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Le Baron Chinatown. Photo: 24hpp.com

Le Baron Chinatown. Photo: Todd Eberle

Address 32 Mulberry Street; NY 10013
by Mosco Street and Columbus Park
Neighbourhood Chinatown | See on map
Metro Canal St [J, N, Q, Z], Chambers St [J, Z]
Website http://www.lebaronchinatown.com/
Hours Daily 23-04
Best night Midweek

It took time and a few false starts, but the Parisian scenester duo made up of graffiti artist-slash-it man André Saraiva and Purple mag’s Olivier Zahm eventually got the New York outpost of their fabled hotspot opened.

As at the other locations, Le Baron Chinatown is shooting for an arty cool-crowd based on, what shall we say, aided self-selection: everyone can try; actually getting past the five bouncers is another matter. Rick Owen is likely to be a better wardrobe friend than Ralph Lauren – but don’t appear to be trying too hard. Take a lesson from the French and affect your most unaffected air.

Inside, the place has that party brothel feel which has become the trademark look of the Le Baron clubs with its black-and-red colour scheme, velvet banquettes, disco balls and smoke machines. Make new friends at the live gigs frequently going on upstairs or lounge and dance to club and pop classics in the basement. The strictly enforced ‘no photos’ policy sounds pretentious but does loosen people up: it’s a venue made for debauchery and good times.

Drinks are pricey, the bouncers can be tricky, and the crowd often too full of themselves but, for better or worse, there’s no other place like it in Gotham and the transatlantic and bi-coastal party crowds will lap it up. If that’s your people, this is where you want to be.