Food & Drink

DRINK: Grand Opening — Slake, Midtown’s Newest Venue

by Lea Faminiano
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Midtown – it’s an area that many of us try to avoid, with the hordes of tourists, chain stores, and tacky souvenirs – and at night, there are those obnoxious, pretentious nightclubs that you make just want to steer clear of the neighborhood altogether.

However: Slake, a new spot opening to the public on February 15th, aims to be a nightclub and music venue different than the typical Midtown haunt. From the founders of Webster Hall, Slake bills itself as an “intimate place of expression, free of judgment, built for those who wish to escape from the mundane and immerse themselves in the sound of the underground.”

I haven’t yet been to the space, but wanted to get to know more about it before its grand opening, and Tom Ballinger, one of the owners, was gracious enough to answer a couple questions for The Couch Sessions.

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Manhattan is known for having so much diverse nightlife – what sets Slake apart from what’s already out there?

Although Manhattan is known for having such a diverse nightlife, unfortunately every day that becomes less and less true with the closing of bars and clubs. Manhattan nightlife was once identified by like Max Fish, Motor City, Mars Bar, Odessa Bar, SPLASH, Lolita Bar, and the opening and over saturation of elitist bottle clubs and bro filled sports bars.

Slake is paying homage to old New York with a gritty, sexy, fun house styled nightclub with three floors, four different styled rooms and a platform for a real New York adventure. Slake is a club where your friends and you can go to find awesome music, friendly staff, inexpensive prices and sights and scenes that will have you and your friends talking about your night with us for years to come.

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The design of the space is interesting because it seems to be able to cater to a variety of events with its various rooms. Can you tell me more about the installations and artwork in the space?

Slake’s vibe all around screams NEW YORK CITY! and that is shown differently in each room from the Chandelier Room which has a graffiti mural from world famous artists, to the performance room with cages on the walls for dancers & customers alike, a razor wire wrapped disco ball, the upstairs rooms with stripper poles, comfy couches, a dungeon, huge dance floors and more nooks and crannies to explore and have fun with. Slake’s layout allows you to throw comfortable parties for 50 people, 200 people, 400 or a 1000 person full venue party.

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Slake seems to have a pretty full calendar for the near future – what are some highlights that patrons can look forward to enjoying?

Slake has some really awesome acts and DJ’s coming up but what really sets us apart from the other clubs is the fact that our PARTIES themselves are a huge part of the entertainment. Clubs in NYC these days are just DJ driven and if the DJ isn’t good or doesn’t bring people then the party sucks, not at Slake. Our new Friday party “MORE Fridays!” is a light hearted, sexy dance fueled party where if you come with a date, are looking for a date or just came to dance with friends you’re gonna go home happy and laughing. “Technoir”, our Saturday party is a darker, gritty, kinky dance party that New Yorkers are gonna love and people from out of town will never forget.


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Besides Slake and of course, Webster Hall…where are your other favorite places to go out in the city?

Like I said earlier I really feel that Manhattan is so over saturated with elitist bottle clubs and frat bars so most of the fun parties I go to are illegal pop up parties or warehouse parties but I still love the LES hangouts like Lucy’s, Speakeasy, LIT and I can’t deny that there are some very fun dance clubs in Brooklyn.

To learn more about Slake, visit their website.