Nightclubs come and go in this town but Bobby’s, the LES’s newest, which opened with a splash on Saturday night on Chrystie Street, is hoping to make a lasting impression. Their “M-O?” Dress to the nines. But don’t expect your best kicks and jeans to do the trick. Bobby’s is bringing class back to night clubbing in the form of tuxes and bow ties, black gowns, gloves to the elbows, and specialty cocktails.
Sound like the good old days? Well you are right. Bobby’s is hoping its art-deco themed room, complete with a wall to ceiling glass skyline and cozy banquet seating, will invoke a feeling of the days when chivalry was commonplace, dancing was par for the course, and grown-ups ‘dressed’ to go out.
Folks were looking dandy on Saturday I must say. Men in bow ties and dinner jackets floated around with women in long slinky black gowns. And yes, there were a few ladies posing in their full-arm gloves. I even saw a couple of “flappers” in the crowd. All I was waiting for were the cigarette holders to pop out.
And pop out they did. Co-owner Bobby, aka Robert Presson, decked out in his costume of the evening– single-breasted dinner jacket, white shirt and cummerbund, spoke to me about his desire to “go back to those days when people dressed up to go out at night.” He longs for “gallantry,” he told me as he pulled out his silver cigarette case from his jacket pocket, and confessed that he wished he could offer a lady a cigarette. (Charmed I’m sure.) Patrons can take advantage of the Tobacco Shoppe filled with an assortment of cigar boxes and Bobby brand candy cigarettes, but obviously can’t partake inside.
Although the room looked authentic and the revelers’ attire was appropriate, there was nothing retro-classy about the pulsating dance music of the house DJ. I would have expected a room full of Jazz Age music played by a house band, complete with a serenading singer belting out some Duke Ellington tunes.
Bobby did say he wants to bring that in as well. Let’s hope he keeps his promise.
Robin Schatell has lived in the Lower East Side for nine years. She has worked in the arts for over 20 years. She develops innovative programs and events from concept to production, and thrives on presenting adventurous new work by emerging and established artists.