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Amy Sacco Gets Cut of Chelsea Hotspot No. 8's Profits, Owners Say

By Mathew Katz | June 13, 2012 2:11pm
Amy Sacco attends the 2009 Free Arts NYC Benefit auction at 205 West 39th Street on May 11, 2009 in New York City.
Amy Sacco attends the 2009 Free Arts NYC Benefit auction at 205 West 39th Street on May 11, 2009 in New York City.
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Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

CHELSEA — Infamous club maven Amy Sacco may not be a promoter for new Chelsea hotspot No. 8, but she still gets a cut of the venue's profits, the owners said Wednesday.

An attorney for the new club told angry community board members that Sacco, who is barred from involvement in the nightspot as a term of its liquor license, is not promoting the 357 W. 16th St. club, even though she's signed emails and sent tweets inviting a host of her famous contacts there.

"An outside promoter is when you hire someone and you pay them to bring people in and you give them the door and they control the space," said Donald Bernstein, a lawyer for the club's owner, LDV Hospitality, before Community Board 4's Business Licenses and Permits Committee on Wednesday, denying Sacco has any link to the club.

"We disclose very clearly what her involvement is. Amy Sacco has an interest in the company that licenses the brand. She receives a minority portion of the license fees of that brand. The fact is, she chooses to come in and bring in friends."

The board had the restaurant's liquor license frozen after finding out last month that the space, which the board had approved as an unnamed "gastropub," would involve Sacco and be called Bungalow 8.

Sacco's earlier Bungalow 8, on West 27th Street, was famous for celebrity sightings, velvet ropes and resident complaints that started with its opening in 2001 and continued until it closed in 2009.

In its heyday, the club hosted celebs like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and David Beckham, and spawned a sister club with the same name in London.

The West 16th Street space reopened after LDV represenatives signed an agreement promising not to involve Sacco or call the space Bungalow 8. The nightspot opened last week, and included parties hosted by Sacco.

The board has already received complaints from surrounding businesses that the club lacks security for the amount of guests it has coming in, and that it's left garbage to sit out overnight.

CB4 members want to bring LDV back before the board and ask them to agree to a set of stipulations more in line with a nightclub or lounge, rather than the gastropub they had expected it to be.

"If it was going to be a lounge, we would have had different considerations," said committee co-chair Lisa Daglian.

"There wasn't a fair and accurate representation of what the space is. We would have asked for a security plan, a traffic plan. It's not a restaurant. There's food service there, but it's not a restaurant."

Bernstein denied the charges.

"We disagree with that," he responded.

Board member Frank Holozubiec said that he visited No. 8 last week and doubted its clientele was there for a high-end culinary experience.

"The seating is not conducive, really, to any kind of eating. It's circular booths with low tables," he said.

"It's just like Bungalow 8," added committee co-chair Paul Seres.

After the meeting, LDV agreed to attend the committee's next meeting on July 10.