Hamptons Restaurant Wants To Take Over Troubled Juliet Supperclub Space

By Mathew Katz on June 13, 2012 12:15pm 

Antonio Fuccio, left, with  Nathaniel Christian at the Second Annual Ferrari Hamptons Rally at Georgica Restaurant, August 28, 2010.
Antonio Fuccio, left, with Nathaniel Christian at the Second Annual Ferrari Hamptons Rally at Georgica Restaurant, August 28, 2010.
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ADRIEL REBOH/PatrickMcMullan.com

CHELSEA — Never count a celebrity hotspot out for long.

The owner of a luxe Hamptons lounge known for celebrity sightings wants to take over the space at 539 W. 21st St. — where the troubled Juliet Supperclub closed down late last year, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

Restaurateur Antonio Fuccio is hoping to open a Manhattan outpost of Georgica Restaurant, an East Hampton spot where New York's celebrities and upper crust go to see and be seen, at the location.

The Juliet Supperclub became infamous at the end of 2011 after two murders involving patrons took place inside or near the hot spot. In September, patron Christopher Adames was stabbed and killed outside of the celebrity club.

In November, a gunman shot three men inside the club, killing one.

That shooting remains unsolved.  Victor Walker, who was arrested earlier this month in connection with the shooting, was released without charge.

The aura of danger rooted in the two events caused the Juliet's typical clientele to declare the spot dead. It closed permanently soon after.

The venue has been the site of a number of other failed nightclubs — going from the nightclub Aria, to the nightclub Opera, which closed in 2008, and last to the  Juliet Supperclub which opened its doors in 2009.

That didn't stop Fuccio and his lawyer, Terry Flynn, from appearing before Community Board 4's Business Licenses and Permits Committee to request their support in a liquor license application for the space.

"Come on. Why don't you just give up on this space?" said Paul Seres, co-chair of the committee.

Fuccio assured the board that no one from the Juliet Supperclub would be involved in his new 250-person restaurant, and that it would be a more food-focused space hosting celebrity parties and corporate events.

"The concept is high-end dining," he said. "On Thursdays, we may have a lobster and live music thing, a surf and turf."

When the Juliet approached the board for its liquor license a few years ago, it pitched a similar concept: a supperclub catered by celebrity chef Todd English. English left the Juliet shortly after it opened, and it shifted its focus to a more traditional nightclub format.

Police investigate a shooting at the Juliet Supperclub at 539. W. 21st St. on Nov. 15, 2011.
Police investigate a shooting at the Juliet Supperclub at 539. W. 21st St. on Nov. 15, 2011.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

In order to cover their bases, the board asked Fuccio to commit to not using nightlife promoters or their teams, though the club would be occasionally allowed to use "hosts" — specialized promoters that bring celebrities to bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Fuccio also agreed that the two nightlife stars behind the Juliet, Barry Mullineaux and John Bakhshi, would not be involved with the restaurant in any capacity.

"As long as you're not blasting out nightclub-style events in this venue, we can work with it," Seres said.

"If this comes back in front of us, I want to make sure we're 100 percent on the same page."

According to Fuccio, plans for the space are still in their early stages and he has still not secured a lease from the building's landlord, Newark-based Edison Properties.

Fuccio and his team still need to present a security plan for the space — something that might be a key requirement for anyone securing the troubled space.

Otherwise the interior won't change too much — it already has excellent soundproofing, Flynn said.

"You couldn't hear the gunshots," joked Lisa Daglian, the committee's co-chair.

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