A reader asked me if I knew what was going on with Ella, the upscale piano bar/speakeasy that opened last fall at 9 Avenue A.
Uh, I do not. I've never heard much about it. Eater ran Ella's epic opening press release:
For immediate release ˆ September 2008 - Carleton Varney, one of America's most innovative and respected interior decorators, brings his Dorothy Draper touch downtown to Avenue A. This fall, Varney and the young architect Robert Stansel III (GalleryBar), will showcase their designs of the new cocktail/piano lounge, Ella. Mr. Varney, best known for his work on Joan Crawford's homes and the Waldorf Towers, has proudly lent his flair and vision to his nephew Josh Boyd's next venture. Nightlife entrepreneurs Darin Rubell (cousin to Steve Rubell), Josh Boyd and Jordan Boyd have made what they call the LEV (Lower East Village) their place of business and community for the past eight years. Ella will be their third nightlife venture following the successes of New York City staple, Plan B and alternative art-space, GalleryBar.
"Ella is our spin on Hollywood glamour and the roaring 20's. We want to capture the energy and flair of the time by bringing it back with our music, design and staff", says owner Josh Boyd.
The dynamics of music at Ella will range from solo musicians to small bands. Emerging and established pianists and eclectic New York City DJ's will host nightly shows in the intimate piano bar. This downstairs room will seat 40 people for performances and exclusive private events. Musicians such as Regina Spektor, G Love, Alexa Ray (daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley) are slated to perform. The 1700 square foot top floor of the space will have a combined feeling of the décor of Hampshire House, The Carlyle and Hollywood's Lake Arrowhead Springs Hotel as well. Door designs from the original Camellia House in Chicago's Drake Hotel, will enhance Varney's decorations in the Dorothy Draper style ˆ a style Varney used this year at the 80th Academy Awards Architectural Digest Green Room design.
A list of $12 specialty cocktails, such as the Plum Gin Fizz (Muddled sour plum, 2oz Gin, splash of simple syrup, splash of lemon juice, shaken in a Collins glass) will be served nightly. Bottles of beer are $7 and glasses of wine will range from $10 to $20. Rotating selections of bar snacks, such as prosciutto, olives, and Gus' Pickles, from neighboring stores and the farmer's market, will be offered daily. The Ella staff will fit the theme dressed in classic sexy and sophisticated 1920's attire.
Anyway, the reader sent along what Ella hosted Tuesday night...