A Jewel: The Pearl New York Lounge

” …everyone who walks through our door is treated like a VIP.”

If I can make it there,
I’ll make it anywhere,
It’s up to you,
New York, New York. 

When you grow up in a place some people refer to as the “The Armpit of America,” you truly long for New York. Okay … my deep South hometown ain’t so bad.  The hot, muggy place has come up quite a bit in the world since I hung my hat there.  But nothing can compare to pull of New York City, especially for a smart, creative youngster like me whose sophisticated interior designer mom talked it up quite a bit while we were munching on grits and collard greens. She had once been on track to attend the prestigious New York Parsons School of Design but instead chose a different path … or it chose her.

I grew up believing that creative dreams came true in the Big Apple. Novels are published, plays are produced, and movies are made. I imagined famous, talented folks walking the streets, rubbing shoulders with the sort of people who can make you famous … or at least recognize talent and individuality. Like the trappings of the Christmas season, it could all be a bunch of hype but it was fun to believe.    

So every time I go to New York I can’t help but feel that I’m having a grand adventure.  I realize that, to some extent, this seals my label of one who just fell off the turnip truck.  But who cares?  Who doesn’t enjoy feeling like a kid on Christmas morning?  As adults, I believe we should cherish anything that evokes the feeling of candy canes and magical new toys.

Imagine my excitement at being invited to the opening of a brand new night spot in New York City!  In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that such an invitation would land in my lap.  I couldn’t miss it. Since I had other business in New York, I planned a day in the city that would culminate with my visit to The Pearl New York Lounge.

And what at pearl it wasAs I walked into the long, narrow lounge, I immediately noticed that it was like walking into a jewel. Like the shimmering shallow grooves that hug a pearl, the pristine white seating twisted in eye catching loops that somehow provided perfectly engineered space to sit and have a drink, chat with friends, or check out the muscle-bound bartender in the corner.

Don’t conjure up images of The Little Mermaid.  It wasn’t like that. It was more like walking into the home of your most sophisticated yet down to earth neighbor who also happens to be your best friend.  People are smiling like family and you wonder how the hell she keeps the place so spotless as she hands you your favorite drink. You don’t know all the others she’s invited but they look quite approachable.  No matter what they’re wearing or what “type” they are, they magically fit it because they’re her friends. She’s the-real-deal cool who knows it doesn’t matter how a person appears on the outside, they’re all human and that’s fabulous. And because of her conviction, they’re all suddenly okay, too.   

Do you see that one, lone person sitting in the corner?  She’s okay, too, but it won’t be long before someone starts chatting with her, just dying to find out who she and is and what’s in her head.  Oh, that was me chatting away with her after my second martini … Well, anyway, The New York Pearl Lounge met my expectations of adventure, open-mindedness, and a fantastic time in New York.  I had the pleasure of meeting the owners, Jeff and BK, who were quite interested to hear about and be part of Aberration Nation.

They’re here today to share with us a little bit more about the latest addition to the exciting Chelsea district in New York City, a place where dreams come true … at least for dreamers like me who tumble off turnip trucks on the way to growing up. 

What inspired you to create and open the The New York Pearl Lounge?

Our inspiration was the opportunity itself, providing us with a chance to open new exciting business … and what better place than the most exciting city in the world?

How does the Pearl differ from similar New York establishments?

We just do things in our own specific way and are happy watching our business grow. Each business has its own identity. We wanted to create an environment that would cater to the energy and soul of New York City, a place where culture could come together and kick back or explode, depending on the individual’s mood and desire.

I’m sure that you will welcome anyone but is there a specific type of individual who may be drawn to the Pearl based on your vision and business plan?

We originally wanted to open a new spot where any type of individual can discover something that he/she finds worth experiencing–both in those around them and within themselves.

Aberration Nation has a strong underlying theme of overcoming and learning from the tough knocks life throws our way. Did you have any challenges as you worked towards opening the Pearl, and if so, how did you deal with these and what did you learn?

We did face some considerable challenges while opening our business, but we also knew starting out that it would take a lot to overcome all the difficulties. Being prepared help us deal with some of the major obstacles.

If you think about it, creating an establishment that would engage the most interesting clientele in the world is no small feat to overcome. Through hard work and imagination we have accomplished our goal. We also have the advantage of working with an incredible staff.

The decor is unique and creative. Can you share with us the concept behind the design? How does it reflect your vision for the Pearl?

The design reflects our way of saying that something new and different in Chelsea can be a great thing. The key was finding a balance between style and comfort, the future, and in some ways drawing from the eloquence of the past. We had a sense of what we wanted to accomplish. After that it was just a matter of making sure that vision was turned into a reality.

When I was at the Pearl, it gave me a feel of being at a friend’s home, hanging out with interesting people and having a drink. While highly sophisticated, it seemed quite cozy and comfortable. Was this your intention?

Yes, we had this idea of making our lounge cozy but also an exotic type of place.

How are you reaching out to the creative community to attract patrons who will appreciate your vision for the Pearl?

We welcome anyone who has some good practical ideas and wants to collaborate with us in making Pearl Lounge an even better place to hang out.

I’ve noticed that there are not too many restaurants or clubs in Chelsea. Why do think that is, and do you envision the Pearl filling a gap in that regard?

There is not any specific gap. We are simply adding one more interesting place to go to besides the already existing ones.

On a lighter note, do you always intend to have muscular bartenders? I suspect that may attract a few folks.

We did not specifically intend on having muscular bartenders and that is why we several bartenders. We chose our staff based on their professional skills. And personality was a priority! Our business is all about the customer having a great time to the point where they come back and of course bring their friends and business associates.

I’ve noticed that there seem to be many private events at the Pearl since opening. What types of events have been held, and is the Pearl also open to the general public?

The Pearl Lounge was always intended for service to the general public and we will continue that vision. Actually the general public is our greatest priority! Don’t get me wrong, we love doing private events. And the people involved in these events have been very, very happy. But you grow a business one customer at a time. And everyone who walks through our door is treated like a VIP. But my suggestion would be this: if you’re in the neighborhood shopping or hitting the galleries drop in. I promise you will have a wonderful time.

I loved my night at the Pearl! When can I come back?

Come back tomorrow! We’ll have your martini ready …

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