquise prancing around on platforms everywhere, and a generally sexy vibe. The crowd was mixed and excellent.
One of the principal owners, Chris Nagy, showed me the ropes, literally, and explained how a club too far will survive. Obviously, making it worth the trip is part of the plan. Wall Street "after-work" parties and special events should pay the bills and the Financial District is one of the fastest growing residential areas. We saw a bunch of hipster types walking their pedigrees as we approached. Demi Monde may be very close to an under-exploited mass of neighbors.
This Wednesday I will DJ a rock set from midnight to 1am and then hang around for more than a minute. Defenz Mechanizm will perform. It did feel like a refreshing vacation, a pleasant experience off the beaten path.