A petite blonde in a tight ponytail sashayed through the metal doors into the depths below. But three 40-something women in puffy coats grimaced when told it’s reservations only. An unshaven man in a black beanie couldn’t take the wait anymore and stormed off.
Little Sister, which opened under the Moxy NYC East Village Hotel in September, is the latest slice of the Hamptons to land right on the edge of the once-gritty East Village. There aren’t any graffiti-covered bathrooms and beer-soaked floors; instead this glittery lounge offers gold-speckled lacquerware tables and leather banquettes firm enough to withstand the sharpest stilettos.
The Place: Located across the street from Webster Hall, and three floors below ground, the golden-hued room was designed by the Rockwell Group and features curved wooden beams and a sheet of crystal whisky decanters anchored to the ceiling. It’s like partying in a ship’s hull.
The Crowd: Around midnight on a recent Friday, the lounge was filled with 20-somethings from a financial consulting company who swayed in reluctant harmony. A nearby table full of late-40s businessmen in French cuffed shirts danced strenuously with younger women in short, flouncy dresses and thigh-high boots.
They downed Dom Pérignon while one woman shimmied clumsily on the velvet couches. One man with a South American accent was overheard telling his date, “Always tip the bathroom attendant first, then you can do anything you want.”
The Playlist: DJ Price, a regular here, mixed upbeat club favorites like “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, and “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G. with newer hits including “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo and “Dancing With a Stranger” by Sam Smith and Normani.
Getting in: Guarding the front door with praetorian precision is Wass Stevens, the former assistant district attorney, ex-boxer and longtime doorman, who has made and ruined many clubgoers’ nights. If he knows you, you’re in. If not, better luck next time. Try making a reservation online, but it’s no guarantee.
Drinks: You may want to check your credit limit before ordering. While most cocktails are about $20, including the Sister Midnight (made with Botanist Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Lemon and Crème de Violette), the drink menu also includes a bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII that goes for $10,000, as well as glow-in-the-dark jeroboams of Dom Pérignon for $7,600. An eight percent administrative fee (not a tip) is also added to the bill.
Little Sister, 112 East 11th Street (between Third and Fourth Avenues); 212-888-1095; Littlesisternyc.com. Open Thursday to Sunday, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.