Midtown Megaclub 'Rebel' Set to Reopen Under New Name, Management
MIDTOWN — It's all in the family at Midtown's newest megaclub.
The fresh-faced nephew of the man behind noise-complaint plagued Rebel NYC, an 800-capacity dance-plex on West 30th Street that closed this spring, is reopening the nightspot next month under a new name, The Wall NYC.
"It's going to be all dance music — no hip-hop, no rap," Tom Ballinger said at the Midtown South Precinct Community Council's monthly meeting Thursday night. "It's going to be much nicer."
Ballinger's uncle, Steve, who ran Rebel for more than five years before it closed in April, still owns the space. Tom Ballinger, however, said he personally will be overseeing all operations at the rechristened nightclub, which will at first be open Friday and Saturday nights until 4 a.m. starting July 12, but then expand to other nights of the week.
Ballinger acknowledged that this will be his first time running a nightclub, but he added that he spent years working a range of positions in his father's shop: Webster Hall in the East Village. Webster Hall's general manager, Gerard McNamee, said he will provide mentoring and support for Ballinger in this new venture at The Wall.
"We want to be able to prove ourselves to the community in that new space," McNamee told the Community Council.
Residents, community board members, and Midtown South's commanding officer, however, said seeing is believing.
"It doesn't matter that they changed their name," one woman said. "Trust is going to come when they do what they've promised: managing the outside in front of the club, managing the customers and the noise."
Deputy Inspector Edward Winski, Midtown South's commanding officer, raised concerns about the club's security measures. Business standards call for one security guard for every 75 patrons, he said, but Ballinger planned to have only nine dedicated guards on-site — or roughly one for every 90 patrons.
"You have to prove yourself," Winski said. "With every nightlife location in the city, it's always noise, noise, noise. You got to make sure you bring the noise level down and you got to manage the front of your club.
"If you don't manage the front of your club, then we'll come in and help you. And that's the last thing you want."
Ballinger said he plans to obtain a security license himself, which will bolster the club's security staff.
"Give us a chance," Ballinger told the community council. The venue's prior noise complaints and residents' concerns, he said, "are all going to be looked after."
The Wall, located at 251 W. 30th St., is scheduled to open July 12. It will also be hosting a pair of events June 28 and 29.