Sunday, March 6, 2011
I'm guessing many of you are wondering; what is Paul & Andre's?
Quick history lesson: NYC nightlife impresarios Paul Sevigny and Andre Saraiva (Don Hill's, Kenmore, Beatrice Inn, Le Baron) have opened a new Hollywood nightspot (the old Cinespace venue, whereby you enter around back) called Paul and Andre.
Now, what's interesting about Paul Sevigny and Andre Saraiva is that they (along with Matt Abramcyk) created/opened "the Beatrice Inn".
The Beatrice Inn opened as a reaction to the abundance of bottle service clubs in NYC like Cain, Pink Elephant, Stereo and Tenjune that had suddenly overwhelmed New York nightlife.
Suddenly the biggest party in town had shifted from the clubs to a small, defunct Italian restaurant in the West Village. Hipsters and their ilk rejoiced, while the bridge and tunnel, fist pumping crew didn't really get it.
What's interesting is the current landscape in the Hollywood nightlife scene is sort like the NYC bottle service clubs I just mentioned.
There are currently well over 35 - 40 venues in the Hollywood/West Hollywood area, all of which cater to the bottle service crowd, as part of their business/revenue model.
Is it safe to say that the Hollywood nightlife market is a tad bit over saturated with bottle service venues? The answer is yes!!!
Are many of these venues going under, yes! However, as soon as one venue closes, two more pop up to take its place.
This brings me back to original question: Can Paul & Andre change the Hollywood nightlife scene? I feel the answer is both yes & no.
I have visited their venue three times in the past two weeks, and while they have been able to tap into the early influencers and hipsters (which is key, when starting a new movement or concept), I just don't see the staying power in Hollywood.
Can their vision and concept shake up the Hollywood scene, yes. Will it be the driving force to put the stake through the heart of SBE and kill their, cookie cutter nightclubs? Not at all.
The real problem I see for the Houston Brothers, Paul & Andre, Sean MacPherson & Jared Meisler and Med Abrous (maybe not so much Med Abrous) is that, if you are locked down for multiple years, in a $28k - $38k a month lease (because you are in the center of Hollywood or West Hollywood)....then just how long can you last serving hipsters $12 - $16 drinks?
Hipsters and so-called tastemakers don't spend any money. They tend to sneak in brown paper bags to your bar or lounge. And when I left P&A's around 1:30am, I asked the security guard what the "in-count" was (meaning the total number of people through the door) up until that point...he replied "225"...and there wasn't 225 people upstairs btw.
My point is that, unless you have deep pockets, it is very hard for these places to operate, when you have $28k a month leases, labor costs of $1k a night, $450 a night for a DJ, and then the the cost to alcohol.
It becomes extremely difficult to stay "cool" when Hipsters are buying one drink then leaving to either go to the eastside bar, or the Brand New Bar/Club/Lounge. Hipsters like to hang around for a month or so, before they become done & over with something, then it's on to the next venue.
That uber cool hipster market is extremely tiny and all of the above mentioned owners and directors are fighting for the pieces of that pie. However just how profitable is it?
When you have bottle service venues in Hollywood like: MyStudio, MyHouse, Supperclub, PlayHouse, Colony, etc. Making north of $56k+ a night, while the hipster bars just might bring in $1,900 a night (maybe).
Personally, I hope they do change things in Hollywood. I just haven't seen it done (yet, of course).
New York City has: Boom Boom Room, The Bunker, Le Baron, Don's Hill, St. James, Lit, Cabin, Kenmare and Le Bain.
LA has: Harvard & Stone, Spare Room, Roger Room, Bronson Bar, Piano Bar, etc.
Keep your eye on Paul & Andre's movement, it just might catch on and change the Hollywood nightlife scene.
This will be my last post, until my next post.