After singer-songwriter/motivational speaker/party-starter Andrew W.K. and partners spent three years getting a cabaret license and converting a former factory into a multi-level nightclub, Santos Party House opened in May 2008. Laminated flyers with cheerful messages like You have a beautiful face and Please continue drinking were scattered throughout the Manhattan nightclub and concert hall, as if to remind patrons that, while W.K. may not always be there, his spirit and influence always are. A wide and diverse range of national touring bands and DJs have performed at Santos since its opening, including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kelis, Q-Tip, and Of Montreal.
Located on the outskirts of Chinatown at 96 Lafayette Street, the 8,000 square foot club consists of two stages and three bars in two main rooms. The smaller downstairs room is sparsely decorated, with disco balls and walls consisting of black-painted bricks and the the mortar painted in ultraviolet red. At the back of the room are some seats, a DJ and soundboard booth, a bar with food, and what is sometimes a VIP area. In the upstairs room, the décor is minimalist as well: two bars line the dark, plain walls, pillars support a higher ceiling where more disco balls hang, and tables in the back keep VIPs secluded. Thanks to the high ceilings and large floor, the upstairs room offers a comfortable environment that never seems to run out of air, while downstairs is where the party gets hot and sweaty.
Most important in a concert venue is the quality of sound, and the soundsystem at Santos is exceptional. Both floors strike the delicate balance between loud and clear that most venues fail to achieve. Mixed drinks are as expensive as one can expect to find in New York, but beer is surprisingly affordable, with several varieties available for five dollars. While the minimalism is reminiscent of countless venues in Brooklyn, it’s not without its charms, and the atmosphere at Santos proves as enjoyable as its name implies. Santos may be sparsely decorated, but the end result is an unpretentious house where local music lovers can party hard.
Santos Party House
96 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10013
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