HELL'S KITCHEN — Gay nightlife pioneers John Blair and Beto Sutter are counting on Hell's Kitchen to become the city's new gay nightlife Mecca.
The duo's massive XL Nightclub, which is expected to be the biggest, seven-night-a-week gay club in the city, is set to open in January, Blair said. He is confident that gay partygoers will pack the club once it opens, largely because of its proximity to the growing gay community of Hell's Kitchen.
"All the buildings around us are very, very gay," Blair said of the club, which is opening inside the first floor and basement of 512 W. 42nd St. at 12th Ave. It's the same building where Out NYC, a new gay hotel, is slated to open in 2012.
"On my [mailing] list, I've got about 3,500 people who live in a three-block area of the club," Blair said.
Both the hotel and the club were supposed to open this year, but the building's roof was damaged when Hurricane Irene hit the city in August.
In addition to a sprawling 650-person dance floor, the 14,000-square-foot club will have a 100-seat cabaret area, and a lounge.
The club has already secured Rockit Fridays, the popular, long-running Friday night event that moves from venue to venue and is currently being held at the Crimson nightclub on Broadway and 21st Street.
Blair envisions having a party targeting different slices of the gay community every night, including a Broadway Bash, Latin Salsa, and College Night.
Enterprising club-goers can now sign up for a membership card and secure an invite to the club's opening week.
Frequent partygoers who sign up for a membership card can also get free or discounted admission, a 15 percent discount on drinks and discounts on rooms at Out NYC.
"It gives our members preference over people who come once in a while," Blair said. "Our good customers will get further benefits from it."
Blair said that the club will be able to track customers who use the cards and target invitations, discounts and promotions to customers based on the parties — and drinks — they like.
"It's good for them, it's good for us," said Blair. "It lets us known who our customers are, what they do, and what they enjoy."