Pop-Up Parties New York Nightlife


If the New York bar scene were a sports franchise, this would qualify as a rebuilding year.

There's a lot of great stuff going on, sure, but no definitive bar or club is at the forefront of what's great right now. Everyone is excited about some things on the horizon, but we're all in a bit of limbo this summer until the September construction season kicks in.

During this time, New York's party community has taken the reins to host its own series of events at various bars and venues. Pop-up parties are all the rage right now. Instead of going to a certain bar every Thursday through Sunday, expecting a specific crowd, that crowd has gone mobile, working with Partiful accounts, Instagram DM guest lists, and never staying in one place for too long time

Bars and clubs are money businesses, which require letting in the finance bros who will drop a few thousand on a table, even if it means giving up a few inches of 'cool factor'. In the world of pop-up parties, however, money is no sure way to get into any room; the operators behind these parties can get all their cool friends and friends of friends under one roof without worrying about overhead and operating costs.

“I was sick of going to the same places with the same faces,” says Ana Rosenstein, who, with Frankie Carattini, hosts Come Join Us On Thursday, a weekly party for downtown socialites and fashionistas. “We organize the parties carefully and we do a good job of bringing interesting people week after week. They're normal, interesting, eclectic and people you might want to keep in your life later. And we know them. Even if people bring an extra u, this is someone we reviewed to bring someone they later reviewed.

At Celler Flors and Seltzer Water.Relly

Rosenstein sees his party “as a house party at a restaurant.” While early editions have been in places like The Golden Swan's upstairs and Primo's, they're looking to expand into all sorts of new possibilities. It refers to theoretical goals like taking over a Chinese restaurant with dim sum at 2:00 a.m. and Frenchette, with roast duck on the pass trays.

However, when it comes to getting listed, you need to be aware. When Rosenstein and Carattini, a longtime New York keeper, made the list, there's a certain vibe they're looking for.

“I err on the side of being more inclusive about less and from all different walks of life,” says Rosenstein. “It's not about the fanciest possible crowd in the room. I'm trying to bring together a room of people who understand each other, but who otherwise might not have met. It's the crowd that you know is going to be a basic level of fun. Then you can introduce other people like my neighbor who is the preeminent cannabis advocate in New York, another friend who is [a noted musician’s] assistant”.

At Bodega Flowers and Seltzer Water, the place is a little more abstract. Relly, a candid party photographer who goes by just one name or @disposable_relly on Instagram, hosts his own traveling party everywhere from nightclubs to tattoo parlors. After starting a year ago, the series has serious legs. “The idea was for it to be an art party. It started catching up and Diplo introduced himself to one of them. Some of them are in bars, some are not. There are many non-traditional spaces that are licensed and fun to use. The reason we club i non-traditional spaces is that you can't count on the same people to go out every time. A certain crowd will go to a tattoo shop over a Laissez Faire crowd.”

Relly grew up in the city, starting going to clubs at the age of 16. Seeing how nightlife has changed over the years, he is able to keep his finger on the pulse and address these ongoing movements and changes when crafting his guest list. . “Our main demographic is 24-35 year olds, people who have real jobs and spend money at the bar. We're between the LES club kid and the flatiron art dealer. Everyone who comes to our party is still going out a lot and looking for a good time.”

For the care of the guests, a Partiful is sent that he personally approves. He has a good eye for the kind of atmosphere that blends well with his events. “The people who interact with the platform, even though I don't really know them, the people who post recaps, those are all the things I notice when I click on someone's Instagram,” he says. “Do they follow the page? Oh, they know XYZ person. I can see if you've been to a previous event, I can see the people you're with. Metrics are everywhere.

Further downtown at Le Dive, Soma Discoteca is shaking up the standard clientele with a group of artsy friends and nightlife experts. Founders Charlie Klarsfeld and Lolita Cros have brought together a mix of people who grew up in the city and Lolita's work in the art world as a curator and independent dealer. They also appointed nightlife fixture Ryder Kramer to open the door, who is always in a perfectly tailored suit and has a knack for letting the right kind of person through.

“Get me to the door, and if you have good energy, you'll get good energy,” Kramer says. “And know the password. If you sign up for the newsletter, you'll find the password. Lolita decides it, but it's always a word in French, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, or Arabic. Languages ​​of the music played during the night. I think the 'last time it was 'snowball'”.

At his last party, a corner by the door also had papers and a box to put in missed connections detected throughout the night. For those who checked the approval box or left their number, they were posted a few days later on Soma's Instagram account for people to tag potential missed connections or reach out via text.

The biggest list everyone wants to have these days is for Inferno. The monthly party at Jean's has become the stuff of FOMO nightmares on social media. Dante Cardenas may work at a desk during the day, but by night he's tapped some of nightlife's sharpest minds to help organize this party.

“I saw that New York was very segregated right now. LGBTQ+, straight, millennials, Gen Z, people from Brooklyn and Manhattan go to different places,” he says. “The music is amazing in Brooklyn with so many DJs. Manhattan is a bit behind on this. Inferno combines both, great music and a fun and diverse crowd. I want it to be a place where everyone comes together.”

To do this, he approaches the leaders of each of these communities and groups to invite the right kind of people. “My dream is to bring everyone together and create more than a party, create a community.”

At Celler Flors and Seltzer Water.Relly

So far, it's working. In the few months that Inferno has been around, attendance numbers have multiplied. In just four parties, the guest list has grown from 150 to 400 to 1,500, and counting. “Now I like to keep it around that number,” Cardenas says. “I think when you get too big you can lose sight of the vision. I want to be the best party, not just the biggest party.”

For his team, he has called on Markus Kelle, a veteran goaltender, who knows how to handle so many outsiders (both on and off the roster) waiting to enter. He also has the confidence of Cardenas to determine who is not on the list. but it should happen anyway. He's also tapped Jonah Almost, a young bouncer who works at Silencio in Midtown, who knows the nightlife landscape of younger Gen Z hangouts. Teddy Quinlivan is also leading the creative engagement, tapping his friends in fashion and entertainment to come out to the party and providing valuable insights that help shape the evening's creative direction.

For those who don't know, however, this is not the end of the line. Ask, and (perhaps) you shall receive. All these matches have an Instagram account and these accounts are checking their direct messages. A polite request, followed by the right vibe and eyeing the door can help anyone navigate the velvet ropes. These parties are here today, and gone tomorrow, so knowing where they're headed is part of what keeps nightlife on its toes.


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