It’s a sad but harsh truth: most nightclubs in New York do not stand the test of time when it comes to fickle NYC personalities and patrons. The corner hotspot that was trendy and super exclusive last year suddenly loses its sex appeal, dies a slow and painful death hosting corporate holiday parties, and by next year will be replaced by another club under a new name. C’est la vie.
So it’s always fun and oddly encouraging to hear about a brand new club and check it out when it opens. It’s like a blank canvas with unlimited potential. Too new to be pretentious, too fresh to be passé. Which is why I decided to check out Squares, a new nightclub in NoMad on 26th & Park, last Friday night, and why you should too.
Squares opened about a month ago under the ownership of Quality Branded, the restaurant group that houses names such as Quality Eats, Smith & Wollensky, Park Avenue, and many more. Squares is actually right around the corner from Park Avenue Restaurant, and though they have separate entrances, they are in fact connected through the kitchen. Trust me on that one. Park Avenue replaced Hurricane Club in 2014, with beautiful decor and a delicious menu that changes completely every season (hence the addition of Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter within its title, depending on the time of year), and Squares replaced Riff Raff NYC, naturally also a club whose fuse simply died out after 5ish years in the scene.
Squares is obviously shaped like a square and is pretty small, with plush couches and interesting square (duh) tiles of racquetball rackets/trophies across the walls. Top all of that off with the deer & antlers mosaic right behind the DJ booth, and you are basically transported to a private prep-school clubhouse…but in a good way.
The space opened around 11p and had no problem filling up quickly. The bar was packed and there were people from all walks of life there. Couples, groups of guys, girls, the inevitable promoter or two, slim models, and more. People were letting loose more and more as the clock ticked and the DJ played his set, which mainly consisted of mainstream hip hop.
But contrary to what you see at most clubs, the DJ wasn’t the only one in control of the music at Squares. The venue has a live band….yes, an actual band, playing their instruments in sync with whatever the DJ was playing, which made for a totally different experience. The club felt like a modernized jazz club that exuded a layer of old-school glam while playing current music at the same time. It was awesome, and you’ll really only understand it if you check it out in person.
I stuck to champagne all night (so boujie I know) so I can’t speak to the variety of cocktails on their cocktail list or what their bottle service was like. But something tells me I’ll be back at Squares soon. It’s not a mega club where you get lost in the laser beams and unruly masses. It feels more like a library that’s turned into a fun lounge, or a jazz club that also happens to have a disco ball hung inside…you know, just for good measure.
Check out Squares on 26th and Park and let me know what you think! You can thank me later for the recommendation 😉