Resurrection On Temple Street

Paul Bass Photo Light — and cherubs and flowing wine — have returned to a reconstructed former church in the heart of New Haven’s downtown nightlife district after two years of darkness.

Its name is Vanity.

The reconstructed former church at 144 Temple St. — originally the Playwright restaurant, then the Russian Lady, site of memorable social and political bashes — has been reborn as a bar and restaurant and events-rental venue and rechristened Vanity.

The venue had its soft opening and an official ribbon-cutting with the mayor Tuesday afternoon. The formal opening comes Friday night.

A four-man partnership (calling itself The 4 Horsemen Entertainment Inc.) purchased the business, which had been closed for two years, and renovated it. The crew stripped the metal work and covered it with cooper-reactive paint, reupholstered the furniture ...

... and added a mirror wall ...

... along with a dueling-piano spot up front ...

... not to mention a heavenly-being-themed replica of a Giovanni Tiepolo painting on the ceiling.

In addition to the main bar area, the 15,000 square-foot venue includes a 30-seat corporate dining room, a party space that can accommodate 500 people, a second-floor lounge, and a 100-person fine-dining restaurant.

Executive Chef Andrew Fine (previous perch: Mystic Seaport) promised to serve memorable “fusion” dishes there. Asked to name one of his signature dishes, he cited “Hailbut and Avocado Versus the Universe.” It features limoncello poached halibut with soy pineapple and panko-encrusted avocado.

So there.

Among the city officials at the event were two people recently hired to helm the Harp administration’s small-business effort, Deputy Director of Economic Development Cathy Graves and Small Business Officer Gerry Garcia, a former city alder. They’re pictured checking out the new digs with 4 Horseman Persident John Mocadlo (at center in photo).

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posted by: Bill Saunders on August 22, 2017  4:37pm

Excessive Pride.

posted by: ILivehere on August 22, 2017  5:10pm

This place will be closed by the end of winter (again). Clubs this big can’t survive in New Haven any more its not the right crowd for a place like this.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 22, 2017  6:07pm

More for the Hipsters.Can wait for the stop and frisk that will becoming downtown for you Knee-Grows who think you will be apart of this so call Economic Development.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 22, 2017  6:35pm

Executive Chef Andrew Fine (previous perch: Mystic Seaport) promised to serve memorable “fusion” dishes there. Asked to name one of his signature dishes, he cited “Hailbut and Avocado Versus the Universe.” It features limoncello poached halibut with soy pineapple and panko-encrusted avocado.

look at this food menu.Pure hipster food.

posted by: concerned_neighbor on August 22, 2017  9:03pm

THREEFIFTHS, you don’t disappoint. You find something negative in everything.

Is there some downtown New Haven news or development that you find positive?

posted by: BetweenTwoRocks on August 22, 2017  9:13pm

It looks a lot like Russian Lady. And Wicked Wolf. And the Playwright.

I hope it doesn’t suffer a similar fate, but as others have said, there’s little reason to think New Haven can support a club of this club aside from Bar, which retains its popularity no matter what, it seems.

I wish them luck, but I’m not optimistic.

I do think it’s hilarious that THREEFIFTHS thinks hipsters are going to hang out there. You can’t put enough avocado on a menu to make hipsters go to a club.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 22, 2017  10:54pm

posted by: concerned_neighbor on August 22, 2017 9:03pm

THREEFIFTHS, you don’t disappoint. You find something negative in everything.

Is there some downtown New Haven news or development that you find positive?


Can you afford any of the apartments downtown?

posted by: AverageTaxpayer on August 23, 2017  8:32am

@ NHI—why aren’t your referring to Vanity as the new nightclub that it clearly is?

A quick google search, visit to Vanity’s website, Facebook page, etc, show Johnny Mac and his partners promoting their new venture as an upscale nightclub. The restaurant part of the venture? Eh, not so much.

http://www.myrecordjournal.com/news/meriden/meridennews/10449992-154/meriden-pub-owner-and-car-dealership-pitchman-opening-club-at.html#ath

Given downtown’s history of nightclub-related violence, this reader is much more interested in the owners’ operational experience, security measures, etc, than the rest of the fluff. Are the Four Horsemen going to be responsible club operators, or is this going to be a step backward for the neighborhood?

posted by: urbancarpenter on August 23, 2017  9:54am

I am unclear how not being able to afford a downtown apartment is grounds to spout a blanket negativity on all new developments. There is no plausible situation where everyone is handed an affordable place to live with no tax base to support the city.

I don’t think most residents are in love with Vanity but if they want to add to our beautiful city then that is great. Best of luck to them.

posted by: NewHaven18 on August 23, 2017  10:35am

Ah yes, DJ Pauly D (of Jersey Shore), will be playing here. The true voice of hipsters.

posted by: LorcaNotOrca on August 23, 2017  1:01pm

@THREEFIFTHS

This is just about the farthest thing from a hipster bar you could imagine; an “upscale menu” is par for the course almost anywhere.

Also, the ability to afford an apartment downtown is not an answer to the question posed to you. I get it—we need to more closely address the needs of the community.
But there still exists a town where businesses will open (and close)... I think you just don’t like anything, and likely don’t leave the house much. Which itself is fine, but quite a place to throw stones from.

posted by: ADAK on August 23, 2017  9:05pm

The fact that 3/5ths thinks is a hipster place just validates how little he knows about hipsters and their relation to gentrification. This makes me feel better to ignore any of his comments here on out.

HIPSTERS DON’T EVEN GO TO CLUBS.

posted by: JCFremont on August 24, 2017  8:23am

If it’s just another music club I can’t see it lasting long. Looks a little dark for a business lunch or dinner. I suppose every two years the Democrats can celebrate the mayors reelection, any other town political party could use the corner Subway shop.  The place always looked out of place and looked like it belonged at a faux World’s Fair Pavilion. For those who don’t remember World’s Fair’s picture Disney World if Disney had a “Medieval World” park.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 25, 2017  8:01am

posted by: ADAK on August 23, 2017 9:05pm

The fact that 3/5ths thinks is a hipster place just validates how little he knows about hipsters and their relation to gentrification. This makes me feel better to ignore any of his comments here on out.

HIPSTERS DON’T EVEN GO TO CLUBS.

Yes they do go to Clubs like Vanity.

Best Hipster clubs in New York, NY - Last Updated August 2017 - Yelp

Reviews on Hipster clubs in New York, NY - Nublu, The Woods, Bembe, ... variation of a live band or just a straight up DJ (what is really the… read more ... of vibe and guys will just grab you by the hand and spin you into them for a dance.

https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=hipster+clubs&find_loc=New+York,+NY

Best Hipster Clubs in Toronto, ON, Canada

https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Hipster+Clubs&find_loc=Toronto,+ON

Miami’s Top Ten Hipster Bars | Miami New Times

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/music/miamis-top-ten-hipster-bars-6478663


posted by: LorcaNotOrca on August 23, 2017 1:01pm

But there still exists a town where businesses will open (and close)... I think you just don’t like anything, and likely don’t leave the house much. Which itself is fine, but quite a place to throw stones from.

I am in the streets everyday.Also I do not throw stones.I throw Cinder Blocks and not like some.When I throw Cinder Blocks. I do not hide my hands.