An exclusive look at Aman Jazz Club, New York’s highest party

On 56th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, the block immediately behind Manhattan’s famous Billionaire’s Row, is a front door that appears to be of no such echelon. The walls are austere, the lights fluorescent, the industrial corridor flooded with concrete. In a corner? A plain black elevator exterior. Enter and there are only two buttons to press, one going up, the other going down. However, when the door reopens after pushing the first one, a whole other world awaits you: that of the Aman Jazz Club.

For the uninitiated: last August, Aman New York finally opened its doors after years of fervent anticipation in the historic Crown building in Midtown. (Fans of the hotel brand are so dedicated they’ve dubbed themselves the “Aman junkies.”) Out of the lobby? The standard (albeit spectacular) facilities one would expect of a five-star hotel: a sprawling spa, well-appointed rooms, two restaurants, and a rooftop. Yet hidden in the lower bowels of the building — and not accessible via the hotel’s main elevators — is something a little more unexpected: a 3,000-square-foot performance lounge. Open fully on September 6, it seeks to be one of Manhattan’s most elevated nightlife experiences.

“It’s a nod to the 1920s,” says Sébastien Lefavre, general manager of the Jazz Club, of this speakeasy-like sanctuary. The spirit of the “Roaring Twenties”, often overused as a concept of entertainment, is quite appropriate here: the Crown Building was completed in 1921, a year after the Prohibition era, and they want to encourage an atmosphere clandestine and discreet. Each night’s guest list will be curated, reservations required and photography discouraged. (Even the menus don’t have logos, so even if a photo Is sort of a story on social media, location will be hard to determine.) “Privacy is the last luxury,” says Lefavre.

Robert Rieger

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