It's always cause for celebration when a new place punctures conventional nightlife wisdom. If this involves ending the historic separation of Ping-Pong and dry martinis, so much the better. This Susan Sarandon-backed Gramercy Ping-Pong club single-handedly added 13,000 square feet of Olympic-quality surfaces to…however many square feet there were before.
Everything That Was Important in 2009
As you may have heard a few times recently, sort of a rough year. Still, particularly in New York, it was also a year of progress. A year of beauty. A year of keg service. Below, we revisit nine favorites from 2009, from Ping-Pong social clubs and flammable cuff links to your new favorite iPhone app. On we go…
Variety is nice, but there's also a lot to be said for the passionate deployment of all resources toward a single, glorious end. Mayahuel took the religious approach, with church pews, confessional booths and tequila playing the part of the Almighty. The power of agave compels you.
Of all 2009's iconic images, few can match that of the kegerator-wheeling cocktail waitress blurrily approaching. We tipped you off to the special beer dojo that is Superdive, and the legend grew from there. And grew some more, in the spirit of glorious immoderation (and pirate midget champagne butlers).
The Jane Hotel Ballroom, 2009's glittering nightlife debutante, opened its (meticulously guarded) doors to reveal an opulent setting of mismatched couches, an oversize fireplace and exotic taxidermy. And then, as quickly as it opened and ruled the scene, it closed. Not to worry, 2010 is the year of the comeback.
Standard, Berry Park
It's no secret that German beer and the great outdoors are a winning pair. But we officially took notice when the Standard launched its sub-High Line Ping-Pong bar and Williamsburg got its massive rooftop Bavaria. While that's still one garden short of a trend, we're comfortable leaving it in the "really good idea" category.
Boom Boom Room
We watched as the Boom Boom Room, André Balazs's much-heralded white knight of New York nightlife, assumed its lordly perch atop the Standard Hotel. In time, the celeb hive even outgrew its name, changing to QT. Remaining the same: tons of white leather, stunning river views and the timeless pleasures of a triangle-shaped hot tub.
We threw our support behind vintage lighter cuff links, the signature product (okay, the only product) from the department of functional but flammable accessories in 2009. You'll save precious seconds when setting aglow the slender cigarettes of comely vixens. Just try not to light your blazer on fire.
Topping our list of restaurants that lived up to considerable hype is the Breslin, the meat-obsessed younger sibling of the Spotted Pig. Lodged in the new Ace Hotel and outfitted like a vintage British pub, the Breslin gave us the priceless gift of impressing a date by nonchalantly ordering the beef shin.
Finally, 2009 will go down as the year that birthed The Next Move, our iPhone app that allowed you to carry an advice-dispensing UD editor in your pocket at any hour of any day. It meant real-time answers to your pressing questions—the best local post-brunch champagne den, perhaps, or the nearest place to consume oysters with your mistress. Like all great leaps forward, it made you wonder how you ever got along before.