There’s nothing like a dream that eats it fast. Check out the brief lives of these megaclubs, roughly based on their cabaret-license applications with Consumer Affairs: Cheetah, 1998 to 2004; Saci, 1999 to 2003; System (turned Spa, turned Plaid): 1995 to 1999. These days, even hitting a nightlife website like nightclubvip.net is akin to strolling through a clubland graveyard, complete with the ever-growing lists of closed-down venues or those reopened under different management. We still wonder how it’s financially profitable to open one of these venues, where the fate is sealed in a $20 cover and some of that fierce, hard-livin’ techno time thankfully forgot.
One of the latest victims on the scene is recently opened Temple nightclub. Owners Muhamet Nikezi, Nick Nezaj, and Jimmy Celaj poured $2.5 million into renovating the 15,000 square feet, which formally housed nightclub Float; the financial outlay shows. All three floors have a theme—transcendence, karma, and sanctuary—and are decorated with Moroccan-glazed walls, elaborate tile-work, columns, and domed ceilings. Curtained-off lounges surrounding the massive dance floor are festooned with ersatz orange trees and plush couches where bottles of Stolichnaya can be had for $250 a pop. Apparently quite the wad of cash was sunk into the super pumped-up sound system, which has a three-way crossover for the DJ to man the subs, mids, and tweeters. Club bouncers in black tees and blazers (why is this the unofficial bouncer uniform?) man the roped-off VIP section, where debonair lotharios cut in front of you at the entrance, at the drink line, and yes, even at the $3 obligatory coat check.
You heard right. Nothing sounds the death knell like an obligatory coat check—unless it’s a $10 well drink and an obligatory coat check. Without straying more from the overpriced, tried-and-failed megaclub formula, Temple’s future looks no brighter than that of its predecessor. A quick Google search will tell you about the final days of Float . . . Friday night Hunk-O-Mania, anyone?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 22, 2005