February 20, 2014- By Steven E. Greer
BatteryPark.TV received some emails recently about a new show at the relocated Duane Park cabaret, which is now on Bowery Street by Houston Street (so, why is it still called Duane Park?). Our experiences with the place back when it was in Tribeca were not great ones, mostly due to rude and incompetent owners/staff. However, we had an open mind and accepted their offer to visit them.
Marisa Ferrarin, a partner in the restaurant, told us to arrive at 7:00 PM, which seemed too early. Sure enough, we showed up to an empty restaurant.
Greeting us was the same 50-somehting man who was the most recognizable manager of the Tribeca location. We will call him “Mystery D-bag”, because his name does not surface in any of the newspaper and blog stories about Duane Park. We have been told that he has a background in nightclubs, which explains the pretentiousness and attempt to be snooty and velvet-ropey.
Even though no one was in the restaurant when we arrived, he greeted us by saying, “Do you have a reservation?”, as he chewed gum with an open mouth. Marisa saw us being held up at the door, and began to seat us. However, Mr. D-bag wanted to place us in a seat as far away from the stage as possible. He even asked if we would be willing to sit at the bar.
We moved to the bar, and began to feel very creepy, so we politely left. Mr. D-bag seemed surprised.
From what we saw of it, for the five minutes we stayed, the interior of what used to be Bowery Poetry Club is just as poorly constructed as was the place on Duane Street, which had uneven floors and tables with obstructed views of the stage. The staff seem to be the same as ever, and if the tired cabaret acts of unattractive people are the same ones as before, only the employees will be entertained before they head out to some other bar after hours.
If you want a cool New York experience, shows such as Sleep No More or Queen of the Night are your best bet. We have nothing good to say about the new Duane Park.