Patrick Bateman’s New York: What Happened To The World of American Psycho

temptitle2

You will never get a reservation at Dorsia.

Nor will you ever live in the American Gardens building, or dine at Barcadia, Pastels, or Crayons, where the tables are covered in paper for you to draw on.

crayons2

No matter how rich, famous, and powerful you become, it simply won’t happen, for one simple reason: they’re all fictional, dreamed up by author Bret Easton Ellis.

But American Psycho, set in the soulless, superficial, status-seeking world of 1980’s New York finance, name-drops dozens of restaurants and clubs that actually did exist during that era, the elite NYC hot spots where you and I would have absolutely no shot of ever getting in (admit it!).

What still remains from the world of American Psycho? Are Patrick Bateman’s old haunts still around, turning away all but those graced with a much sought after reservation? Or have the Dorsia’s of the world been replaced by Shake Shacks and Duane Reades?

Let’s have a look! The locations below are presented in the order they appear in the film. If you ever dined/partied at any, please leave your memories in the comments!

001 - Tunnel Quote

TUNNEL

002 - Tunnel Now copy

Address: 220 12th Avenue (btw. 27th & 28th Streets)
Status: Gone (1987-2001)
Replaced By: ENK-NYC (a design collective)
How To Secure A Reservation: Don’t need one – just check the site for retail shows
History: Tunnel was built in an enormous warehouse that trains once passed through in the early 1900’s on their way to the 11th avenue freight line. Goods were loaded or unloaded here before freight cars were floated across the Hudson to New Jersey.

003 - Tunnel Now copy

The warehouse’s dozens of tunnel-shaped rooms were given a full makeover when it became a club in 1987, with motifs ranging from an S&M dungeon to a Victorian library. Though a founder once claimed that “There is no scene anymore…It’s just a bunch of people who go out, uptown or downtown, and look well,” it soon became one of New York’s premiere clubs, with lines stretching around the block.

Tunnel was shut down in 2001 under Giuliani’s quality-of-life campaign, which also partially led to the downfall of Twilo and Limelight.

004 - Harvard Club Quote

THE HARVARD CLUB OF NEW YORK

005a - harvard club

Address: 27 West 44th Street (btw. 5th & 6th)
Status: Still exists!
How To Secure A Reservation: Go to Harvard, join the club, pay dues
History: Incorporated in 1887, the Harvard Club’s building was designed by Charles McKim, of McKim, Mead, & White in 1894. Originally located in a townhouse on West 22nd Street, Harvard chose the block due to proximity to other such prestigious members-only organizations. The club features a restaurant, hotel rooms, a gym, and other amenities.

006 - fluties

FLUTIE’S – PIER 17

007 - fluties copy

Address: 89 South Street @ Pier 17
Status: Gone (1986 – 1991)
Replaced by: Sequoia
How To Secure A Reservation:
Just show up (though, er, might want to read the reviews)
History:
Opened in 1986 by then New Jersey Generals quarterback Doug Flutie, Flutie’s-Pier 17 was a restaurant at the South Street Seaport covering 15,000 square feet, with views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Flutie claimed in an interview with Time that this was his way of “planting a foot in New York City. I’ve always been known as a Boston athlete, and this is one way I could become a New Yorker.”

Other than the occasional mention of it as a celebrity hot spot, I couldn’t find anything else on it (other than a big gay protest that went down in 1990 due to a “straights only” policy). Anyone know? It’s hard to imagine the hippest of hip New Yorkers going down to the South Street Seaport for a party venue.

007b

ARCADIA

007c

Address: 21 East 62nd Street (btw. Fifth & Madison)
Status: Gone (1984 – 1998)
Replaced by: Amaranth Restaurant
How To Secure A Reservation: Four empty tables at lunch time suggest you should be OK
History: I honestly couldn’t hope to write anything as unbelievably eloquent as the NY Times’ 1994 review of Arcadia, which says it all:

Arcadia is lovely at dinner, but at lunchtime it is almost magical. The restaurant is small and cozy, the walls wrapped in a woodsy mural by Paul Davis that defines the space as a place where time does not count. When you walk out of the sunlight into this gracious flower-filled room, you leave the real world behind…

Most days the banquettes that ring the room are occupied by an astonishingly varied group of people. One Friday a famous editor sat by the entrance. Next to her was a beautifully dressed woman with her small and beautifully behaved daughter; they were both wearing flowered hats. Flanking them was a group of men in identical blue blazers, and they were seated beside an older couple. But everybody’s attention was riveted on a table in the middle of the room where a short man and a tall woman sat nibbling each other’s fingers, oblivious to everything but themselves…

Well, almost everything: they did pay attention to their food. But then, at Arcadia the food does not allow itself to be ignored.

Interesting sidenote: Bateman goes to a place called “Barcadia” in the film. One wonders if they couldn’t get the rights to the Arcadia name.

008 - espace

Espace

009 - espace copy

Address: 9 East 16th Street (btw. 5th & Broadway)
Status: Gone (1989 – 1993?)
Replaced by: Steak Frites
How To Secure A Reservation: I wouldn’t worry too much
History: Though it was important enough to merit one of my favorite American Psycho quotes, I can find only find two mentions of Espace online: an ad in a 1989 issue of New York Magazine (“Romance your Valentine in the intimacy of our new, stylish French bistro”), and a follow up article mentioning its demise in 1993.

010 - huberts

HUBERT’S

011 - huberts copy

Address: 575 Park Avenue (btw. 62nd & 63rd – entrance on 63rd)
Status: Gone
Replaced by: Park Avenue [insert current season here] (a restaurant whose menu changes by the season)
How To Secure A Reservation: Might need Patrick Bateman on this one
History:
The only mention I could find of Hubert’s (don’t pronounce the T!) was a 1997 NY Times article wondering about the disappearance of the restaurant stars of the 1980’s:

“Barry Wine. Len Allison and Karen Hubert Allison. Jonathan Waxman. Brendan Walsh. A decade ago, their names were on the cognoscenti’s lips, their unlisted phone numbers eagerly sought by yuppies determined to sample $50 beggar’s purses and $30 roast chicken. The excitement created by their restaurants — the Quilted Giraffe, Huberts

“Restaurant mania has again gripped New York, but this time it is more restrained: diners are more discriminating: they expect value for their money.”

Though I’ve never eaten there, Park Avenue NYC, Hubert’s replacement, is very well reviewed, and changes menus and decor by the season. Sounds very much like a Bateman hang-out.

012 - Texarkana

TEXARKANA

013 - Texarkana copy

Address: 64 West 10th Street (btw. 5th & 6th Aves)
Status: Gone
Replaced by: Alta
How To Secure A Reservation: Not hard, but frequently packed
History: Opened in 1982, Texarkana was a Cajun-Louisiana-style restaurant that quickly grew to hip prominence. According to the 1983 NY Times restaurant review, “Regulars know they must wait until 9 or 9:30 if they want meaty, flavorful suckling pig that turns on a spit in the big open fireplace…”

And as for the clientelle: “whether dressed in expensive, fashionable sweaters or in more gussied-up supper-club outfits, regulars have in common a taste for high-style Gulf Coast specialties prepared under the direction of Abe de la Houssaye.”

Unlike the hollow, cavernous space depicted in the movie, Texarkana had “walls painted almost exactly the creamy coral color of the restaurant’s pungent crawfish etouffe, … reminiscent of the sort of Creole courtyard found in the French Quarter of New Orleans.”

fix

HARRY’S

016 - harrys copy

Address: 1 Hanover Square
Status: Closed, re-opened
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead
History: According to legend, Harry Poulakakos came from Greece to New York City in 1954 hoping to get a job with a wealthy American uncle, only to discover the uncle actually worked as a counterman in a coffee shop.

Harry took a number of jobs and soon found himself at DelMonico’s. After working his way up the ranks to management, he opened Harry’s in 1972 in the historic India House building (once home to the NY Cotton Exchange, the first commodities market in the US), which quickly became a Wall Street institution. Three more locations were later opened in the area, and Harry was famous enough to have his son’s birth announced on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Harry’s closed in 2003, but was later re-opened as Harry’s Cafe & Steakhouse under his son’s ownership in the original location.

INDOCHINE

indochine

Address: 430 Lafayette Street (btw. 4th St & Astor Place)
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead
History: Described as “faux French colonial Vietnamese” by New York Magazine, Indochine has been in business since 1984, and Yelp reviews suggests that little has changed in terms of its pretentious clientelle.

More of interest, Indochine is located in the gorgeous Colonnade Row, a series of four Greek revival buildings dating back to 1830.

017 - Fill in Endochine

Originally nine in number, John Jacob Astor owned the property and lived in 424. The Colonnade Row buildings were among the first to be landmarked in New York City in 1965, and while current owners have been talking about restoration for decades, nothing has yet taken place.

NELL’S

017a

Address: 246 W 14th Street – btw. 7th & 8th
Status: Gone
Replaced by: Darby
How To Secure Reservations: Call ahead…but do you want to?
History: The point of the infamous Nell’s nightclub, according to owner Keith McNally, was “a club for rejects, for people who aren’t allowed into other clubs.” Strange then, that Nell’s quickly became famous for its celebrity clientele, much of whom was turned away or forced to wait at in line (and pay the $5 cover).

Designed as a British men’s club, New York Magazine’s 1986 description sounds pretty American Psycho-esque: Nell’s “has preserved some of the more obnoxious hallmarks of contemporary New York nightlife: there are velvet ropes and brass stanchions out front, the doormen pick and choose from among the crowed, and the bouncers can be beligerent.”

THE CORNELL CLUB

018 - cornell club copy

Address: 6 East 44th Street (btw. 5th & Madison Aves)
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Go to Cornell, join the club, pay dues (hot tip: sneak in by going to lower tier affiliate school Wake Forest!)
History: Founded in 1889, the club bounced around from a number of different hotel locations, ultimately landing at it’s current address in 1989. The most interesting fact about the building is that it used to be home to the Chicago Pneumatic Tube Corporation, a convenience that sadly seems to have gone extinct.

THE NY YACHT CLUB

019 - NY Yacht copy

Address: 37 West 44th Street (Btw. 5th & 6th Aves.)
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Membership is invitation only. Probably should be rich and powerful.
History: The NY Yacht Club was founded in 1844 by 9 “sportsmen,” who then immediately proceeded to sail from the Battery to Newport, RI to mark the occasion. Its original clubhouse was in Hoboken; the organization moved in 1901 to its permanent home on West 44th Street. Members have included John Jacob Astor, William F. Buckley, Ted Kennedy, Jay Gould, and Bernie Madoff (resigned).

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The nautical-themed building is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the most beautiful in New York City, with three ships’ sterns, seeming almost to drip from the stonework.

019a - four seasons

THE FOUR SEASONS

019b - four seasons copy

Address: 99 East 52nd Street (btw. Park & Lexington)
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead
History: Opened in 1959, very little has changed at the Four Seasons, from the Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson-designed interior, to the Pablo Picasso-painted curtain in the entrance hallway. The Four Seasons is also said to have been the first to create menus that changed by season in the US, and according to Wikipedia, is also the first restaurant in the US to cook with fresh mushrooms (as opposed to dried).

019c - four seasons windows copy copy

One fascinating bit about the Four Seasons – pay attention to the windows next time you walk by, which are lined with a sort of hanging gold chain. If you look closely, you’ll see them ripple rhythmically – yet, there’s no mechanism to cause this. The one time I ate here, a waiter explained that it had to do with the temperature differential between the outside and inside.

020 - yale club

THE YALE CLUB

021 - yale club copy

Address: 50 Vanderbilt Ave @ 44th Street
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Go to Yale, join the club, pay dues
History: Though Patrick Bateman doesn’t hold Yale in the highest regard, its club is actually the largest in the world, with 11,000 members. Founded in 1897 in a brownstone at 17 East 26th Street, the current building was constructed in 1915 on what was said to be the location where Yale alum Nathan Hale was executed for espionage by the British Army (the exact location is actually heavily disputed).

022 - canal bar

CANAL BAR

023 - canal bar copy

Address: 511 Greenwich Street @ Spring Street
Status: Gone
Replaced by: Don Hill’s
How To Secure A Reservation: Haha…
History: From a 1989 New York Magazine article about hip downtown restaurants:

“There’s no room for attitude at Canal Bar tonight. It’s not crowded enough. Alvin is on a diet, but he can’t help finishing the Parmesan-chicken sadnwich. We are debating whether the woman in the next booth is a man when Brian arrives to check the meal count. “We’re still doing 200 a night,” he says, “but it’s only a question of time.”

Later in the same issue devoted to the excitement of Downtown NYC, a restaurant consultant notes:

“Uptown is safe. It’s boring.  It’s ‘near the house.’ When you’re at a table in the Rainbow Room, you know you’re in New York. When you’re crushed at the Canal Bar, you know you’re downtown.

Then, a third article states that:

“to appear [at Canal Bar] would be tantamount to declaring…that the best you could manage was to straggle into last year’s watering hole after the herd had moved on.”

I love that Canal Bar went from being uncool to hip to being uncool in just one issue.

024 - arizona

ARIZONA 206

025 - arizona copy

Address: 206 East 60th Street (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves)
Status: Gone (1987 – 1991)
Replaced by: Patsy’s (chain)
How To Secure A Reservation: Just walk in
History: Dreamed up by a former oral surgeon, Arizona 206 was a Native American-inspired restaurant in a nook of a space on the Upper East Side. In its 1985 review, New York Magazine warned that Arcadia (see above) has a new rival for their lobster club sandwich, concluding that “if the house steers clear of arrogance and complacency,” perhaps there’s hope it’ll stick around. As of a 1987 review, things are still going strong. By 1991, gone.

026 - orso petaluma

ORSO’S

027 - orso copy copy

Address: 322 W 46th Street (btw. 8th & 9th Aves)
Status: Still exists (1983 – )
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead
History: From a 1991 article in NY Magazine that feels fitting to American Psycho:

“It’s Tuesday night at 6:20…Every table in the 78-seat restaurant is taken. A dolled-up quartet on its way to Cats pleads with Juliann Mahony, who’s in charge of the reservation book. “I’m sorry,” she says, with a polite glance at the page, “but I’m sure you’d have a lovely dinner next door…and they do have a few tables left.”

A father-and-daughter operation, Orso opened with an understated flair, and kept building in reputation. Before long, owner Joe Allen would look around the room and find that “every face is famous.” Never eaten here before, but Orso’s is still packing in the good reviews.

PETALUMA

028 - petaluma

Address: 1356 1st Ave @ 73rd Street
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead to be sure
History: What’s interesting about Bateman’s response to Paul Allen’s (Owen in the screenplay) disappearance is that both restaurants he mentions are still in business. Opened in 1985, and the restaurant farthest north on our list, Petaluma seems to have found success, like Orso, in being understated: simple design, quality food. And, within a month of opening in 1985, Petaluma had become one of the hot spots of New York.

028a - river cafe au bar

RIVER CAFE

028b - river cafe

Address: 1 Water Street, Brooklyn
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead
History: Patrick Bateman would be willing to go to Brooklyn! But, only so long as he could stay within view of Wall Street. River Cafe, with its sweeping views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, opened in 1977. At the time, Brooklyn was down and out, and the idea of opening a fancy restaurant in a derelict waterfront was risky at best. Over 30 years later, River Cafe still seems to be impressing customers, and according to the restaurant’s website, the term “free range chicken” was invented here. Huh.

AU BAR

028c

Address: 39 East 58th Street (btw. Madison & Park)
Status: Gone
Replaced by: Lavo
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead
History: From a 1988 New York Magazine review:

“[Au Bar] is located in the basement of an office building on East 58th Street. There’s no name outside. Just the usual status symbols: two power hungry doormen, six yards of rope, and a desperate crowd. Inside, it’s very English with mix-and-match sconces, imported wainscoting, leather books, and antique table coverings that are falling apart after three months of drinks and dinners. “They were too antique,” [club owner Howard] Stein says.”

…For now, [Stein] is enjoying life at the top, waving at the middle-aged men with their gold Rolexes, their skin gleaming with apres-tan cream. The women, their faces very pale – who wants to ruin the cosmetic work? – blow kisses at him…”

Really says it all.

029 - smith

SMITH & WOLLENSKY

030 - smith copy

Address: 797 3rd Ave @ 49th Street
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Call head
History: Now a chain with locations in Chicago and Las Vegas, the first Smith & Wollensky’s opened in 1977 in the distinctive wood paneled building at 49th. Its website describes it as “A prime spotting place for local celebrities, political figures and even a few movie stars.” Neato.

21

030a - 21 copy copy

Address: 21 West 52nd Street – Btw. 5th & 6th
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Call ahead
History: Originally opened as a prohibition-era speak-easy in the Village, 21 later moved to its current location in 1929. During raids, a system of chutes apparently allowed bartenders to dump all alcohol into the sewer system, and the owners were never caught by police. Meanwhile, a brick “wall” in the basement was actually a door, leading to a wine cellar in the basement of the adjacent building. In the original screenplay, Batemen was supposed to have lunch with Detective Kimball here.

030b - 21 copy

21 is best known for the cast-iron jockeys on its balcony, which represent famous race horses and their stable colors.

035 - 150 wooster

150 WOOSTER

036 - 150 Wooster Fill in

Address: 150 Wooster St btw. Houston & Prince
Status: Gone
Replaced by: A Maclaren Showroom
How To Secure A Reservation:
Don’t worry about it
History:
Once a trashy, graffiti-covered super-hip bar frequented by such clientele as Paul Simon, Robert De Niro, and David Geffen, 150 Wooster is today a Maclaren showroom. What sort of items are exhibited here?

LE CIRQUE

037 - Le Cirque - 60 E 65th Street copy

Address: 60 E 65th Street btw. Park & Madison
Status: Gone
Replaced by: Daniel
How To Secure A Reservation: Good luck
History: Does Le Cirque need an introduction? Once located in the former Mayfair Hotel, Le Cirque operated from 1974-1996, then moved, closed, and re-opened. Today, ultra fancy Daniel occupies its former space.

FLAMINGO EAST

038 - Flamingo East - 219 2nd Avenue copy

Address: 219 2nd Ave btw. 13 & 14th
Status: Gone
Replaced by: Professor Thom’s
How To Secure A Reservation: Haha…
History: Here’s a way to bring it all together: Flamingo East creator Darrell Maupin first worked as a waiter at Odeon, then as a maitre d’ at Indochine, and then helped put Canal Bar together. Flamingo East was once a hot spot, today…it’s Professor Thom’s!

OYSTER BAR

039 - Oyster Bar - Grand Central copy

Address: Grand Central Terminal
Status: Still exists
How To Secure A Reservation: Call to avoid the line
History: Oyster Bar has been nestled under the gorgeous vaulted ceilings of Grand Central Terminal since it opened in 1913. It hit a dry spell in 1974, nearly going bankrupt and becoming little more than a “coffee shop.” It was rejuvenated, and has been charming customers ever since.

———————

What fascinates me most about this list are the physical locations: how quickly an otherwise bland, boxy brick building can suddenly become the trendiest place in New York City, with lines out the door and angry bouncers shoving you away…and then go to being “tired and old” overnight (and ultimately, in one case, to become a baby carriage showroom).

I don’t think Patrick Bateman would recognize the New York of today, and overall, I think that’s a good thing. But that’s not to say we’ve escaped the superficial trappings that plagued the 80’s. They’ve certainly matured (you might say “mutated”) over two decades, but I think the scariest thing is that there very well could exist a Patrick Bateman of 2011…

…and none of us would recognize him (my guess: he’s the guy FreshDirect delivered to before your drop-off).

-SCOUT

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115 comments

  1. Lovely article, I’ve really enjoyed it (as usual ;)!

  2. What a fantastic amount of research and legwork.Thank you! I think I’ll make a few stops to these places next time I’m in NYC – especially the NY Yacht club – what a fantastic building!

  3. I loved the 4 8 15 16 23 42 numbers above Flamingo East (Professor Thom’s). I had to read them twice going “Why do I know those numbers”. Duh! Nice piece.

    • I know, I was thinking that I know one millionaire that won’t go near that spot.

      • Professor Thom’s was a big LOST bar – they held weekly viewings upstairs (tons of couches and complete quiet when the show was on)- complete with shot drinking games and trivia questions. I still miss it! The show that is….

  4. I’d only ever gone to Flamingo East in the early to mid 2000’s, after it became a nightclub space, and a lovely space it was, too for a nightclub.

    Odeon is of course still around, but the one space nearby that I was sorry to see vanish was on the corner of Chambers and Church, now occupied by the Smythe Hotel. I’m not sure what building it was exactly, but the second floor was a gorgeous ballroom with huge floor to ceiling windows and a lovely chandelier. It would have made for a lovely venue, but now there stands a hotel.

    If you want to compare and contrast some older scenes of the cityscape, I can recommend Alan Tannenbaum’s work, though it’s predominately downtown:
    http://www.sohoblues.com/soho_blues.html

  5. This was a GREAT read! Thanks.

  6. Another swell post. The chain swag window treatments at Four Seasons move gently as a result of the HVAC diffusers below, lining the perimeter window-walls, something Philip Johnson evidently took credit for having devised, though more likely a stroke of serendipidity.

  7. Oh man, nostalgia alert! I was a bartender in my 20s here in NYC in the ’80s so, yeah, I know/knew a lot of these locations well. I went dancing at the Tunnel (we never dropped the definite article) often, taxi-ing past the tranny hookers who crowded the streets in the west 20s (an even more lost club from the ’80s was Underground, which was where the PetSmart on the northwest corner of Union Square Park is now). I went to Nell’s once, and would sometimes see Nell around town. It wasn’t that difficult to get into hot clubs back when I looked like this:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/klg19/3589735869
    It would be a lot more difficult today!

    I ate at Arcadia and Arizona 206. I used to go to the Oyster Bar and Orso’s with my dad, before he died in the mid-’80s. I would never go to Brooklyn, so I passed on River Cafe when it was at its height. A lot of these restaurants were hot to a specific set–the coke-snorting, UES, Wall Street set that Bateman is part of. They’d go to Au Bar but some of us wouldn’t be caught dead there. And Nell’s was hot for that crowd, but we had more fun at Underground or Limelight or Heartbreak, which was a funky club on Varick Street held at what was a cafeteria during the day–steam tables replaced with turntables at midnight….

  8. This is a brilliant article! Thank you. I’d love to try some of these places. I do wish Dorsia turned out to be real though. What ever happened to the American Psycho musical that was in the works last year. I hope it happens!

  9. We actually went to an academic awards dinner for FIT at “Espace”, which is the name of a rental event venue near Javits. http://www.espaceny.com/

    I wonder what their thinking was, in regards to choosing that name.

  10. Thanks for all the research! Really entertaining. I have eaten at Smith and Wollensky’s and Oyster Bar. Oyster Bar was awesome Smith and Wollensky’s was ok – lack of character for me but great food :)

  11. Le Cirque has moved to the Bloomberg Building on 59th and Lexington. It’s inside the oval and it is still very expensive.

  12. WOW – I hate to put a damper on this, but ‘American Psycho’ was shot largely in Toronto.
    I remember that they used a different title on the neighbourhood letters, due to the controversy.
    If you look on IMDB they list many of the locations.
    I’m sure they did a bunch of exterior establishing shots and some scenes, but they shot for a couple of months in T.O.

  13. there IS a newer bateman; don’t forget ellis’ brilliant american psycho 2000 e-mails: http://www.briankotek.com/psycho/movie/am2000.cfm

  14. I love this post! Not 100% related, but a little bit – I wrote a post a little while ago on the Puck Building, which is the setting for a gala/ball/party of some sort that Patrick attends in the book version. http://tokyohanna.blogspot.com/search/label/the%20puck%20building

  15. Great post! Also, in present-day NYC, “I have to return some videotapes” would be a dead giveaway that the person you’re talking to is a little bit off. ;)

  16. For Karen, that was a good look but I do like the over the shoulder shot you normally use. Sort of a classy sexy kind of thing.
    For Scout, lots of legwork here buddy. I appreciate the work that went into it. Your dedication is impressive. Some places I am familiar with others not so. I am more of a Village jazz club kind of guy, Blue Note, Vanguard and when they were around Visione’s and Sweet Basil.
    For Patrick, sorry pal I passed on the flick. I’m not that much into sick f***s who kill people for fun.

  17. Great article, what a lot of research. I managed Huberts during the time it was on Park Avenue. One night in 1991 bret easton ellis came in with a boyfriend and asked for a table, without a reservation. I sat him at the last table I had, a tiny two-top mext to the kitchen. Literally it was the worst table in the restaurant in the very coldest corner of Siberia. He was really charming and liked all the free stuff I gave him, he appreciated that I recognized him since I was a Less Than Zero fan and the two of them left very happy. When the book came out Huberts was mentioned along with every other very tony restaurant of the period. By the time the AP movie came out Huberts was closed, but it was mentioned nonetheless although pronounced incorrectly in the French way (Hu-bears) and not the American pronunciation (Hu-berts like Hubert Humphrey.)
    BTW; when Huberts was open Meryl Streep shot a scene there for She Devil, her movie with Roseanne Barr. Huberts was considered one of the most beautiful restaurants of its year and it looks great in the movie.

    • She Devil is a great movie, assuming the scene at Hubert’s was the one with her publicist.

      Love the article, fun commenters.

  18. Awesome article! I can’t believe how thoroughly you researched all this.

  19. Good stuff. I should go on a Psycho tour next time I’m in NYC.

  20. Wow, a fascinating tour of one of my favorite films! As a Cornell alumna, I have to say that I’ve never heard of any affiliation between Cornell and Wake Forest. Are you sure about this?

    • I went to Wake Forest and I live in New York. Our alums are indeed allowed to be members of the Cornell Club. Hopefully Cornell alums can resist the urge to be douchebags about it (unlike this blogger).

      • Whoa, easy! Are you always this touchy? I went to Wake Forest and live in NYC too, and I’d never heard of the affiliation either. Not that I care. Here’s some advice: You’re not an Ivy Leaguer! You’re a Demon Deacon! Embrace it!

        • Everybody just take it easy – you don’t have to go to cornell or even wake forest to get in – simply know someone who went to cornell or wake or any goddamn affiliate place, and is a member and have them vouch for you.

          It is a very exlcusive club.

  21. Espace does exist… http://www.espaceny.com/

  22. At the risk of sounding like I’m parroting the chorus…this is an outstanding article, beautifully researched and written. Very well done.

    I was never lucky enough to eat at Hubert’s, but I did like Karen Hubert Allison’s novel “How I Gave My Heart to the Restaurant Business” very well. Some more background on Hubert’s, as well as the Allisons’ other restaurant ventures, can be found, sadly, in Karen Allison’s obituary (http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/21/nyregion/karen-allison-49-restaurateur-with-vision.html?src=pm). She died much too young, and is much-missed.

    (Frank R., I love your Hubert’s reminiscences!)

  23. About 20 years ago I did something like this for Less Than Zero – looked up all the LA clubs and restaurants that Ellis namedropped. Back then most of them still existed. Time for an update. Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Excellent! As always, thanks for all your hard work.

  25. Great piece – though by sticking to the movie, you missed a few that were in the book but got left out of the screenplay:

    Quilted Giraffe: One of NYC’s most famous restaurants. Started as a quaint country inn in New Paltz, before the owners moved to the city. Slowly, Barry Wine, the owner/chef began going in more creative and luxurious directions, eventually abandoning anything “French” and becoming one of the first truly American luxury restaurants, and one of the first major American chefs to embrace the Japanese influence. Prices were astronomical for the era – $75 prix fixe, tasting menus as high as $130 – midrange these days, but for the 80s insane. A number of future food luminaries worked for him – Tom Colicchio, David Kinch, Sam Hazen, Wayne Nish, just to name a few. First opened on Second Ave, then opened a second, cheaper branch called the “Casual Quilted Giraffe” on Madison & 55th, which in 1987 moved the flagship into and closed the original location. That’s where Bateman would have dined. Eventually, Sony (who owned the building) bought out their lease, and they closed. Today it’s the Sony Building.

    Melrose: Formerly inside the Stanhope Park Hyatt, 995 5th Ave. Both the hotel and restaurant now closed. Notable because you had to walk through the kitchen to get to one of the dining rooms. Currently a residential co-op without any fancy name.

    Cafe Luxembourg: 200 West 70th Street. Still there.

    Bouley: Originally at 165 Duane St (where Bateman would have dined) – then moved across the street to the corner of Duane and West Broadway, then moved BACK across the street into 163 Duane, where it is now. Scalini Fedeli is in the old location at 165

    Lotus Blossom: Around the corner form Bouley, at 319 Greenwich St. An otherwise un-notable Chinese reataurant, except that it hosted what may have been the first karaoke club in NYC back in the 80s. Not sure when it closed, but currently it’s Salaam Bombay Indian Cuisine.

    Bice: 7 East 54th Street. Still there.

    Le Cygne: 55 East 54th St. They closed in 1991, and Oceana Restaurant opened in the old space the next year.

    Mortimer’s: 1057 Lexington. A big hangout for Upper East Side “cafe society” types. When Glenn Bernbaum, the notoriously cranky owner died in 1998 he apparantley in his will insisted the restaurant be closed, the name retired, and that none of his former employees could use the space to open a new resto. So the former staff found a spot down the street and opened Swifty’s, where the Mortimer’s crowds gladly moved. The old space was bought a couple years later and Orsay (a French bistro) opened in it. Still open today. There was a good piece on Bernbaum after his death in NY Mag, worth reading: http://nymag.com/nymetro/food/industry/features/3157/

    There was also one called “Brussels” which may or may not have been Cafe de Bruxelles. Have to ask BEE, I guess.

  26. I remembered espace from it’s ads in Spy magazine. See the bottom of this page: http://books.google.com/books?id=pCfQINJRXRgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA23#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Seth Gordon’s comment mentions Cafe Luxembourg which also ran a rather unforgettable ad in Spy:http://books.google.com/books?id=0OSXeiTCfLAC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA18#v=onepage&q&f=false

  27. Karen: Your stiring up memories. Heartbreak!, that whole neighborhood was off the grid in the 80’s. The Ear, Van Dam’s, Paradise Garage. Although I never saw her at Heartbreak, Madonna was known to frequent many of the area bars/clubs when she was living on Broome Street and prior to Like a Virgin.

    • I never saw her at Heartbreak, either, but I did dance the limbo there with Timothy Hutton and Amanda Plummer on my 25th birthday…

      • Karen
        I’m doing research on the history of the Heartbreak…..I was wondering if you ever had any interaction with management, owners, principals, etc.? I’m trying to locate and talk to anyone associated to the club back in the day…..
        THX

  28. Great article. I travel to NY quite a bit and will have to check out the places that are mentioned. One interesting fact that your artcle didn’t mention is that “American Psycho” was filmed entirely on location in Toronto. …ie: the scene inside the hotel bar at The Four Seasons is actually the hotel bar at The King Edward Hotel in Toronto. Many of the street scenes are recognizable areas from the financial district in downtown Toronto.

  29. A meticulously researched piece, as always.

    While Patrick Bateman might not recognize New York in 2011, I’m sure he’d feel at home. The luxury-seeking, narcissistic culture that he personifies in the extreme is today becoming increasingly prevalent among New York’s population at large, and not just those who work on Wall Street. In this regard in 2011 Patrick Bateman is everywhere.

  30. Great article! Been to Park Avenue Cafe. I love what they do for the different seasons and the food is very good.

  31. 20 years ago, I lived on 6th St. between A & B, above the Chameleon club. At the time, Alphabet City was a little scary. The landlord said this was the place to be. He was right.

  32. This is some tremendous work. You have won several new twitter followers / FB fans, and if the time & care put into this one post is any indication of what we could expect from a film, I’m happy to donate a few bucks to your cause.

    -AKB

  33. Hi there, I found your site by the use of Google while searching for a related matter, your web site came up, it appears great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  34. I don’t think there are any New Yorkers on Pier 17. Unless they are staff.

  35. Excellent post! Always great to see which restaurants/bars still exist. Enjoyed seeing that Fluties/South Street Seaport was on the list. I remember in the mid-1980s, South Street Seaport allowed drinking outside the restaurants. It was absolutely astounding and would make another great scene in a movie about the 1980s. It was like a Wall Street Block Party. You had to see it to believe it.

    • I remember that well! It was one, enormous party outside, everyone drinking. I worked at Pier 17 mall by Flutie’s and it was a challenge to get through the crowd after work without getting beer spilled on me! Felt like one big frat party at times too. It was quite a sight to see!

  36. Wow what an interesting job you have

  37. somewhat off topic but–anyone else think the reason Christian Bale’s Batman is so amazing is because his BatEman was so amazing? eh?

  38. Absolutely fantastic post. I’m a huge fan of American Psycho (or maybe I’m just a Patrick Bateman fan…) and Manhattan. Having lived here since the mid 90s, I knew of some of the places mentioned but not all. Now I do! Thank you! Such a fun read, really made my day.

  39. WOW! JUST WOW! As a huge fan of American Psycho this was a joy to read. Such an interesting article. Thank you so much.

  40. Great sleuthing. That took some serious work, and it’s appreciated.

  41. Since it was filmed mostly in Toronto, I’d imagine they didn’t film in any of the real spots the characters actually go to. The exteriror and lobby of Patrick Bateman’s office building is one of the 4 black towers of the TD Centre in Toronto’s financial district.

  42. Really, really great article. Makes me wish I lived in NY just to stroll by these beautiful places, not to mention being able to make reservations there.

  43. Awesome writing / research.

    Thank you for doing this — it should be something included on American Psycho DVDs.

  44. Fantastic article. I would guess a lot went into it, as well. This is very interesting stuff, as well.

  45. Fantastic article. I would guess a lot went into it, as well. This is very interesting stuff.

  46. This is easily one of the most fascinating articles I’ve read this year. It helps that I love the book/film certainly, but the research done, stories provided, and writing were mesmerizing. Much thanks.

  47. Amazing article! I’ve been wondering for years about these places!

  48. For a great rundown of all the locations they used in Toronto to make look like the real ones here, check this article out: http://torontoist.com/2008/03/reel_toronto_am.php

  49. I didn’t even see the movie but I really loved reading this post. Thank you!

  50. Love Ellis. Love the book. Interesting article. Too bad the movie sucked out loud.

  51. Excellent article!

    I’ve dined at Smith & Wollensky’s and the River Cafe. Both are very nice, traditional high-end dining experiences.

    It would be fun to do a tour of the ones that remain one Restaurant Week.

  52. Hey, I’ve been to Oyster Bar! And I live on the other side of the planet!

  53. Great article. Can’t say I’m a big fan of the film (although I do think Christian Bale is perfectly cast as Patrick Bateman), but the novel is possibly my favorite book of all time and certainly my most-read, so I found this very interesting. The magazine excerpts from the late 80’s/early 90’s are a great touch; a few feel like they could have been lifted straight from the book.

  54. I enjoyed this article :D

  55. I remember going to Limelight, Twilo & Tunnel when I absolutely should not have been allowed inside. I miss the atmosphere and the space, but not so much the incredibly fucked up state of alot of the people there.

  56. I worked at Nell’s, during the daytime as part of the administrative/management staff, for the first two years it was in operation. The super-discerning door staff, who were actually quite pleasant when off duty, stored bottles of antacid at the podium at which they stood each night, an indication of the physical toll taken by being paid to be unpleasant to strangers for several hours each evening.

    The one and only time I entered the club as a guest, I was accosted by a high school classmate whom I regarded less than fondly; present at his table was his college friend Bret Easton Ellis.

  57. I moved to the UES in 1998 and I vividly remember eating at Arizona 206 on 60th St. Of course, I read American Psycho that same year, so it’s a distinct possibility I hallucinated the experience.

  58. how come you never found the elusive video rental store?

  59. Wow, thanks for the memories. I lived in NY in the ’80s, remember Tunnel, Nell’s, Au Bar, Canal Bar, never went to Indochine but hung out at the Odeon constantly (same owners), and worked coat check at Cafe Luxembourg, another trendy spot. That movie (and book) was repellent, but the name-dropping is hilarious, and your research is appreciated!

  60. my surprise and excitement at seeing a picture from ‘american pyscho’ (one of my favourite movies) in the NYT was just doubled by following their link to this post.

    while i was alive and well and of an age during the ’80s – i didn’t spend a lot of time going to fancy restaurants – so the only place that really has significance to me is the tunnel.

    i never adored the tunnel – but it was a place i went to a few times. the last time was for a ‘dead or alive’ gig – one of the most fun shows i’ve ever experienced.

    and i’ve been to smith and wollensky – for a birthday party – where i got some of the worst food poisoning i hope to ever experience. lesson learned, “don’t have chicken at a steak place”. it was an AWFUL experience up to that point as well. so i hope patrick and company had a better time than i.

  61. i’m not one to usually comment, but i want to say thanks! superb and fun article.

  62. As a huge fan of American Psycho this was a joy to read. Such an interesting article. Thank you so much.

  63. There’s also a Smith & Wollensky’s in DC

  64. Great read.

    There are also Smith & Wollensky locations in Houston, Boston, Vegas, Miami, Philly and Columbus.

  65. Thanks for the interesting article, I always wondered if those places still existed.

  66. This was a fantastic post!!!
    Good job!!!

    Greetings from Hamburg,

    JT

  67. What a fine collaboration! I have both read and watched American Psycho, and I most congratulate you on this most impressive article. I believe that your findings not only compliment the film and book, but are also quite informative just by giving a background of the history of these restaurants. I have admittedly become somewhat obsessed with the film, so my discovery of this article was quite pleasant. Thank you for taking the time to create something that not only reinforces my perspective on American Psycho, but also for arousing my interest concerning fine dining along the east coast. You should feel proud. What a fine Article indeed! Good day.

  68. Someone I work with visits your site quite often and recommended it to me to read too. The writing style is superior and the content is top-notch. Thanks for the insight you provide the readers!

  69. wonderful article – many thanks – but still: we need clarification who handles the Fisher account.

  70. Great writeup. As an ‘American Psycho’ fan, this was a great read. I visited New York last year, and the only location i tried to visit was “The American Gardens Building”, but of course, the building there (55 West 81st) was quite the disappointment, and probably not even 11 floors in total :)

  71. I travel to NY frequently and never cease to be amazed at the stars I run into there.

  72. I thought the Orphanage was so sad and heartbreaking. I know it was meant to be a horror film, but it was pretty sad all the way through.Report this comment as spam or abuse

  73. Wow! It is very funny, considering you really took the time and effort to check out those places mentioned in the flick. Sometimes I wonder if they just make up those names for the bars and hot spots and all that.

  74. Wow, this is awesome, I have attempted to find alot of these places after seeing the movies quite a few times….You did a great job!Ofcourse like most of the others I have been to Tunnel quite a few times, hangin with the Club Kids….also never been to Canal Bar, but my Uncle does own Don Hills which is there in its place!! Other than that I definitly remember walking past 21 many of times the statues are hard to forget!………Its funny that in American Psycho they talk about SoHo bcoming to commercialized, look at it now! Its actually very sad, its sites like this we can be thankful for, so people can see & remember the way it was, & the older places too!!

  75. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided shiny clear concept

  76. Victor (Barcelona, Spain)

    Where’s the fucking Doria? :S

  77. I was recommended this web site via my cousin. I’m not sure whether or not this put up is written by him as no one else understand such exact approximately my problem. You are amazing! Thank you!

  78. I’m been to Limelight and Tunnel..Limelight had dummy priests on wires flying overhead. Or maybe it didn’t,and I was just er. very young..it was the 80’s..need I say more? Tunnel is seared in mind in a short, horrible instance I will never,ever forget. Was watching some HipHop band there with my beloved. I always carried a big can of CS gas-NYC in the 1980’s could be a dark place at that time,anyways-I digress. We both liked yogurt covered raisins,which were in my leather jacket pocket.With the tear gas. I shared out a big handfull for each of us. Tear gas yogurt covered raisins at Tunnel. Neither of us ever forget that, nor did we ever go back to Tunnel.

  79. This is fantastic, well done.

  80. I’m pretty sure it also shot one night in the little alley next to Liberty Tower, 55 Liberty Street. I did some BG casting on it and also lived in that building at the time, remember coming home and saying hi to the actors I knew in the alley. It was only in town briefly, maybe a night or so of local BG.

  81. Le Cirque still exists!!

  82. Superbe, much usefull information,

    well done scout

  83. I just saw this movie for the FIRST time to start off 2013! Leave it to Scout to have the complete rundown of Patrick Bateman’s world!

  84. Thanks for this…this was a nice trip down MY memory lane as I lived in NYC 1982-1987 and visited or worse, hung out in or even worse, WORKED at some of these places, notably the Tunnel, which opened in 1986 if memory serves. Enjoyed!

  85. Nice mention of the Harvard Club. Forgot about that during the movie. That place and some of the older Wall Street private clubs definitely take you into a world of sophistication not often found in today’s modern culture.

  86. Really cool article! American Psycho is one of my favorite books / movies. I might really want to visit those places when I visit New York in a few years. Maybe some of the places are still there then :)

  87. I love you all so much!! Couldn’t be more proud to be a member of the Blonde Pham <3

  88. The Tor Project, essential for unidentified surfing. Also nice if you want to understand what the kids are doing in Cory Doctorow’s excellent YA novel Little Brother.

  89. It appears like wonderful publish, having said that it just 1 side with the medal. Nice reading anyway, I always appreciated fantastic brain teaser and solid amount of great information.

  90. Great information. Thank you so much!

  91. Just happened on this story while looking up stuff on South Street Seaport. What a trip down memory lane for me! I attended college at Parsons in NYC from 1985-1989. While I was pretty much a typical girl from a NJ suburb shore-town, it was quite the wild ride living, going to school and working in NYC during this time. Many of the big fashion designers showed their collections during fashion week at Parsons then so the supermodels were always hanging out in our student lounge – Iman, Paulina, Cindy Crawford to name a few. Marc Jacobs was a senior when I was a freshman so I’d see him all the time before he was somebody! I went to many of the places mentioned in the article as they were the hip and trendy places (I went to a fashion and art school with a lot of privileged kids some whose parents were celebrities, rock stars and CEO’s). During that time I did go to Tunnel, Flutie’s (I worked across the hall at The Limited while attending school), Indochine, Nell’s, The Four Seasons (my graduation dinner), Canal Bar, Arizona 206, Au Bar, Smith & Wollensky, 21,150 Wooster,Le Cirque (my 21st birthday) and Oyster Bar. Ran into the “Brat Pack” in many of the clubs back then. Was an amazing time…glad I survived it!

  92. Anyone who recalls Heartbreak in NY remember one of the principals by the name of Robert “Bobby” Tartaglio? I’ve been trying to find him and I hear he may have passed away…….anyone help me out on this???????

  93. REF Robert Tartaglio – I submitted an incorrect e address. Please respond to this address if you have any information ref Bobby Tartaglio.

    Thanks much

    • Yeah remember asking for “Bobby” to ge t in….My brother worked for a financial company in the area and that’s the name we used to get in .. he knew us from my bro and the Co. he worked for…always a line and bobby got friendly with us… a bunch of Italian guy’s from rhode Island..so we always got in Heartbreak…a great show….not bad when it was culture Club either…Butthecafeteria to club thing wa something else………..Ray T. Providence R.I.

  94. I always emailed this weblog post page to all my contacts, since if like to read it afterward my contacts will too.

  95. At Heartbreak you could dance all night. Around 2-3AM there would be a wave of people who were waiters and bussers at restaurants who came wearing whatever…they just wanted to dance until dawn. Outstanding DJ too. Great times at Heartbreak.

    • Omg so many memories… I used to go in the late 80’s when i was a Senior in High School.. Lol.. No ID ever needed.. We knew a guy who was a promoter… God what was his name… Ray? Steve? … I can see him in my head.. We looked older..2 NJ platinum blondes.. Probably wearing a painted on spandex mini dresses and high boots… Oh the memories… I remember a really big woman (prob almost 300lbs) with dark short hair and huge fat ankles out on the dance floor every Thursday and Saturday night.. Am i the only one who remembers her?? She was def. a regular.. The things that stick in your head 25 yrs later…

  96. Hello to every body, it’s my first visit of this web site; this web site consists of amazing and in fact good information in favor of readers.

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