VK Nagrani hosts a gathering of NYC’s most chic, complete with sushi dishes and Japanese whiskeys in his Nolita speakeasy/shop. We dropped in- and ended up staying way past our bedtime.
VK Nagrani should open a hotel. Or a real restaurant. This was our lasting impression of the Nolita speakeasy/men’s clothing shop that has opened its doors to successful, interesting, confident men. It’s a space that redefines ‘man cave’ to mean something a little more well-done, a little tidier, but the ‘caveness’ is still there- the best parts of VK Nagrani’s speakeasy/shop is in the cellar- the lowest depths of an antique Houston Street building, between Elizabeth and Bowery. VK’s party was chic. That’s a word that gets passed around relentlessly these days, but descending the stairs into the basement, I felt cool. Women dressed well, the men dressed even better, rare Japanese whiskies being passed around while a immediately Shazaamable playlist ran in the background. Sushi was laid out fresh on an enormous table while all the beautiful people picked and nibbled at it. There was such an easiness and non-pretention- so rare today in places that openly sell $49 pairs of underwear.
Well passed the ‘end’ of the party (supposed to end at 9pm), I was approached by a charming and dynamic sales woman named Maggie, who assumed the role as a guide to the place, even leading us out to small astroturf terrace with a put-put course. Maggie was exactly what you’d expect of a VK employee: dryly funny, effortlessly stylish in a golden/beige suit, hair pulled into a gentle updo and black frame glasses on her nose. She let her glasses slide to the end of her nose and, being just a bit shorter than me, apparently balanced them by tilting her head up just so. She had an interesting air of coyness and quick wit that left you just wanting to know more. She showed us the deepest reaches of the space, all the way to the tunnel of underwear and shirts.
After enjoying some sushi, Maggie’s company and the opportunity to chat with some of the guests- everyone from fashion editors to Morgan Stanley employees, the room started to clear out around midnight. VK shared a drink with us, chatting about the day and his shop. He didn’t mind the party ran over, he treated his employees to some liquor and with a shake of the hand a ‘thank you’, he called it a night.
We’d love to come back to VK Nagrani to actually shop sometime, but having a drink with the man himself just goes to show what he’s capable. We want a hotel curated by VK, we want a restaurant. We want to be cool.
87 E Houston St, New York, NY 10012