All of which makes for interesting contrast as Charles Ferri's Hamptons favorite Star Lounge opens its smaller, swankier space next week in the city. Just pre-launched in the basement of the Hotel, we thought we'd get you downstairs before things got a little hectic.
Once you descend the dark, Cask of Amontillado-esque stairwell in front, you'll find three rooms: the burgundy-curtained Chelsea Café, a mellower lounge area good for sitting, drinking and the occasional public display of affection; the stage-and-DJ-booth-equipped Energy Lounge, where glowing LEDs change colors to set the mood and (hopefully) cue debauchery (we prefer all of our debauchery to be LED-enhanced); and the zebrawood Retro Bar, where you'll find a more refined area to take down drinks like The Hooker (Absolut, Bailey's and chocolate puree) (in the hotel's heyday, that drink order would have gotten you something very different).
You can expect generously poured cocktails, hired dancers gyrating to the beat of old school hip-hop and the occasional Heather Graham sighting (Ferri's girlfriend), not to mention a sharply-dressed crowd—Ferri insists that a suit and tie is the "suggested" attire (we've heard that somewhere before).
Given the Hotel's history, it may be a culture clash—but at least it's a culture clash with dancers and a damn good bar.