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September 2 2014

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Bar Naná to Open With a Bang

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Bar Nana's Olivier Theyskens Uniforms

In New York, a promising nightlife venue or two is always opening during fashion week. As buzz building goes, it’s sort of a no-brainer by now. But designers aren’t just party guests at Bar Naná: The server and hostess uniforms have been designed by Olivier Theyskens (left), the bartender looks by Theory. And when Prabal Gurung inaugurates the space—which was designed by architect Jeffrey White—on Saturday with his post-show bash, he’ll be pumping his brand-new fragrance in through the vents.

Both designers are friends of Kyle Hotchkiss Carone, a 26-year-old nightlife whiz kid and understudy of sorts to Manhattan hospitality veteran David Rabin. They teamed up for nearby Cole’s—which opened in mid-January, in time for last fashion week—and for their latest venture have partnered with Jeffrey Jah and too many other names to list here.

At 2,300 square feet, Naná bears a passing resemblance to the original Double Seven, one of Rabin’s more storied clubs. (Rabin is also behind Jimmy, which is hosting this season’s Proenza Schouler after-party.) Yesterday, two days before go time, it was still noisy with circular saws and power drills. The tufted leather banquettes hadn’t yet been installed, but at least they were there. “Seeing furniture makes me feel much better,” Carone said.

Nana rendering

He was preparing to hang the art, forty or so black-and-white illustrations culled from various editions of Nana, Émile Zola’s canonical tale of a fetching Parisian prostitute who rises to the rank of grand cocotte. (She then meets a dreadful end, but never mind that.) Accordingly, the design has accents of Second Empire—and yet the airy vibe of a party den in, say, Punta del Este. French- and Spanish-language erotica will line one wall. Those hadn’t been installed yet either.

More bar than club, with Latin-inspired tapas on the menu and bottle service available but not really advertised, the venue is a very of-the-moment hybrid—”nightlife for grown-ups,” as Rabin put it. We’ll see if that description holds true over the next few days, which also includes after-parties for Public School on Sunday and Theyksens on Monday.

Photo: Olivier Theyskens; Rendering by Bar Naná architect/designer Jeffrey White

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