When Blake Deadly ("like Lively but Deadly") took the stage at Alan Cumming's newly opened Club Cumming in the East Village Friday night, her enthusiasm was so infectious that only a handful of people whipped out cell phones to capture the performance. The intimacy and positive energy in the room made the usual social media habits feel gauche. As Deadly spun and slashed in her enviable, sequined pantsuit, fluttering her beautiful lashes and baby blue lips, there seemed to be an unspoken agreement—at least between those closest to the stage—to protect the intimacy of the experience and let it be what it was: an unabashed Village lovefest, experienced fully in the moment instead of documented for later.

The social media restraint is a request from Cumming himself, who has tried to set a no-cell phone tone in his new establishment. He told the New York Times that he wants "to make people talk to each other instead of looking at their phones," and on Thursday night, when Paul McCartney and Emma Stone made cameos, Time Out reports that Cumming asked the audience to record the performance "with their hearts." On Friday night, even in Cumming's absence, there was a palpable, shared delight at being able to create an intangible, authentic experience they weren't finding anywhere else.

Such is the unique appeal of Club Cumming, the kinky, all-ages, all-genders performance salon that now occupies 505 East 6th Street, the former home of Eastern Bloc, a queer club with a loyal following that had been in the space for twelve years. The spiritual and conceptual Club Cumming famously originated as a standing revelry in Cumming's dressing room during his run as the Emcee in the Cabaret revival. In April, Cumming announced he would collaborate with co-owners Benjamin Maisani and Darren Dryden of Eastern Bloc and promoter Daniel Nardicio to open the eponymous new club in the old space.

Club Cumming opened with a mission statement emphasizing "kindness," and co-owner Maisani stresses that Club Cumming is "not a velvet rope kind of place."

"A lot of nightlife can be a bit jaded and not necessarily kind-hearted," Maisani said. "And we want to be the opposite of that. We welcome all, and we're all about trying to have a good time here."

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An original mural by Cumming's husband, artist Grant Shaffer (Sai Mokhtari/Gothamist)

The club fills a niche that has been slowly eaten away by rising rents and sanitized street corners. Club Cumming attempts to fill the gap with a bit of imagination, served up with just the right amount of polish/un-polish. Maisani is optimistic. "As much as the Village has changed," he said, "I still think it's one of the most vibrant, unique neighborhoods in New York. With Eastern Bloc and now with Club Cumming, we really tried to hold onto that."

The cheeky newsletter that showed up in my inbox on Saturday morning promised "downtown debauchery at its finest." The list of events includes themed DJ dance parties, lounge acts, and raunchy readings, with an emphasis on showcasing local artists. Covers and ticket charges vary, with some dance parties cover-free, most events in the $5 - $10 range, and a few special events, like the Musto Duets, which raised money for Sage, offering general admission for $50.

Friday night featured DJ Michael Cavadias, who got the crowd moving to Robyn, Blondie, and the Spice Girls. The talented composer Danny K Bernstein accompanied singers on piano before playing his own humorous piece about a holiday dinner with an ex- and their new squeeze. The variety line-up, dubbed Kismet, was presented by actor, writer, and producer Paul Iacono, of RJ Berger fame.

"So many artists like myself—musicians, cabaret, downtown folk—have dreamed of a place like this, which really hasn't existed since the '80s," Iacono told us. "It's sort of a genuine hybrid of disco dance party and live music performance cabaret."

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Paul Iacono accompanied by Danny K Bernstein (Sai Mokhtari/Gothamist)

The space itself is appropriately low-lit, with moody chandeliers, a row of benches running one side of the room, and some velvet trimmings around the stage. Tables featuring Soviet visual references have been kept as a memento of Eastern Bloc days. A lively black-and-white mural by artist Grant Shaffer (Cumming's husband) is a new addition, and the red, neon Club Cumming sign above the stage serves as a north star.

On the night I went, it was packed, sweaty, and loud. To be clear: Club Cumming is not the place to go at 11 p.m. on a Friday night unless you're willing to surrender to the possibility of a few inadvertent thigh-to-ass encounters, and/or the likelihood of being covered in sweat that may or may not be your own. If you're looking for a place to sit down, have a conversation, and enjoy an artisanal cocktail in a halo of personal space, there are dozens of other EV establishments that will serve your purposes. Club Cumming is more of a well drinks and beers kind of place—most drinks range from $8 to $16 for the higher end spirits—and no one was doing any shushing. The corner bench by the stage was occupied for most of the night by a guy gyrating above it all in a gold-fabric-and-chains bodysuit number (with the emphasis on body).

Former Eastern Bloc regulars like Leah Pinero, 27, and Derek Fearon, 25, were pleased with the makeover, but appreciative of the way the spirit of their old haunt had been preserved. Pinero was surprised by how much the space had changed. "It's a brand new venue," she said, but noted, "The vibe is the same, [and] the feeling." "It's crowded," she remarked, but added, "which is a good thing." "But with fun people," said Fearon. "Everyone's dancing in there. And that's major. Because so often you go to a place and people are just posing and boring." "Or being pretty," said Pinero.

Fearon sees the opening of Club Cumming as part of a larger renaissance moment, coinciding with the creation of the Office of Nightlife and the post of Night Mayor. "It's great that in the next four years of Mayor Bill de Blasio, we're going to have some respect for nightlife culture in this city," he said. "Thank God," chimed Pinero.

Club Cumming is located at 505 East 6th Street; clubcummingnyc.com