The Great White Way: Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club
Tuesday May 8, 2012
In the late 19th Century, the strip of Broadway running north from 23rd Street was named “The Great White Way,” in recognition of the fact that it was one of the first streets illuminated by electric light. That strip, which runs through the NoMad neighborhood, is once again earning the name. Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight some of the exciting new spots lighting up Broadway.
Our third featured spot lighting up the new Great White Way is the 40/40 Club. Although there were no sports bars at the end of the 19th Century, the Great White Way did have a number of wonderful men’s bars, including the world famous Hoffman House bar. Known for the drinks it created, the bar was frequented by the likes of President Grover Cleveland, William Randolph Hearst and “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and it featured the painting Nymphs and Satyr by Adolphe-William Bouguereau. The semi-nude figures in the painting were considered risqué, and the bar only allowed women in who were accompanied by a gentleman.
100 years later, things have changed on the Great White Way, but it is still easy to find some wonderful waterholes to rub elbows with the elite. One of these is the 40/40, in NoMad at the corner of 25th and Broadway, on the very block where Hoffman House once stood.
40/40 is an all-American sports bar and lounge owned by hip hop mogul Jay-Z and partner Juan Perez. If you’re like us you have probably wondered what the name means. 40/40 is a baseball term for a record of hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases in a single season. Only four players can claim this record: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano.
The bar first opened its doors nine years ago on June 18, 2003. It reopened on January 26, 2012 after a $10 million dollar renovation and expansion to capture the lavish warmth of a New York City penthouse.
The large multi-level public space evokes the grandeur and opulence of New York City nightlife and includes a custom 20’ x 20’ illuminated resin top bar encircling an 18-foot tall illuminated champagne tower. Leather paneling, custom millwork and plush lounge banquets, along with a large marble stepped arena style seating area, make for a dramatic space for sports and people watching.
Besides the dramatic public spaces, the club also offers five VIP lounges with luxurious furnishings and very special amenities. Throughout the club, sports memorabilia (many one-of-a-kind) are on display and state-of-the art audio and video equipment put patrons in the middle of the sports action.
How much have things changed? Co-owner Perez, said that he and Jay-Z “. . . tried to create a place that would be favorable to both men and women, and we think we have found it with the combination of sports and an upscale hip lounge.” How much are they the same? You can still mingle with famous guests from all walks of life from Warren Buffet to Spike Lee, Ashanti, and Tim Tebow.
The 40/40 food and menu is relaxed, but full of surprises, from lobster sliders to a triple Portobello stack entrée and the “40/40,” the bar’s namesake drink of Stoli Vanilla Vodka and Godiva white chocolate with a chocolate syrup swirl.
The 40/40 Club,
6 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10010.
212.832.4040. Open 7 days a week from 5PM-4AM. Most major credit cards accepted. firstname.lastname@example.org
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