1. The Boom Boom Room: Whatever you want to call it, the Boom Boom is still the toughest door in New York City at the moment. The Standard’s glitzy penthouse bar has been packing in the crowds on a consistent basis and has yet to weaken its tough door standards. The only weak point in the Le Boom’s game (besides $20 drinks) is the music, which is insanely heavy on late 70’s funk. One Boom regular lamented hearing Gary Glitter tunes recently. Note to DJs: child pornographers don’t belong in Andre’s sexy palace of funk.
Who you need to know: Andre Balazs, Kamil Parchomienko, Stefan
Civilian Chance of Entry: 0%
848 Washington St., MePa.
2. Simyone Lounge: Since the Jane is down for the count, the EMM group’s new space below Abe and Arthur’s slides into the #2 slot. The small space has already received the Boite treatment and is consistently packing them in, a testament to the owners’ vision for the former Lotus space. Expect this joint to stay in the top five for the foreseeable future.
Who you need to know: Eugene Remm, Mark Birnbaum, Aalex Julian
Civilian Chance of Entry: 15%
409 W 14th St., MePa.
3. Provocateur: The space has only “soft-opened”, but all the signs from owners Mike Satsky, Brian Gefter, Kyky, and Dimitri point to this being an overly tough door for the near future. The female oriented design has left some cold, but no one is really going there for the look of the place. Because the club will be heavy on house music, expect a different sort of crowd than SL to be attracted to its new neighbor to the south.
Who you need to know: Mike Satsky, Brian Gefter, Kyky, Dimitri
Civilian Chance of Entry: 18%
18 9th Avenue, MePa.
4. The Rose Bar: Nur Khan’s joint is holding firm at #4, but now that the visionary for the space has his eyes trained on Civetta's January opening, will he lose focus on Ian Schrager's Gramercy beauty? While our informants tell us the plans for the Nolita space are still being worked out, one would be foolish to not foresee a future nightlife hotspot that could challenge the Rose Bar's current ranking.
Who you need to know: Nur Khan, Damian Luayie, Ian Schrager, the hotel employee who guards the bathroom door.
Civilian Chance of Entry: 40%
2 Lexington Ave., Gramercy.
5. Avenue: The Strategic Group’s gastro lounge holds firm at #5 and is still New York's premiere bottle buying destination. Its reputation took a small hit when the Jho Lo story hit the papers, but Avenue hasn’t stopped attracting the big spenders or global celebrities. Be certain that beyond names that have become public is one of the most prolific lists of loyal customers that hang at Avenue because they know the owners will work to keep them out of the press. But with Angelo and Todd's plans for 2010 up in the air, and the pending opening of Lavo in midtown, Avenue has the potential to slip out of the top five.
Who you need to know: Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, Wass Stevens, The Beatrice Crew
Civilian Chance of Entry: 60%
116 Tenth Ave., Chelsea