First Impressions: Haus

Haus doorI know I said I wouldn’t go to Haus, but I changed my mind.

Haus, you’ll recall, is the new nightclub in the old Canal Room space at W. Broadway and Canal. The owner promised Community Board 1 that Haus would be a “mixology lounge” and not a nightclub, persuading CB1 to look the other way at the evidence Haus would obviously be a nightclub, presumably because no one lives nearby. The club’s lawyer even called me up, swearing that Haus’s application as a lounge was legit.

I wasn’t about to test-drive the nightclub aspect—my partying years are well behind me—but as soon as Haus opened for after-work business, I put on my fun pants (not to be confused with my very fun pants) and headed over.

It was strange to be in a nightclub during the day—I mean, I may have been in one during daytime hours back in the old Sound Factory days, but that was at the end of a long night, and there were no windows. Haus has big windows on Canal and W. Broadway, and some of the draperies were open, leaving the impression that you had arrived far too early or stayed far too late. It certainly feels like a nightclub: There’s a woman working the door, the dance floor is visible under the movable furniture trotted out for the “lounge” hours, and bottle-service tables are stacked in stadium-style tiers along the back.

I sat at the “golden tiger-eye bar-top,” in the website’s description, “which features semi-precious stone inlaid-marquetry,” and the amiable bartender handed me the specialty cocktail menu (all $15). As the night goes on, I suppose you can read the menu by the red light under the bar, casting your nether regions in an infernal glow. (Haus has a lot of colored lighting.) I asked the bartender’s advice on what to order, and when I told him I lean toward the bitter, the only real candidate was the Paloma (tequila, lemon juice, rosemary syrup, etc.). It was very good, with only hints of rosemary but that was probably for the best. I will say that I’m not a fan of Collins glasses filled with one big column of ice that slams at you and that you can’t swish around with any sort of satisfaction. I like to hear my drink, not just taste it.

I didn’t see the prices for normal cocktails, wine, or beer, but when I was there, Haus was offering two-for-one well drinks from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with. Depending on the cost of those well drinks—remember, you’re in a nightclub—that could make Haus a handy place for after-work groups. There are several large seating areas and little competition; I’d particularly consider the banquettes along Canal, where you could spend a fun hour mocking watching passersby. And the bartender mentioned that Haus will soon serve food of some sort. The initial application to CB1 included a menu with sliders, flatbreads, and so on, but that may have changed—the cocktails on that menu were far less sophisticated than what’s available now.

Before I left, I visited the restrooms downstairs. You’re faced with a room with many doors, half of which say “no admittance” and half of which aren’t labeled at all. I pity all the patrons who are on drugs.

Haus is at 285 W. Broadway (at Canal), 212-625-4287; haus-nyc.com.

Haus inside the front doorHaus PalomaHaus bar2Haus banquette along CanalHaus seatingHaus bottle service tablesHaus lounge levelRecent New Kid on the Block / First Impressions articles:
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4 Comments

  1. CB1 got Haused!
    and CB2 haus up to 20% off select storage and shelving

  2. If I only had a pair of those fun pants I too could try it out.

  3. Nice to hear you loved the place! I’m dying to go myself because its nice to have something that looks so beautiful in my neighborhood. When I passed by the other night, the hostess was kind enough to share the mixology menu with me and gave me a quickie tour of the place.

    All that being said, I’m not sure why there’s all this concern about “is it a mixology lounge, or is it a nightclub”. I’ve lived in the area for many years and when it was Canal Room it was a nightclub, then when it was Shine it was a nightclub and many moons ago it was actually a Reggae club…basically its been a nightclub for over 20+ years, so as someone said in an earlier post “who cares if its a nightclub”??!!

    I’ve walked past this place at the wee hours of the morning and the lines are very well controlled, there were zero traffic issues and the doorman and the rest of the group really seemed to have their act together and were very professional.

    I also checked out their social media and they seem to have some nice charity events lined up and I just read an article in the NY Times and WWD about the Prabal Gurung fashion party at Haus this past week that sounded like a huge success.

    I can only think all this is good for our community, so any thoughts about devil worship in the late hours or “drugged out patrons” that you allude to (just weird) are probably not in order here.

    • The issue is that Haus blatantly said it wouldn’t be a nightclub — to the community board, and to me. Now the club wants to extend its 4am hours?

      It seems reasonable that you have an affiliation with Haus, and if so, please state it.

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