On Friday Night, PAPER attended the "soft opening" for Bow, the new Bowery (get it?) spot from Travis Bass, of Red Egg and Madame Wong fame. The club takes over the underground space from Crash Mansion, which had spent a few years providing a space for the crappy bands no longer served by CBGB. One enters through the faux-graffiti'd (by Alec Monopoly) scaffolding that's been up at 199 Bowery for several months; the stairs are accessible via a candle-lit interior of unprimed walls, corrugated metal, and exposed beams. Downstairs, the rough look gives way to a pretty nondescript black interior, decorated only by a couple palm fronds and colored lights. PAPER's own May Kwok spun club hits by the Lykke Li and Gotye. A smoke machine doubled the apparent size of the dance floor, where we watched two men reattach a disco ball, one holding a flashlight for the other. The men's bathroom walls were still unpainted.
In addition to Bow, the space will eventually include another nightclub called Finale (a joint venture with Pascha) and a 300-seat restaurant called the General. (The scale is entirely foreign to this Lower East Side native.) Local blogs have fixed on comments part-owner Eugene Remm made in the Post: "[T]he neighborhood is definitely up-and-coming. It's similar to the Meatpacking District." On its first night, Bow practically split the difference in terms of demographics: the crowd in the four-deep line for the open bar ranged from Opening Ceremony models to Ivy League bankers. As we left, a crowd was swarming the entrance.