The opening night launch for XL, New York's first new gay nightclub in 15 years, was one frigging fabulous event, indeed. Its location far west on 42nd Street and below gayborhood Hell's Kitchen was hardly a deterrent for the hundreds consistently standing in line from its opening at 10 p.m. until I made my exit after 1 a.m.
I got a tour of the XL Lounge, Cabaret and Nightclub Monday while interviewing Beto Sutter (who is launching the venture with partner John Blair [(profiled in Wednesday's New York Times]), and found it hard to imagine that in four days, the joint was going to be polished up in time for opening: Crews were still installing major fixtures and finishes.
But sure enough, XL glistened Friday, as an endless stream of men from their 20s & up, along with a multitude of drag queens and lady friends, paraded through the elegant Lounge, with its circular center bar (and the hottest bartenders this side of Fire Island), then down the corridor to the 11,000sf Cabaret & Nightclub. The one caveat: $9 for a house drink. Ouch.
The technology there is expectedly state-of-the-art, with $100,000 invested in lights, controlled by a $50,000 board, and 3D effects on the dancefloor with a giant LED screen backing the stage.
Seen: Village Voice journo Michael Musto, pop singer Kesha, drag impresarios Lady Bunny & Sherry Vine, Reichlin Lehmkuhl & Mike Ruiz from Logo's The A-List, OUT NYC founding partner Ian Simpson Reisner, former Miss Africa Nyasha Zimucha...
Time will reveal if XL matures as an ongoing NYC hip-trip, but it's off to a rousing start. *