Under the blue light, a dancer wearing little more than sparkly pasties and a smile captivates the room. A seductive mambo plays while she covers herself with giant feathered wings then turns, doubles over and shows the crowd a very toned and tanned tush. The only time a guy or girl looks away is to rib his or her neighbor for staring too hard. Okay, that’s not totally true. I turn away to sneak over to the deserted buffet table and snap pics of a beautiful whole roasted pig. But then I’m back to staring. Art, I wonder? Does it matter?
A Burlesque show by the Painted Ladies was just one of the spectacles at the invite-only celebration for the opening of The Hall at MP – WIlliamsburg’s newest music venue by Chef Michael Psilakis, right next to his recently opened MP Taverna Willamsburg. That night it felt equal parts concert venue and carnival. There was live music by Jackie Greene, the Hollows and Alex Nelson. On the other side of the room, opposite the stage, people popped into an interactive photo booth, and next to that, tattoos and tarot card readings.
And then there was the food – that was on point. Hundreds of guests feasted on a spread ranging from sushi rolls to tacos carnitas and let’s not forget that whole spit-roasted pig. Plus there were serious cocktails – not your average concert venue watered down mixed drinks. Stars of the nights included the Jalisco Mule (Don Julio Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, fresh ginger simple syrup and lime) and the Brown Derby (Bulleit Bourbon, fresh pressed grapefruit and honey). I imagine that’s one of Chef Psilakis’ goals with this venue – to provide a place where you can catch a live show and actually remember the good food and drinks you had too.
The Hall at MP will have big-name shows from Thursday to Saturday and local groups, DJs and other performers (perhaps more burlesque shows?) from Sunday to Wednesday. Pancakes and Whiskey will surely be back for more.
Article: Caitlin Gunther
Photos: Shayne Hanley