Events — 19 January 2012
Jay-Z, Spike Lee, Warren Buffett, and CC Sabathia Celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of the 40/40 Club

Blog: The Re-Opening of the 40/40 Club

."\n"[img src=]630Jay-Z, Owner
[img src=]130Jay-Z, Owner
[img src=]130Jay-Z, Owner
[img src=]160CC Sabathia, New York Yankees
[img src=]80Spike Lee, Director
[img src=]70Warren Buffett, Billionaire
[img src=]110Ashanti, R&B Artist
[img src=]120Ashanti, R&B Artist
[img src=]120Kay Foxx, Hot97
[img src=]140Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals
[img src=]110Jacob the Jeweler
[img src=]80?uestlove, The Roots
[img src=]110Wale, Rapper
[img src=]90Renee Graziano, Mob Wives
[img src=]150Demaris Lewis, Model
[img src=]540James Anderson, Carolina Panthers
[img src=]160Ndamakong Suh, Detroit Lions
[img src=]120Fabolous, Rapper
[img src=]90Swizz Beatz, Rapper
[img src=]80Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets

With only four players in history having ever achieved the feat of 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in the same season, baseball’s 40/40 club is among the most exclusive as far as statistical accomplishments go. Wednesday night’s event at the Manhattan outpost sharing the same moniker was not as exclusive, but did manage to bring together a red carpet filled with some of the biggest names in hip hop and New York sports for an evening celebrating the vaunted club’s official grand re-opening.

With an ownership contingent led by hip hop mogul turned leader of the free world (and now a new father) Jay-Z, the 40/40 Club opened in 2003 as an elaborate sports bar meets night club and serves an excuse for imitators to revel in the same bling as the leader of Roc Nation. The massive space, ideal for big parties and private events, has played host to countless celebrity birthday parties since its inception. But June of 2010 saw the doors temporarily shutter with an effort to revamp the outfit’s restaurant menu and interior design. When plans for a September re-opening quickly fell by the wayside and with an estimated $10 million renovation bill later, Wednesday night’s re-opening gala was a celebration of the excesses about which most of us common folk dare not dream.

The big names began arriving close to 10pm and their lavish black cars didn’t stop dropping off guests until well after midnight. Some, like the world’s wealthiest man and Jay-Z confidant Warren Buffett, model Selita Ebanks, and mogul Russell Simmons, quickly scampered down the red carpet, avoiding many a photographer flash. Others like director Spike Lee, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, “Real Housewives of New Jersey’s” Kim G, and “Mob Wives”’ Renee Graziano each took their time walking the carpet, candidly posing for plenty of photographs. Hip hop artists ?uestlove, Wale, Swizz Beatz, Fabolous, and Ashanti paraded down the carpet spliced between a plethora of big name athletes. The Yankees’ CC Sabathia and former Met Carlos Beltran represented Major League Baseball, the Panthers’ James Anderson, the Bills’ Marcell Dareus, and the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh represented the NFL (many Giants were expected, but did not attend because of their game in San Francisco this weekend), and NBA stars Deron Williams (Nets) and Tyson Chandler (Knicks) each took a turn on the catwalk before heading to the upper level inside for their private party sections.

But the wait of the night was for the Jigga-man himself, and the discovery of whether or not wife Beyonce would join him in celebration. Shortly before 11pm, a Maybach pulled up to the front of the carpet and out popped a solo and smiling Jay-Z, genuinely excited to meet and greet the crowd inside and get a look at the 40/40 Club’s recent facelift. Despite her absence, Beyonce and newborn baby Blue Ivy were the talk of the entire evening and the proud papa could not have looked any happier before being quickly ushered inside of his club.

So much of the hype of the evening was occurring in the frigid tent outside the 40/40 Club, but inside, the event was just heating up. With an inspiration drawn from Manhattan’s lively and energetic nightlife, the newly refurbished interior is stunning. In fact, much of it is as elaborately decorated as you would expect to find in a perfect marriage of sports bar and luxury. Custom-illuminated amber resin bar tops, illuminated bottle-display towers, leather wall upholstery, plush lounge banquettes, giant screens, and opulent chandeliers all create a fun, chic interior of the newly renovated space. A complimentary open bar was coupled with the sampling of the restaurant’s new menu hors d’oeuvres, giving attendees a sample of what’s to come from the 40/40 Club. Tasty meatball sliders, juicy Buffalo wings, chicken empanadas, and mini beef tacos, were just some of the dishes being passed around, and each of which seemed to create a modern upscale twist on traditional bar fare. In addition to the jaw dropping atmosphere, 40/40 has 4 newly renovated VIP rooms, which housed many of the aforementioned celebrity guests. The remainder of the space is outfitted by a cavalcade of sports memorabilia surrounded by big screen televisions everywhere, each tuned to ESPN, making the 40/40 an ideal viewing spot for the upcoming NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

Although the end of the evening became a bit of a circus around perhaps the longest coat check line in human existence- which the proprietor himself even acknowledged via Twitter- the grand re-opening of the 40/40 Club was a showcase of Manhattan’s most glamorous side. The custom suits and designer dresses worn on this night would make Los Angeles partygoers swoon with envy. It seems as though Jay-Z is down to just 98 problems. And a newly renovated hotspot of a club ain’t one.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. How awesome,
    congrads, how did u gyuys evwer get to cover such a unique celeb event