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The crowd outside the velvet ropes on a recent Friday was more homogenous than the one upstairs. Moncler-vested men and barely legal women in miniskirts, versus swaggering guys in do-rags and no-nonsense women with feathered haircuts. It was also significantly younger.
THE PLACE Just south of Bryant Park, RokkCity is on an industrial block that empties out after dark. A dim stairway leads to a basement lounge, where bartenders in exposed black bras greet patrons. Decorative touches include chandeliers shaped like wedding cakes, bondage photos and mosaic mirror tiles. The smell of smoke machines hangs heavy in the air.
THE CROWD College-aged women and a mix of very young and slightly older men (pushing 30) turn out en masse for this weekend bacchanal, outfitted in short bodycon dresses (for the women) and collared shirts, V-neck sweaters and puffy down vests (for the men).
By 1 a.m. one night, hair-gelled and lipsticked patrons could be seen necking at the bar and grinding away on the dance floor. An Asian Snooki doppelgänger bopped frenetically, obliviously stepping on others with her Ugg-clad feet. It seemed plausible that Pauly D. and company could come fist-pumping through the door at any minute.
THE PLAYLIST No ’80s power pop. The D.J. spun house-inflected dance music, mixing in a Red Hot Chili Peppers hit.
GETTING IN Paying the cover charge, about $20, does the trick. The fee is waived for bottle-service patrons and for those who can wrangle their way onto a promoter’s list.
DRINKS Queries about specialty cocktails are met with blank stares. Call drinks start at $13; a tincture of vodka and Rockstar energy drink seems to be the beverage of choice.
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