Nightlife impresarios Cornelis Craane and Paul Coleman Drohan, whose pedigree extends to old school clubs like Palladium, The Roxy, and China Club, have just opened this new venue that hearkens back to the messier '80s era of NYC nightlife, before the hedge fund bros took over with their $1,000 bottles of Absolut. Located in the Flatiron District, the duo hopes The Imperial will "recreate a fantasy playground reminiscent of the Warhol-Basquiat club days where art takes center stage." So they brought in Ryan Rish, a former photo director for Bombin Magazine, to curate the fly space with work by a small army of guerrilla street artists.
The dark and somewhat sinister-looking club is serving as headquarters for New York City art collective Destroy and Rebuild, riding high from showing in MoMA's "Design in the Elastic Mind" exhibition. There's also work by Alphabet Soup, Anthony Morton, Kenji, Noir, Crystal Clarity, Ribs, Enamel Kingdom, Metal Wing, and Claw Money. The Imperial boasts an impressive sound and lighting system, 30-foot ceilings, and giant projection screens, one which projects over a waterfall.
Tonight, Halloween, is the official opening party emceed by hip-hop trailblazer Mele Mel. (Melle Mel with the clientele.) The Imperial is located at 17 West 19th Street; 212-352-2001.