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July 6th, 2005

An Evening at the SoHo Grand

by Sareena Sandhu

SoHo Grand
310 West Broadway
between Canal St. & Grand St

In the heart of SoHo and walking distance to great restaurants, cafes, and shopping rests the SoHo Grand Hotel. Recently, I frequented their Saturday night to checkout the crowd and ambiance. The d?╔└▄cor of the bar was equivalent to that of a spacious living room with roomy couches, soft lighting, and appropriate music. While waiting for a drink at the well stocked bar, I spoke to a group visiting from the UK. Christopher and Ian were staying at the Soho Grand and just had come down for a cocktail. They spoke at length of the staff and rooms and their enjoyment of the hotel. This night was a bit of a mystery but already they had met a lot of people and were at home in this fixture.

Lots of people have made the SoHo Bar their early spot for a lounge/bar. On Saturdays, DJ Carol C. starts the party with reggae, hip hop and afro beats and DJ Ursula 1000 continues the mix with funky beats and old favorites. Most diehard New Yorkers can appreciate the spontaneity of a lounge that looks like a larger version of their own living rooms, complete with great conversation, drinks, and eye candy. I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of international artist Janet Ruppel. She operates the Janet Ruppel Studio and gallery space at 34 Greene Street in SoHo. Ruppel has been a fixture of the downtown artistic community and creates life size murals of people. She recently produced a 10×10 piece of Ivana Trump for Trump’s Palm Beach dwelling. She remarked on how the SoHo area has changed, but admitted that the studio space she has she wouldn’t trade for the world.

But it was Sophie, Ruppel’s dog, who stole the show. This collie mix is treated like a guest celebrity at the SoHo Grand. All of her fans come over to shake her paw and say hello. She is definitely treated like royalty, remarks Ruppel. Kerry Kramer who works for the SoHo Grand offers that the hotel definitely takes a pro-pets policy toward the care and attendance of events. “A dog in a bar,” one might be wondering? But since the Grand opened in 1996, guests can request their own goldfish as a pet during their stay at the hotel. Ruppel says, “She’s a very friendly dog. She loves people, and I get stopped constantly. I think Sophie should have a SAG card.” Sophie was definite enjoying the food that we ordered toward the end of the evening.

While most of the crowd was enjoying the music in the main area of the lounge, there was a private VIP party going on in the left corner. One of the patrons offered, “Maybe it’s something exciting, like a birthday party for Lindsay Lohan.” Well?╔é─ýsomeone was celebrating their birthday, but thankfully not that celebrity. Somewhere, around 1:30 am with the DJ playing some great dance hits, guests filtered in and out of the Soho Grand?ăČć bar ready for their next destination.

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York





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