If bottle service is on your agenda for New Year's Eve, you can probably toast to Joonbug.com CEO and event producer Jonathan Gabel for making it all happen. The nightlife guru is producing 65 of New Year's swankiest bashes this year and entertaining over 40,000 people at the hottest clubs around, from Avenue to Forum in New York and even more in Miami. Gabel chatted with Niteside about the biggest party night of the year-- and one of his busiest days at work.
You've hosted so many New Year's Eve parties – what is one that is particularly memorable to you?
I would say Cipriani 42nd St. It was a success... The key to success is an ideal venue, when you can marry good operations, good marketing and a good brand. Its a phenomenal venue, an old bank. It's got a 60-70 foot ceiling that is ornate and the environment is truly representative of the term gala... a New Year's Eve gala is very rare and hard to find. There's only a couple in New York...[the second gala we're hosting is at] The Capitale. [Prices for Cipriani starts at $175, Capitale is $395].
Where do all the celebrities hang out on New Year's Eve?
Most celebrities hang out in Miami and Vegas. You don't have a lot of celebrities in New York. But we do have Danielle Staub from the Real Housewives hosting at a nightclub called Touch.... Although a lot of famous] New Yorkers going to Miami, you'll have a couple of people from the Jersey Shore hosting events [JWOWW 's bash at Amnesia and DJ Pauly D's after-party at Espace].
Miami Shmiami. Are there any other popular hangouts spots for the stars who stick around here?
I'd say the number one hangout has to be Avenue. Of all the parties and all the events we have, Avenue is the one room that will have celebrities walking up to the door....All year long it's one of the hardest doors in New York. It's run by one of the best nightlife companies in New York, by Noah Tepperberg [who also runs TAO, LAVO, Marquee]. The venue is just day in and day out great. [$175 will get you in with general admission].
Midtown on New Year's Eve can be scary. Where can the party-goer find refuge from the estimated 1 million people?
The Lower East Side is great. It's the really hipster part of town, it's more for those in the know than people who are not in the know. We have a lot of great events downtown: we have Gallery bar for a great value under $100. Union Square is another great area. Union Bar and Forum are both under $100. And Gallery Bar and Ella are two very hipster joints.
But if you just HAVE to see the ball drop, what's the best way to do it?
If you want to see the ball drop, there's only one solution and that's the event at AMC Theaters [Times Square]. The red carpet ticket [$95] gives you the closest view of the ball drop in New York.
And where will you be on New Year's Eve?
On my desk, making calls. I will be doing by best lunatic impersonation until 1 AM, then I will go outside and breathe some fresh air. Then I'll get Korean food.