Around the Scene: Oct. 29, 2009

The former home to Peter Gatien’s Limelight Nightclub, an old church in the blossoming Chelsea neighborhood of New York, will soon be realizing its third incarnation, this time as a high-end indoor shopping bazaar. Coined the Limelight Marketplace, the three-story space will accommodate nearly 60 small boutiques and shops, some paying a rent premium to be near the 19th century stained-glass windows. Look for the Limelight to be reborn, albeit with a shopping spin, sometime next March. 

Spain’s health minister, Trinidad Jimenez, is applauding a new law in the popular tourist region of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, that makes happy hour promotions illegal. The new law bans any promotion that includes two drinks for the price of one during certain times or unlimited drinks at a flat fee. According to the Barcelona Reporter, venues that fail to comply could face fines up to $9,000 and serious violators can also be shut down entirely. The law, meant to crack down on binge drinking, may be expanded to other regions and is being considered by Jimenez for inclusion in a new national health bill.

The second expansion package to Rockstar Games’ uber-popular Grand Theft Auto IV video game is centered on nightlife and allows gamers to drink, hang with celebrities and partake in illegal activities. In The Ballad of Gay Tony, gamers can play and party at a high-end dance club Maisonette 9 or at popular gay nightclub Hercules, where they will play a variety of mini-games and missions.  These missions include taking care of fictitious celebrities, drinking Champagne and a dancing game where with enough proficiency you can win a romantic bathroom rendezvous. There is also reportedly a club management feature, although details are tight on what it includes until its release later this week.

Las Vegas nightclubs are ideal places for a little celebrity spotting, but we doubt many people could name the straight-laced guy sighted holding court at a stage table at PURE Nightclub surrounded by the suit and earphone-sporting Secret Service and F.B.I. last weekend; it was U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. In town on official business, he wanted to check out the venue that has been under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for almost two years now. Let’s hope there’s nothing more to this story; it makes us nervous when the Feds start hanging around, even on an unofficial basis.

In Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2009 America’s Favorite Cities survey, cities were judged on a variety of questions and categories ranging from nightlife and food to scenery and friendliness. In the nightlife section of the survey, the top cities landed in this order: New Orleans; Austin, Texas; New York; Las Vegas and Chicago.

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