Nell’s: The trendiest nightclub in 1980s New York

Where did rock stars, artists, Wall Street traders, models, and the people who hung around them in mid-1980s Manhattan go to mingle?

Nell’s, a former electronics store-turned-nightclub on West 14th Street near Eighth Avenue. It was supposed to be a throwback of sorts, a retreat from the Studio 54 kind of excess.

The space cultivated the look of an elegant, Victorian gentleman’s club—one with a velvet rope, tough door policy, and lines stretching around the block.

This ad, which ran in the November 1993 issue of Interview gives a quick look at some of the regulars (Quentin Crisp? Salmon Rushdie?). By the early 1990s, however, Nell’s had lost some of its cachet, reports a 1994 New York Times article.

Nell’s closed in 2004, but will always be remembered as a 1980s hangout. Even Patrick Bateman, Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, was a regular.

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7 Responses to “Nell’s: The trendiest nightclub in 1980s New York”

  1. Joly MacFie Says:

    Home of the little black dress.

  2. delanceystewart Says:

    I remember Nells… but it was a fading dive by the time I got there in the late 90s…

  3. gimelgort Says:

    I believe what Nell’s lost was cachet, not cache. Or perhaps you meant cash? Loverly website, regardless. Thanks for what you do.

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks! Fixed the spelling too.

  5. Dave Says:

    Nell, for younger or much older readers, is best remembered for her role as servant to aliens in the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nell_Campbell

  6. Cereal Says:

    They let in highschool kids too, if you came with hot underage girls. I think I might have spilled a drink on Andy Warhol once when I was 16 but that was possibly a drunken hallucination.

  7. Sharon Says:

    Wow it was the club of the 80s it had it all!

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