New York Club The Fleur Room Debuts With Guests Idris Elba, Ryan Seacrest and Aldis Hodge
"In this day and age, with social media, there's almost no place a celebrity can go without being spotted and photographed. It used to be that you could go out and have a good time without worrying about people posting everything that you do. I want to bring that back," says nightlife impresario Angelo Bianchi.
The crown jewel of the newly opened New York hotel Moxy Chelsea is its 35th floor club The Fleur Room and sister restaurant Feroce, which just a handful of days in has already seen its fair share of celebrity foot traffic. Idris Elba and his fiancée Sabrina Dhowre popped in for custom-made pizzas after the actor-DJ hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time. Emily Ratajkowski hit the dance floor with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard. Newly single Ryan Seacrest escaped photographers at a table in front of the Empire State Building. Victoria’s Secret Angels Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes took selfies in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Dancing With the Stars contestant Alexis Ren had a nightcap at the bar. And Showtime’s City on a Hill’s Aldis Hodge, Amanda Clayton, Mark O’Brien and Jere Shea, along with series creator Chuck MacLean, had an impromptu cast party at the venue.
While many newly opened New York spots eventually rack up a "who's who" of fashion and media, one reason for Fleur's immediate A-list clientele could be creative director and nightlife impresario Angelo Bianchi's L.A.-centric approach. "In this day and age, with social media, there's almost no place a celebrity can go without being spotted and photographed. It used to be that you could go out and have a good time without worrying about people posting everything that you do. I want to bring that back," he says.
Bianchi, who is running Fleur in partnership with the Tao Group, helmed the now-defunct Beatrice Inn on Manhattan's West 12th Street with DJ Paul Sevigny. Famously insider, until it became a restaurant a couple of years ago, the nightspot was known for eschewing the bottle service trend, which at the time was de rigueur at every other hotspot in town. With a tight door and no photos, the famous could let their hair down without fear.
Creating a safe place for Los Angeles's A list when they are in New York is clearly on Bianchi's mind as he points out the club’s massive disco ball, a giant spinning relic from the short-lived and iconic 1980s L.A. club Vertigo. Known mainly known for turning people away at the door, Vertigo became a destination for Cher, Susan Sarandon and Jack Nicholson. After its closure, the disco ball landed at Blackman Cruz, an antiques shop on North Highland Avenue, whose site itself was once a famous gay club called Probe that appeared in American Gigolo.
But with a space as large as Fleur — the room is 2,145 square feet — will Bianchi be able to recreate the kind of privacy Angelenos can experience at spots such as the Sunset Tower? "We feel no pressure to fill the room or pack people in here, he says. "I want it to be just as discreet as other spots such as the Chateau [Marmont]."