Beauty & Essex; Good. Bad. Ugly

Store front of Beauty and Essex

ph:Harriet Magpie

As described by a model boy employee, Beauty and Essex is “filled with assholes. It’s cool, but who hangs out there?” My reply? People that want to be cool.

The concept on paper is a glitzy speakeasy hidden on a grimy Lower Eastside street, Essex. Considering the scattered execution of this concept, I will re-evaluate their summation. It’s a moderately priced venue with lots of sparkle, THE PERFECT PLACE FOR GUYS ON A BUDGET TO BRING A GIRL AND GET LAID.

booth seating beauty essex
ph: Urban Mogul

Let’s look at the evidence. Like The Darby, and a host of other Great Depression/Prohibition inspired venues, it features a simplistic front. A conservatively dressed door man that ushers you inside, where the party begins. The drinks are named things like “Smoked Opal Martini” and the interior is lush. Like when Daddy Warbucks took orphan Annie to the movies, patrons are surrounded with plush jewel tones, sensuous leathers, glittering crystals, chandeliers, and tastefully dressed patrons. The missing links include the music, (Pressure by Nadia Ali, doesn’t take me back), random homages to TAO and Asian-fusion ventures everywhere in decor and food, and horrendously outfitted employees. Why are the waitresses share uniforms with the girls at Stanton Social?????

There are a few shining points. The interior is stunning. Incongruent and disjointed but stunning. The dining room flaunts clean lines, opulent touches, and a majestic center skylight. The bathroom is memorable; lovingly maintained and decorated with vintage parfum bottles and art deco jewelry. A highlight? Chilled rose champagne served non gratis in the powder room.

What about dem assholes…. They are EVERYWHERE! One man had the nerve to approach my friend (young enough to be his daughter) until his date arrived. Upon arrival, he swiftly left our table and delivered an open mouth kiss/embrace to his lover for the evening.

But I couldn’t blame him entirely. My table was the only one with a significant number of attractive women. The room was filled with young professionals and their poor man’s trophies. (Ruthie is a dime.)

The service was impeccable. Glasses were constantly refilled, napkins refolded, and every item thoroughly explained by our server. But back to these uniforms. Short, red, spandex. On? Short, wide women. I was affronted with cellulite from bum to knee while EATING.

Note to management: You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk handbag. Get these girls some clothes.

I brushed across the food because its terrible. It’s meant for viewing, not consumption. Don’t come here hungry. Come thirsty (for Ruby Mojito, Smoked Opal, Bright Boy Cooler), and enjoy the high life for cheap. 13-16 dollars per drink.

Kim Kardashian at Beauty and Essex
“one of the undoubtedly paid/planned celeb appearances which brings in cute girls)
ph:We R Paparazzi

Beauty & Essex
146 Essex Street (btw Rivington and Stanton)
New York City