Estate @ Limelight
New York, New York



“Party monsters” not invited.

Limelight, the huge, historic venue famously located inside a church on 18th Street and Sixth Avenue in Chelsea, has re-opened its infamous doors with a new look and a new owner. The seedy Limelight legacy has been smothered with new sound and lighting, completely renovated rooms, a DJ booth with a private bathroom, and a totally new style. It may look the same on the outside, but inside is a whole other story.

There have been a few special events already hosted at Limelight, but currently the club is only open for its gay party on Sunday nights. Of course, that didn’t stop the NightStalkers from tearing through it to find out if it’s living up to New York’s expectations.

Stalker #1
The night I went there wasn’t much of a line, which was good because it was freezing out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t much warmer inside. It was really drafty in there, but most churches are whether they’re converted into nightclubs or not. I had to give up my coat and it was all I could think about as I wandered aimlessly around the renovated space. I don’t remember it being so complicated; I couldn’t find one room once I left it so I had to keep walking and walking through all the rooms to find the one where I wanted to plant myself. Cold and confusing: not a good start. But there wasn’t an invasive search at the door, which was refreshing for a New York City nightclub. I liked the feeling of walking in with my dignity.

I liked the set-up of the bathroom, like a giant unisex wonderland that wasn’t unbearably dirty. I was so impressed with the bathroom that I tripped on my way through the urinals and fell on my face in front of a bunch of guys. But I can’t hold that against the club, that was my own stupidity. What I can hold against the club was the lack of atmosphere. I mean, you have this grand space, a church, and you cover it up? Everything was whitewashed and the church element was almost totally gone. Not that I know too much about club design, but I would have played up the church part, not washed it away.

Overall it was a decent night. I did like all the side rooms for what they were, even if they didn’t really enhance the church-like atmosphere that should have shown through, and the dancefloor was spacious even if it was a little too chilly for my tastes. I don’t know if I’d make Limelight a weekend staple, but it could be fun for an off night.

Stalker #2
I don’t know what she’s talking about up there. I thought they did an incredible job of renovating Limelight. The sound system was amazing, and I was impressed with the catwalks, the smaller rooms, the lighting, how clean it was. The drinks were a little pricey, but that’s New York. The prices sort of went with the atmosphere of the bar areas; very loungey. And the music was great; they have a really impressive DJ line-up. I agree that it was a little drafty, but since Miss NightStalker was wearing an almost see-through shirt she might have been a little colder than the rest of us.

Stalker #3
Don’t quote me on this, but I heard the construction was shabby on this place. A friend of a friend who played there said that a bathroom sink was ripped right out of the wall when he leaned on it. Made me not want to venture onto anything but the main floor, but after a few drinks I braved the whole place (with my lawyer’s number on speed dial on the trusty cell). I never went to the old Limelight, so I wasn’t expecting anything when I walked in. In fact, I was a little hesitant, just based on its reputation. But after initially walking in I thought it was cool. The front entrance is all lit up, and the coat check was a big space, which meant that I didn’t have to wait in line inside after waiting outside like in other clubs. And come on, you’re dancing to house music in a church – that’s like a guaranteed surreal experience. Plus, there were all these little rooms to explore, so you weren’t just stuck in one place with one atmosphere. It was actually warmer, atmosphere-wise, in the lounge areas, and that was refreshing after sweating on the enormous dancefloor. The ceilings in the main room make it intimidating! And it wasn’t terribly expensive to get in, relative to other clubs in the area, so I think I got my money’s worth.

Copyright 2003 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2003 TESTA Communications