Faux ’80s Disco Club Stages Comeback

“What’s scarier, a larger-than-life mural of Prince, or a gaggle of veil-wearing girls celebrating a bachelorette party?” queried a 1999 review of Varick Street retro bar Culture Club.

We’ll soon find out, now that owner Robert Watman is eying a 15,000-square-foot warehouse space in the Garment District, at 20 West 39th Street, DNAinfo reports. The plans for a new alter to 80s excess are apparently already in the works, and include four floors, three bars and a rooftop for smoking.

But the idea seems to have offended more than good taste, as the neighbors aren’t thrilled that another club is opening in the former Club Speed location. We note that the spa closes by seven every night–not exactly prime clubbing hours. Yet the community board has already granted the bar’s liquor license.

Of course, the only thing more retro than an ’80s bar is an ’80s bar staging a comeback. But will the hangout for “over-the-hill teeny boppers,” as the Shecky’s review goes on to describe them, really have the same appeal 11 years after it opened and three years after it closed? Twenties clubgoers were wearing Huggies in the 80s, and grew up to the tune New Kids on the Block and Vanilla Ice.

Maybe this has more to do with the location, which is not far from Time Square. Perhaps this is a play for nostalgic or ignorant Midwestern tourists, the out-of-the-loop sort that don’t realize ’80s ironizing is so 2000s.

lkusisto@observer.com Faux ’80s Disco Club Stages Comeback