The Rise of the Outer Boroughs
Once upon a time, not long ago, the players who ran New York City decided that noisy, smelly nightclubs had to be discouraged from operating in residential neighborhoods and encouraged to open elsewhere. A few areas, seemingly uninhabitable by the swells who ran things, were carved out. Licensing was issued fairly easily to those brave souls who would try to create a couple of new club districts. The most notable were the West Chelsea warehouse/manufacturing area and the Meatpacking District. Both were well-known for transsexual hookers, ugly straight hookers, pimps, and other miscreants that hover around such goings on. The clubs came in on the heels of the galleries that were high-rented out of SoHo. Soon the hookers were gone, replaced by the half-hookers who wait on bottle service patrons; the pimps were replaced by promoters. We could spend a long time chatting about which is worse. The cruising cars filled with Johns from Jersey looking for a desperate cheap time were replaced by cabs and limos taking guys and dolls from Jersey and everywhere else looking for an expensive good time. All was wonderful until developers saw the neighborhoods get cleaned up and decided to develop living quarters for the well-to-do.
The West Chelsea club district was harassed out of existence, and only the Meatpacking now remains as a mecca for messes, models, frat boys, and the other miscreants that hover around such goings on. In time, and possibly starting right now, the warehouse districts of Queens and Brooklyn, which face the same pre-developmental issues as the old MEPA and West Chelsea, are getting clubs. The city will eye this development and probably encourage it. It might just be easier to eliminate all late night goings on in Manhattan and move this fun to less attractive areas, away from the high-rent districts. There may come a night when going out means going over a tunnel or bridge — I have always felt that a 2a.m. license looms as the greatest threat to our scene. Over the last few years, new operators have accepted the crumbs of 1a.m. and 2a.m. licenses from community boards who think: that’s late enough, go to sleep already. A couple of areas in the outer boroughs where 4a.m. licenses are easy to get may attract the big clubs to move there. Joints like Pacha or Cielo, so often at war with city agencies, might find enough peace and quiet in another borough to make lots of noise. The house clubs will be the first to make the move as their crowds will walk a million miles for the smiles that international DJs bring to their faces. Vincent Faraci is opening a joint in Brooklyn, close enough to everything, and far enough too. It’s called Jaguars. I caught up with Vincent and asked him a few things.
When will Jaguars open? We’re gearing up to open in February, with a lineup of private events.
Do you expect other venues to open nearby? Will this be a foothold for the industrial area becoming a nightlife enclave? I think people will follow in my footsteps and the building owners will also try to entice restaurant and club owners to come to the area after they see our success.
Was the location chosen to avoid being a burden to the community? We are located in an industrial area, which gave us a very large space (20,000 square feet) for the price we paid. It’s ten minutes away from the Battery Tunnel and the Verrazano Bridge with ample parking, which also made it a great location.
Tell me about the DJs… We’ll have Las Vegas DJs flown in and I’ve already begun interviewing local DJs for specific nights. I’d also love to have you come spin when you’re free! What does the name Jaguars mean? Jaguars refers to the venue’s jungle theme and goes with the general atmosphere. It’s something you are going to want to experience. Seeing is truly experiencing in this case. I’ve brought the experience of having a restaurant in a nightclub and done it another way.
Is Brooklyn becoming more diversified while Manhattan loses ground to real estate and regulation? Will Brooklyn nightlife be on par with the “City” in just a few years? I don’t see why not, with the way things are in the current economy. For someone to open a club in Manhattan, they have to not only hire staff that has to travel into the city, but also pay high rent costs. If I can keep my rent down and return it to the people, then I don’t even have to compete with Manhattan. If you find a location like I have at Jaguars then you can compete.
What kind of place Jaguars will be? Jaguars offers fun and affordability for all walks of life. It’s an Italian restaurant, a nightclub and bikini bar. All are separate entities but have the same underlying jungle theme. When the nightclub is closed, it is curtained off from the restaurant. But once it opens, you will be dining in a restaurant within a nightclub. What is the targeted demographic for Jaguars? Are you trying to attract Manhattan clubgoers? We have something for everybody. We’re trying to attract everyone who wants to go out, have a good time and enjoy an affordable, fun night out. Is the place a viable alternative to Manhattan venues? You aren’t going to find anything like it, anywhere, New York City or otherwise. I’ve been around for a long time and have never seen anything like it. The jungle theme is really what makes it fun and casual. What’s the primary difference between operating in Brooklyn and Manhattan? It allows me to give more back to the customer in regards to pricing. I can provide a more affordable experience to the customer by being able to spend more in the areas of service and accommodation. It would be more difficult for someone in Manhattan to compete with me because of their overhead costs. Are you promoter driven? Everyone has to dabble with promoters, but most of my promotions come from within the company. I like to be hands on in that aspect, I know what works and I like to keep control of the promotions. What is your hospitality background? I’ve been in the business for over thirty years, operating venues in Las Vegas since 1984.