205, the Serge Becker (La Esquina, the Box) designed nightclub that stumbled out onto Chrystie Street sometime in the waning months of 2006, has been on vacation since the end of the summer. A sign outside promised that the club would reopen on September 10th. But Bowery Boogie stopped by there on a recent Saturday night at 11pm, and the gates were drawn. No one over there is picking up the phone. Has 205 closed?
If so, would it be a loss? Nearly all the swagger with which 205 opened has long since dissipated–the breathless descriptions here (“On any given day the Warholesque spirit is kept alive by a raised D.J. pulpit populated with the likes of … Jamal Ali and mismatched vintage furniture filled with fashion folk, Japanese hipsters, and skateboarding chuggers of Colt 45s, here to gawk at transgressive artists like Dan Colen, Ryan McGinley, and Neck Face”) and here (“Upstairs, with its pressed-tin ceiling and tinfoil wallpaper, the bar evokes a crude sense of danger; downstairs, with its televisions pointed at odd angles and graffiti on the walls, 205 resembles an early-’80s art installation or, perhaps, a Pop Will Eat Itself video”), say, have been out of date since about six months after 205 opened, when disputes over money, drugs, and artistic direction led most of the downtown faction to abandon the club.
In the years since, 205 seemed to exist mostly in order to provide a veneer of velvet-rope exclusivity to people willing to stand in line and pay for it, basically. Its niche, as far as hipsters go, was long since filled by Beatrice and then the Jane Hotel. And as for nightclubs with ropes and dudes with clipboards outside–well, we hear there’s this great place called the Meatpacking District. People will look at you sideways for days over there. (A call for comment was not returned–should that change, we’ll update.)
205 Club Really on Vacation? [Bowery Boogie]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009