Duane Park cabaret on Bowery causes customer to cry

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Duane Park BoweryUpdate November 21, 2014- see comments section below

February 20, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

BatteryPark.TV received some emails recently about a new show at the relocated Duane Park cabaret, which is now on Bowery Street by Houston Street (so, why is it still called Duane Park?). Our experiences with the place back when it was in Tribeca were not great ones, mostly due to rude and incompetent owners/staff. However, we had an open mind and accepted their offer to visit them.

Marisa Ferrarin, a partner in the restaurant, told us to arrive at 7:00 PM, which seemed too early. Sure enough, we showed up to an empty restaurant.

Greeting us was the same 50-somehting man who was the most recognizable manager of the Tribeca location. We will call him “Mystery D-bag”, because his name does not surface in any of the newspaper and blog stories about Duane Park. We have been told that he has a background in nightclubs, which explains the pretentiousness and attempt to be snooty and velvet-ropey.

Even though no one was in the restaurant when we arrived, he greeted us by saying, “Do you have a reservation?”, as he chewed gum with an open mouth. Marisa saw us being held up at the door, and began to seat us. However, Mr. D-bag wanted to place us in a seat as far away from the stage as possible. He even asked if we would be willing to sit at the bar.

We moved to the bar, and began to feel very creepy, so we politely left. Mr. D-bag seemed surprised.

From what we saw of it, for the five minutes we stayed, the interior of what used to be Bowery Poetry Club is just as poorly constructed as was the place on Duane Street, which had uneven floors and tables with obstructed views of the stage. The staff seem to be the same as ever, and if the tired cabaret acts of unattractive people are the same ones as before, only the employees will be entertained before they head out to some other bar after hours.

If you want a cool New York experience, shows such as Sleep No More or Queen of the Night are your best bet. We have nothing good to say about the new Duane Park.

Now that’s entertainment: Queen of the Night performing arts dinner show

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One Response to Duane Park cabaret on Bowery causes customer to cry

  1. Hannah says:

    Dear Dr. Greer,

    I went to Duane Park last night and had a terrible experience with the same person (I believe) you described in your February article about Duane Park as “Mystery D-bag.” I found out his name, if you want it. (You can skip to last paragraph for it.)

    Also, if you have the original owner’s e-mail address and you think she would care about an episode like this, I would be grateful if you would forward this e-mail to her.

    My boyfriend and I recently bought a “voucher” to go to Duane Park for $90. The voucher covered a tasting for two and a show and the “value” for it was listed as $170. We discovered at the end of the meal that the tasting-and-show-for-two combination was also listed at $90 on the menu. Effectively, we paid the exact amount we would have paid had we just walked in. Drinks, tip, etc, were of course not included in the voucher, so we ended up still paying around $90 out of pocket for three drinks, tip, and tax.

    I was a little annoyed, so I went to talk to a 50 year old fake-tanned man with diamond stud earrings, stubble, and what looked like dyed hair, who was at the front when we came in and appeared to be a manager or something. He said that the “value” was that the voucher allowed you to forgo the minimum spending amount of $90 per person which you were otherwise obligated to spend in order to sit in the place. I told him that I saw what they did there, but still thought it was kind of a crappy thing to do, since once you buy a drink each, you are paying exactly the same amount as you would without the voucher.

    He then became increasingly nasty with me — first, he told me I should “learn to enjoy the arts,” then (after I pointed out that in my opinion, the show really did not count as “art”) told me he felt sorry for me for being so clueless, then (when I just stared at him and asked for his name and whether he was the manager) REF– — USED to tell me his name or what he did at the restaurant, and told me he could care less if I was upset or what I did. So then I asked the female bartender about his name–and this guy frantically signaled at her from across the room not to speak to me. The woman got scared and told me she was really sorry but she didn’t want to get involved.

    At this point, being angry and frustrated, I started crying, and several staff came over and told me that this guy behaves this way with them all the time and that he’s just a huge asshole.

    So I left — but first I asked another member of the staff downstairs who he was. She hadn’t been privvy to this whole episode, so she told me.

    The guy is a part-owner of the restaurant. His name is Frank Locker, the staff apparently call him “Frankie”, he owns a wine shop in Greenwich village, and he is Awful. The staff are afraid of him, and a number of them told me he was a douchebag to them all the time. I could not believe that the (part) owner of a restaurant would be (1) so incredibly rude and (2) so insane as to refuse to tell an upset customer who he was and then attempt to FORBID ALL OF THE STAFF to tell who he was, either.


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