ON a quiet Chinatown street, behind a nondescript door, lies the exclusive Le Baron, the local branch of Andr? Saraiva’s French night-life empire. In an experiment, the club has started hosting a gay night on Wednesdays called Les Gar?ons, when the formerly impenetrable door follows one simple rule: “I want everyone to dress up,” said Michael Fragoso, 22, the bow-tied promoter and host. “It’s like your entrance fee.”
David B. Torch for The New York Times
Les Gar?ons at Le Baron.
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Sure enough, earlier this month, there were lots of nattily dressed boys milling about the main floor, as well as plenty of gals who raised their midweek game, donning evening wear and ropes of faux pearls. Despite the looser door, there were still a few boldface friends dropping in, like the fashion designers Prabal Gurung and Marc Jacobs. There were plenty of French folks, too, giving the night an international spin.
THE PLACE This exquisitely decorated three-level space feels like the film set for a naughty noir with its dim lighting, chinoiserie and dense fog. Or maybe a Bond movie. You half-expect 007 to stop by for a game of baccarat or, now that he’s officially bi-curious, to check out the handsome crowd. Waitresses are decked out in red satin Shanghai drag to complete the cinematic illusion.
THE CROWD It’s heavy on fashion-industry types but hardly pretentious. Guys chatted with strangers seated next to them in the low-slung red velvet banquettes. From the balcony, there were no glowing smartphones in sight. People were interacting with people, not their devices.
THE PLAYLIST Mazurbate, the D.J., plays a lively mix of dirty Latin, dance hits and the odd French remix. The crowd shimmies as much as it can on the tight main floor. Downstairs, it’s somewhat more spacious, and the mood is deep house.
GETTING IN There is no cover; just Mr. Fragoso’s desire for a dressier night out. But even that seemed somewhat flexible. “The only thing I look for is confidence,” he added. You can also R.S.V.P. in advance to LesGarconsAuBaron@gmail.com.
DRINKS A Champagne-and-St.-Germain mix called Les Gar?ons is the house drink, sometimes offered on special. Regular cocktails start at $ 14, and Singha, the only beer available, is $ 8.
Les Gar?ons at Le Baron, 32 Mulberry Street, no phone, Wednesday, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
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