Travel

XL and THE OUT NYC :: Setting the Stage...

by JC Alvarez
Sunday Mar 4, 2012
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The bright lights of the neon city have always shined brighter along the Big Apple’s 42nd Street. It’s the metropolis’ main thoroughfare and the center of culture and commerce. It’s the path along gritty streets of New York City upon which new visitors set their first steps. And when Madonna migrated from Detroit on a mission to take over the world, she asked the cabbie to drop her in the middle of everything. The middle was Times Square.

It’s only fitting that focus will set on the city’s newest destination at the center of it all. On Thursday, March 1 at 10am the official ribbon cutting ceremony took place inaugurating THE OUT NYC - a new urban resort experience poised at changing the scheme of nightlife and providing a desirably new texture to Manhattan’s party culture. Suddenly the weekend just got a whole lot more interesting.

After only a couple of weeks the location’s mega-dance club, appropriately christened XL, has eagerly satisfied every club-hungry reveler’s expectations. The gents at FV Events, Brandon Voss and Tony Fornabaio moved their ultra-chic Friday night party "RockIt" to XL and have succeeded in lining up the pavement leading up and around 42nd street.


Long Time in the Making

To anyone who grew up on the fabled nights at the legendary Roxy, it’s no surprise that John Blair and Beto Sutter, collaborative partners, have brought back the magic that’s cooled its heels in the New York nightlife scene, and every expense and
effort has been expended at making THE OUT NYC much more than meets the eye.

"We’re super proud, but still completely overwhelmed," Sutter happily admits. "We started with the basics, but now we’ve implemented so much more into the space. Everything is so new, including the building itself." Including the 14,000 square foot, state of the art party space, the resort complex will host and house ample accommodations for a weekend retreat, a full-service restaurant, gym and spa, in a luxurious setting ready to revive the senses.

"We’ve gone through this before," added Blair. "At one time we had (the original bar and lounge) XL, Limelight and the Roxy going on during the week - this is pretty much the same thing...except the difference is: this is our place. It’s all under one roof."

It’s something that the ambitious duo has been working towards for the last 25 years.

If the dance floor inside the new XL is reminiscent of the aforementioned Roxy it should be - the room is meant to harken back to the Saturday night that put Blair and Sutter on the map. "It is supposed to feel like the Roxy," Blair suggests, but with every technological enhancement that will make it a thunderous marvel at the mercy of its already stellar DJ line-up . The space at XL is expected to out-perform its illustrious lineage and multi-task as a lounge, a nightclub and as a cabaret space.

The notion of building a performance stage within the club atmosphere was always a very attractive and deliberate intention of Sutter’s. "The shows at the original XL were its staple; they brought us a distinct attention. Since then there’s been a whole new generation of performers - I wanted to build the cabaret from scratch. The room was designed with the cabaret in mind."


Come to the XL Cabaret

What Sutter has brought to the venue with the mammoth LED backdrop display and expert sound-system is a performer’s dream. Super dance diva Kristine W was given the distinguished task of popping the space’s cherry, with two nights of a full-on show with 3-piece band and guest performers. "It was exciting - getting performances that would work to that scale," Sutter beamed at having KW properly break in the cabaret scene. "I worked with Kristine to get everything just right from the graphic display to the set-up and sound."

With top caliber table service ready and not a bad seat in the house, the evening was a show-stopping forecast of what’s to come. "We’ll probably work to have long-running shows on the weekend," Sutter plans, "with more classical cabaret performances Monday through Friday."

XL Cabaret & Lounge is now set to boast at least 5 nights a week of uniquely scheduled artists performing including Shoshanna Bean who closes an extended run on Monday, March 6 of Vintage Soul. "We want it to be everything," both Sutter and Blair insist, "from mainstream to up-and-coming." To that they’ve already cast members from the highly successful LOGO competition series "RuPaul’s Drag Race" to command the stage, and feature Lady Bunny and her "Hot Mess" on Wednesdays.

Membership does have its privileges. A caveat to regularly hitting the cabaret and lounge at XL, and its expanding resort facility is the reinstitution of the popularly infamous "John Blair" Card - which has also undergone a complete overhaul. A right of passage in the NYC club scene, ownership of a "John Blair" Card moved patrons up to the front of the line, and when the lines at Roxy extended down the block in a midsummer rainstorm, there was nothing better than that.

The new standard is the XL membership club card. "Membership cards have always been good for us," Blair affirms. "It’s a wonderful way of rewarding our true, loyal customers," added Sutter.

The XL Card will also help to get you to the front of the line, as well as extend discounts on admission and drinks at the bar. The card can also be used for special rates at the hotel - maybe grab yourself a $99 Sleep Share and extend the party till brunch the next morning. "We’ll know who our great customers really are - this is the next step and something no other club has ever done."

Suddenly the weekend has been worth the wait. Between its lively lounge scene, hot selection of pretty city boys, and cool relaxed atmosphere THE OUT NYC Urban Resort is every bit the adult playground we’ve been promised and awaited.

And with the ability to tailor the stage to every bright star, the limitless possibilities to draw artists and acts whether from the world or pop, to jazz - to comedy, this versatility marks the XL Cabaret & Lounge at THE OUT NYC the inclusive entertainment hub for capturing the attention of the discriminating gay taste and offers the hotel guests a unique stay experience whether they step out onto the lights of Broadway or keep to the confines of THE OUT NYC. Why go anywhere else, really?


Get your weekend groove on and stick around. Book your stay at THE OUT NYC. Goto www.theoutnyc.com and check out room rates and availabilities, then skip on over to the XL website at www.xlnightclub.com and check out the latest acts or make sure your favorite DJ is spinning in house.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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