Word leaked out earlier this summer that Nur Khan and Paul Sevigny had bought the west side's stalwart music dive Don Hill's. Naturally, people familiar with Khan and Sevigny's other hot spots—Rose Bar; the late, lamented Beatrice Inn; Kenmare—thought the duo would be giving the place some kind of cooler-than-cool makeover. Not so, according to Khan, who invited Jack White and Alison Mosshart's band the Dead Weather to play a private show last night, before closing the venue up for renovation.
"We're not doing much to the space at all," Khan said, as the band took the stage. "Putting in new booths and bathrooms, that's about it. We're making Don Hill's a little more female-friendly." Khan went on to note that, as far as he's concerned, New York City nightlife is due a grime injection. "It's been all about bottle service, people throwing money around. I want to bring back old, gritty, creative New York."
Not that the revamped Don Hill's isn't going to be hip. The space is reopening over New York fashion week, and top designers and publications have already booked parties. (We'd tell you who, but then we'd have to kill you.) The crowd at last night's show offered a preview: Stage right, Jamie Bochert and Michael Pitt; stage left, Zoë Kravitz and Annabelle Dexter-Jones; Liv Tyler, front and center. Over by the bar, Terry Richardson, André Saraiva, and Olivier Zahm were a few of the many attendees who had given up on muscling into the main room and were instead taking in the show via the bar's mirror. As the lights strobed, you could just make out Mosshart, swinging her hair around like a dervish, sweat flicking into the crowd. Get ready for the gritty, scenesters. Don Hill's is dead. Long live Don Hill's.