A Party Spot Opens Near Chinatown


Omar Hernandez, the restaurateur and night life spirit animal, has set his sights on the Lower East Side. After making a name for himself in Miami, Mr. Hernandez arrived in Greenwich Village in 2013 and opened Omar’s La Ranita, a private supper club that had a brief but storied run as a celebrity magnet. Next came Omar at Vaucluse, which brought his velvety aesthetic to the Upper East Side.

On Jan. 14, he opened Omar’s La Boîte on Broome Street. If the soft opening and private parties held earlier are any sign, the spot will draw a highly curated mix of downtown scenesters, uptown “Real Housewives” types, celebrities, jet-setters, heiresses, models and other merrymakers.

Veteran partygoers will recall that this was formerly Happy Ending, the Chinatown-adjacent hot spot from the mid-aughts that traded on its massage-parlor history. The grubby space now sparkles.

The steep, mirror-lined staircase descends into a gilded lounge festooned with gold banquettes, disco balls, a taxidermied zebra and a stripper pole. The upstairs space will operate as a member’s supper club, with five-course dinners. Flynn McGarry, the wunderkind chef from the neighboring restaurant Gem, will help shape the menu.

Special events will shift the vibe, but Mr. Hernandez wants to cater to people he calls “perennials” — partygoers of all ages. Guests at a preview event for friends and family, held last Halloween, included Ellen von Unwerth, Maxwell and Hamish Bowles. After-parties for film screenings have drawn Anna Wintour, Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul, Emily Blunt, Clive Owen and Peter Dinklage.

The door is friendly but highly discerning. It helps to know Mr. Hernandez or his door people. The upstairs restaurant and bar will be restricted to those with reservations.

Disco appetizers moving into European House music, but never shying away from old-school hip-hop and other upbeat dance tracks. The sound is rich, thumping and enveloping, especially in the Sofa Room, the intimate dance chamber in the basement.

Conspicuously priced champagne (Veuve Clicquot, $27 by the glass) and classic cocktails may do the trick, but for those seeking more adventurous refreshments, try the Serge Gainsbourg ($19), a lemon-infused vodka concoction with fresh cucumbers, mint, lemon juice and elderflower.

Omar’s La Boîte, 302 Broome Street (between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets), 212-203-5552; omar-nyc.com. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.

By Kurt McVey

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