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
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.
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
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
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
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.