Inside ‘Aspen on Steroids’ and Webster Hall’s Reopening

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Photo: Courtesy of Lewis + Dizon

Aspen Social, the restaurant Steve Lewis and partner Mark Dizon are designing for Greg Brier (of the Brier Group) in Vikram Chatwal’s Stay Hotel, is two weeks from being ready, and will open soon after with Amalia’s chef Adam Moss turning out small plates. Take a look at the renderings: In the front bar area a backlit tile-and-wormwood mosaic will reproduce a forest. In a narrow lounge accommodating about 25-40 people, a glass wall has been acid-etched to resemble an abstract forest. And in a dining room that seats 45, Jason Miller’s $100,000 ceramic antler chandelier is surrounded by barnyard wood for an effect that Steve Lewis describes thusly: “It’s as if the Incredible Hulk was standing on the roof of a restaurant and he pounded it.” To Lewis’s dismay (he’s a PETA member), the chairs had to be leather since he only had two weeks to work on the place. Throw in an infinity forest in the dining room and what do you have? “Aspen on steroids.”

Lewis and Dizon tell us they’re also hard at work on restoring and modernizing Webster Hall for a mid-November reopening. The club’s emphasis won’t be on bottle service, they say, but they are building 94 tables. A state-of-the-art recording studio will go into the basement so that bands can cut tracks from any of the five stages (there used to be just two). “There’s a changing atmosphere in today’s club economy,” Lewis tells us, “and I think it’s about time for a big club, with entertainment value and door admission, that’s not necessarily bottle-service oriented — an old-school music-type club where good music and attitude counts.” A taste of that: An eighteen-foot wide Baroque-style iron and glass screen, located on the stage, will split open to allow burlesque acts and the like to emerge from their dressing rooms. Lewis says classic woods and wallpapers will reemerge — “It’ll be just funky enough to where you’ll have a good time but clean enough to where you’ll feel comfortable in its environment.”

Aspen Social, 157 W. 47th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-221-7200

Earlier: Greg Briar Will Open Another Aspen in Vikram Chatwal’s 212 Hotel