Annabel Karim Kassar Revives an Erstwhile New York Institution

Lovingly named after a Club 82 superstar, the successor to one of New York’s most infamous and fabulous nightclubs makes its entrance as a decadent French restaurant that pays homage to the city’s bygone treasures.

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Location: New York City

Designer: Annabel Karim Kassar

On Offer: Club 82, run by mob wife Anna Genovese with a performing staff of female impersonators, was among New York’s most infamous and fabulous nightclubs from its opening in 1953 until it closed 20 years later. The club is soon to return to its underground location in the East Village, but this summer its first floor becomes a new restaurant named for a Club 82 superstar, who was given the stage name Ella Funt by none other than Salvador Dalís. The restaurant is designed with dramatic flair by Annabel Karim Kassar, with tiled walls allowing the various zones—a French salle à manger playing the part of a main dining room; a shadowy bar; private booths and “whispering bar”—to play peek-a-boo with guests. 

Standout Features: The restrooms are the center of every edgy venue, and Ella Funt’s Gold Toilet room is a must-see. (With its window overlooking the main stairway, it’s also a place to be seen). Kassar’s own paintings adorn the accessible toilet. The main stage, though, is the open kitchen, where guests can applaud chef Nick Koustefanou (of two-martini lunch Park Avenue Modrian bistro The Vasper) as he drags French classics like strip loin with Sauce Estragon and a Tarte au Citron into the 21st century.

(All photography by Seth Caplan.)

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