2013 has only just begun and there already have been some new trends coming up in the world of nightlife. New York City nightlife, mainly, is now known for its smaller, boutique nightclubs in the Meatpacking District and Chelsea with strict door policies. But a new year might bring some new changes to the city’s nightlife culture. With rent prices soaring, owners now need to try and find new ways to create more revenue in order to generate profits. [Photo via]
Three tactics operators are beginning to do this are:
- To open up new venues in neighborhoods with lower rent than popular locations in the Meatpacking District.
- To start selling advanced tickets and charge cover at the door rather than depend solely on bottle service and bar revenue.
- To create larger spaces to pack more people into their venues so operators can maximize profits for tickets/cover charges.
Recently, Chinatown and the Lower East Side (LES) have received a lot of attention in terms of nightlife. Travis Bass used the LES space 141 Chrystie, as well as Asia Roma, for his pop-up parties, Andre Saravia’s Le Baron finally opened in Chinatown and the Bowery got a taste of the Meatpacking District with EMM Group’s Finale. Clubs are opening in these new areas because rent is far less expensive than in the Meatpacking District. While Chinatown and the LES certainly don’t receive as much foot traffic as the Meatpacking, if these clubs deliver an excellent product with service to match, people won’t care where the club is located. Take The Box for example, it’s been open for at least 5 years and people are still heading down to Chrystie Street to see their shows. They have a unique product that people still want. [Photo via]
As we saw in 2012, the recession affected the bottle service market thus creating a need for clubs to generate income other ways. More upscale venues in NYC (such as Avenue, SL and 1Oak) usually do not charge cover and can only profit from bar sales and table service (excluding actual private parties). However, many people who come in with promoters drink for free and a fair amount of people also pre-game to clubs. If guests are not buying drinks at the bar and are not reserving tables, how will a club make a profit? By selling tickets or creating cover charges, clubs guarantee that people spend a certain amount just by entering the venue.
While selling advanced tickets does guarantee spending, it also allows pretty much anyone to be able to gain entry. Selling tickets eliminates any type of strict door policy in a nightclub. This is why it is much harder to get into a smaller New York City venue like Avenue or even 1Oak than it would be to get into larger venues in cities such as Las Vegas. By only charging cover, the club also guarantees spending but now has a bit more control over the door. Since no one has spent money prior to arriving to the club, the doorman (or doorwoman) can choose who he or she would like to let in on the spot. This is almost the same reason as to why the EZVIP online table booking website featured on Shark Tank wouldn’t really suit New York Nightlife. Having people pay for tables or tickets in advance before getting to the club basically allows anyone to be let in. [Photo via]
We guess our message would be that club goers shouldn’t be afraid to step out of their comfort zone (i.e. The Meatpacking District and Chelsea) to go see a new venue or party. Expansion is inevitable since there are only so many nightclubs that can open up in one area. So don’t feel turned off by the fact that a club is in Midtown or in the LES and not in Chelsea as there really are some great parties outside of the popular areas (the Les Garcons Wednesday party at Le Baron, Sunday Funday at Goldbar and Karaoke Sundays at Cipriani Downtown just to name a few). Also, and this is just our prediction, we could see the Bowery receiving just as much traffic as the Meatpacking if more operators opened up venues there. The neighborhood has a really cool, unique vibe to it and with a few more dining and nightlife options we could see it being the next “hot” neighborhood. But just don’t let it turn into what Club Row was back when Cain and Guest House still existed.
We’re also not too keen on advanced ticket sales at nightclubs. Unless it is a concert, we feel some sort of door policy should be enforced on a nightly basis and advanced ticket sales make this difficult. Especially for brunch, which should be an event reserved solely for those with table service, we don’t really want to see advanced ticketing enter New York Nightlife and are much more wiling to pay cover. None the less, we are excited to see what changed 2013 will bring to New York City’s nightlife! [Photo via]