We stopped by the famed GoldBar for an evening in black tie and champagne, celebrating 10 years of the nightlife icon.
It’s been ten years of GoldBar. In a city where nightlife spots can go boom and bust in the blink of a heavily mascara’d and lash-extended eye, GoldBar has weathered the storm. Perched on a precarious block near (but not in) Little Italy, the dark, tall doors have been guarded with regularity and grace, an orderly experience that only gets richer once you’re inside. According to founder Jayma Cardoso, the location isn’t entirely accidental: it was inspired by a fictional Italian count and his vision for a space to celebrate the joys of life.
To celebrate #GoldBarDecade, Goldbar hosted an extravaganza in conjunction with Dom Perignón, Moët & Chandon, and Belvedere. Fun funk grooves kept the room alive as a everything from caviar-topped crostinis to truffle-topped french fries made their way around the golden room. Guests enjoyed Moët mini bottles of champagne, as well as the usual bottle service later in the evening as the scene transitioned from Donna Summer to Khia, apparently a natural progression in the mundo de oro.
I tested Goodbar’s legendary status by posting an Instagram image of the vault room’s walls of golden skulls with caption of “#…”, no geotag, no context. Minutes later, the response poured in: One, a follower from Alpine, New Jersey simply stated, “GOLDBAR”. “Goals”, another, an interior designer, remarked. “GoldBar is dope,” a young real estate professional mused. “Looks like you have great taste!” They went on. I knew of GoldBar, but never had the chance to drop in. Or, more likely, didn’t feel like I belonged there. I couldn’t have felt more at home. With the skulls, the low tables that appear to be enormous stacks of Cartier Love bracelets, the small but accommodating bar, and the back salon, there isn’t much to the place, but its the perfect canvas upon which a great evening can be crafted.
Obviously, I’m not alone. It’s been ten years of serving up an unlikely club experience in NYC. Not too crowded, not too buzzy. The whole thing is show-off, so you’re reality is altered. It’s a down-to-earth crowd with manners, but certainly a taste for the extravagant. Rules are meant to be broken, and GoldBar doesn’t want to ruin a good time.
Here’s what’s happened in the ten years since opening:
- Leonardo DiCaprio meeting up with mates at GoldBar (including Mickey O’Rourke and Cynthia Rowley)
- GoldBar going global (not really, but a clone popped up in Utah for a few days, complete with the walls of skulls and a Bill Murray appearance).
- GoldBar’s improbable success amid the recession.
- The renovation.
- John Mayer going there. A lot.
- A mention in this article about dress codes (If you’re going to GoldBar, just say “Hi” once in a while. And be on Jonny Lennon’s good side).
- As of August 15, 2011, Ashley Holmes’ “absolute favorite place to be in the city.”
— The Knockturnal (@_TheKnockturnal) February 17, 2017