Provocateur Is Perfect

Some poet once proclaimed that the proof is in the pudding. Provocateur is great pudding. My favorite agent of Provocateur, P.R. Sasa Nikolic, invited me down to check out a DJ set by Deadmau5, who many feel is the absolute realio dealio. After a brutal day at work, me and mine took our midsummer night naps, and got ourselves motivated by midnight. We had to call ahead, as Provocateur has that famous “no decisions by the door person, RSVPs only” policy thing going on. Owner Michael Satsky came out to fetch us. We shook a dozen hands outside and were navigated through a stellar crowd vying for a moment of Mr. Mike’s time. We nodded to co-owner Bian Gefter, who I haven’t seen without a cell phone attached to his ear for 3 years, and were whisked by Naeem Delbridge, who was balancing club patrons with Patio patrons. We waved and shouted hellos to various other players and minions, who were very busy making good pudding. Once we were standing in the open roofed patio, with all God’s heavens up above, I took a deep breath and could feel all the good vibrations that have made this joint one of the most talked about and important clubs to come along in years.

This was a perfect club experience. A well-appointed mix of uptown and down socializing in a stunning environment. Mike told me that he doesn’t let the place get more crowded than it was last night. There was plenty of room to move around, and the illusion that you were in the garden of some fabulous home was fully realized. The crowd is heavily Euro, which by club definition includes South Americans, and uptown old money. This crew was mixed with super duper celebrities, the night club elite, a smattering of gays, and more beauties than I have seen in a joint since that night I lost my contact lenses at Life. The crowd is successful, well dressed, intelligent, and fun. Even my Williamsburg denizen gal pal knew that Provocateur is a place where those who have already arrived head to.

In the beginning Provocateur’s decision not to have a traditional door policy was met with skepticism. I asked last night, as Mike and I were chatting up publishing honcho Jason Binn, what happens if Muhammed Ali shows up or Brad and Angelina or Barack? We were told that he would be called and they would be brought in but that everyone really does call in advance. The room (with the exception of maybe me) did not have one person in it that didn’t belong. I was never able to achieve that. There were always a few slackers and friends of friends that slipped into my joints. The crowd was beautiful. Did I say that already? Well it cannot be said enough. It should be mentioned that, unlike many places that cater to the upper crust and social elite, Provocateur is racially mixed. It was refreshing to see a mix of ideas and culture in such a swanky place.

In 6 months Provocateur has changed the game. It has its naysayers, but I am convinced that they are those who are not embraced, or those that cannot get in, or those running less fabulous places. Michael Satsky and Brian Gefter, with help from Kiki and Dmitri, and many others, have worked hard to redefine what can and cannot be done in this town. Provocateur is perfect.

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