UPDATE: On Friday morning, representatives of Capitale e-mailed to say the lounge will now be opening on Saturday night, not Friday night.
Capitale, the replacement for kstreet Lounge, makes its debut tomorrow, and it looks nothing like its sleek, starkly modern predecessor. Owned by the guys behind Public Bar, Play and, yes, kstreet, the 14th and K party spot has a playful, louche look that is equal parts country club and “Alice in Wonderland.” Fifteen-foot gold wooden columns divide the dance floor from the bar, giant bookcases stretch to the ceiling, the leather-backed benches have been designed to be stood (and danced) on, and colorful portraits of Scott Disick (Mr. Kourtney Kardashian) and Tuesday Weld look down from the elaborately painted walls. (Not surprising: Designer Maggie O’Neill is also responsible for pop-art touches at Sax and Lincoln, and she created the special dance “platforms” that sit in the windows.)
While Capitale will have bottle service tables and DJ-fueled dancing, co-owner Tony Hudgins, a partner in Public Bar and the now-closed Play, says that Capitale wants to set itself apart from the other bottle-service clubs nearby. “Sherif [Adalla] and I come from Public, where we’re open to anyone as long as you’re not going to cause problems,” he explains. This means no dress code, within reason – “this isn’t a sports bar, so flip-flops, shorts and a baseball cap probably isn’t going to work” – and no cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights. The DJ will spin hip-hop, old-school and club tunes – what Hudgins calls a “mainstream format that’s open to everybody” instead of the usual house-centric playlists found at nearby velvet-rope spots.
There’s a small lounge close to the entrance, before you enter the main room, that doesn’t have a permanent bar or even a speaker system. It’s designed a kind of a low-key escape where you can talk to someone without having to shout; we’ll see what that’s like once the place is actually open.
In a few weeks, Hudgins says Capitale will launch a food truck happy hour from 5 to 9 on Thursday and Friday evenings. Food trucks will park in the valet parking spaces outside the club, and customers can grab something to eat, bring it inside, and pair the snacks with discounted sangria, beer or cocktails. (The house drink menu, which isn’t finalized yet, is being created by mixologist Marco Maffeo-Robinson, formerly of the W’s P.O.V. lounge.) Capitale hopes to have an outdoor patio running for happy hour, but it’s not quite ready yet.
Door open at 10 p.m.