Canadian nightlife luminary Peter Gatien redefined NYC nightlife with Limelight, Tunnel and Palladium and was once dubbed the “King of New York Clubs” during his time in New York. Back in Toronto, Gatien shares his thoughts on what makes a club stand apart from the rest.
Clubs are the incubators of culture. Clubs should always be about flux and change, never predictable. To achieve this you must have the participation and the support of the creative community. For the past four decades the standing order to all of my
For the past four decades the standing order to all of my staff, has always been “We are here to create culture.” Diversity within the crowd is also a key component, going out to a smart space that inspires you, is comfortable, fun and has no judgments. The creative communities of artists, writers, fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and their supporting industries are drawn to where they can interact and be inspired by each other’s craft. The evening should have a Felliniesque look and feel. You can be your true self or alter ego, misbehave, have fun and enjoy the dedication to art, music and visuals from the club and the energy of the diverse crowd surrounding you.
A wonderful club is a place where someone who happens to take risks isn’t on display, but comfortably at ease in a room of like-minded individuals on a level playing field, making a little history, not watching or copying it. A place where the patrons are the soul of the place, not to focus the attention on expensive design worship, but provide a backdrop of clever elements that subtly enhance the diverse sense of taste and style. It’s the complete opposite to what is available. That only comes from years of hosting and catering to those elements and being able to recognize when and where it’s needed, but mostly, how to pull it off seamlessly.
Years later a great space will be revered as a legend and fondly reminisced by all.