Sapphire Lounge Reopens as the ‘Rumpus Room’ After Year of Renovation
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Over two decades into its run, the Sapphire Lounge won’t be returning as its former self on Eldridge Street. Instead, owner Jahan Salarimatin and partner Gabriel Levy have a new joint venture up the proverbial sleeve. Rumpus Room—the British euphemism for a children’s playroom – is apparently opening this week specifically to capitalize on Fashion Week.
“The genesis of [Rumpus Room] for me was in spending summers as a teenager in a small town in France,” nascent owner Gabriel Levy, who joined the team in 2013, told WWD last week. “There was a cool Eighties French club that had zebra and leopard print and it sort of bordered really cool and really cheesy. And that in the back of my mind was always inspiration. Like, if I ever do a club I’d want to build something like that.”
The twenty-one-year-old nightclub closed last August for “soundproofing and revamping” initially anticipated to last three months. Overrun. With construction now complete – updated facade, too – what we’re getting is something different, yet much the same. It seems the renovation was a Trojan horse for a new endeavor altogether. And without the public forum of Community Board 3, which is usually required for such a change in method of operation.
The Rumpus Room will likely ruffle the feathers of the Eldridge Street Block Association, which carries a rather contentious relationship with Jahan Salarimatin.