UPDATE: This story has been confirmed.

Output. Cielo. Now Highline Ballroom?

On the heels of two bastions of NYC nightlife suddenly closing (Output and Cielo) comes another rumored closure in the new year - Highline Ballroom. Allegedly, this venue, which is currently host to MEAT and Voss Events Drag Brunch, will close on February 8. This unconfirmed rumor comes originally from a vague FB post on Thursday evening, 1/10, by Daniel Nardicio, owner of Bedlam and Club Cumming:

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I called Highline Ballroom to seek clarification. Management did not pick up the phone, but I called back and was able to reach Sales. I confirmed I was speaking to someone with Highline Ballroom, asked if a rumor I’d heard was true, and was met with total surprise and confusion. If it is true, it has not made its way down the pipeline - until now.

I was recently at Highline Ballroom and have to say my shock may be short-lived. The place was getting grimy and perhaps not being well-cared for by its owners. Most memorable was a severe leak happening from the upper mezzanine over the entry area, directly under the bathroom area with a backed up line. So guests were treated to a lovely waterfall of sewage to ring in the New Year - fierce. (Update: I’m told the leak originated from an ice machine. Still gross.)

This closing would also come less than a year after the closing of one its sister venues, BB Kings (also previously host to MEAT) which occurred in April 2018. Blue Note Entertainment Group, the owning company of the venues, cited high rent issues on that occasion - a common theme currently.

Notably, Blue Note Entertainment Group also recently reopened the former Diamond Horseshoe as the current Sony Hall beneath the Paramount Hotel in Times Square. I question whether its doors will remain open long under current management - they do say death comes in three’s. There had been a lot of confusion whether this venue would allow queer nightlife to darken its doorstep again in its reemergence as Sony Hall - though it has had some sketchy happenings and dubious double-standards with local promoters recently. It will be host to the Glam Awards this upcoming Monday night, 1/14. I do hope we aren’t all asked to leave in the middle of Vinny Vega’s 17th consecutive acceptance speech for Best Gogo.

So as it currently stands, we have nothing more than a stirred rumor. Should Highline Ballroom indeed close in the coming weeks, it will be yet another strike marking the end of an era for Manhattan nightlife. It’s certainly not something to be celebrated.

David X DaisyComment