Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review of Place Invaders, NYC's Secret Supper Club

Review of Place Invaders, NYC's Secret Supper Club, brooklyn brownstone

A couple months back a friend excitedly told me about Place Invaders, a "private dining experience set in extraordinary homes in NYC". I was intrigued and thought a secret supper club might just be what I needed to get out of the monotonous depths of winter. So as soon as I got back to my desk, I went on to their website (bare bones, with nothing more than an elusive "Come invade with us!") and left my email address in hopes of finding out more.

A few weeks later, I got the following email -

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A few people asked us where the location was or what kind of place we'd be going to. We don't tell you. We'll never tell you until you buy a ticket. Even then, we don't tell you until the day of.

Places we've Invaded include:
David Barton's Apartment
The Black Apartment
Gramercy Park
An Abandoned Penthouse

This weekend's Invasion will be no different; an exclusive look into an interesting lifestyle afforded by the only the upper echelon of society, and while a few events are already sold out, there are a few tickets left.

---

I'm not going to lie, I hate not knowing and this whole air of mystery was driving me nuts (damn you, marketing ploys).  And before I got the chance to fully register the obscene $85 price tag for brunch, I was on the check out page, clicking "purchase".  To be fair, the alternative was dinner at double that price and I wasn't about to shell out Benjamins for something I knew nothing about (damn you AGAIN, marketing ploys).

Review of Place Invaders, NYC's Secret Supper Club, brooklyn brownstone

The night before brunch, we still had not gotten any information on where brunch would be. For a planner like myself, it was unnerving. I'm paying top dollar for this brunch and I don't even know where it will be? What do you mean I can't Google/Yelp the crap out of you before I step foot in the door?

Unfortunately, the disappointment didn't stop there.

When we did arrive, the three-storied brownstone in Brooklyn was far from the "extraordinary home" that their website proclaimed (or maybe I just didn't understand its charm). The rooms were cramped, and the home old and run down - when we walked, the stairs moaned and creaked from our weight. Although I must admit that the wafts of smoky cedar from the many fireplaces dotted throughout the house did redeem it a little (but maybe it was the champagne talking).

Review of Place Invaders, NYC's Secret Supper Club, fireplace, brooklyn brownstone

After a brief tour of the home, things started to look up as we wandered back downstairs where we started mingling with our fellow diners over hors d'oeuvres (deviled eggs and baked oysters). It was refreshing to get to talk to people from a variety of backgrounds and ages (a media power couple, young professionals pharma, a lesbian in food PR...) and deviate from the same nuanced topics you revert to with friends and coworkers. The conversations were also easier because the group was open to making new friends and didn't just clump together in their respective friend groups. It gave me a glimmer of hope that beyond the army of resting bitch faces we see on the subway every day, there are many interesting, exciting New Yorkers waiting to be met. This was also where we learned that the quaint neighborhood we were in was frequently used to film scenes from Girls and other HBO shows (cool!).

But just when I thought I had totally prejudged the book by its cover, Place Invaders gave me reason to justify my inner negative Nancy. By now we were already 1.5 hours in and they were still not ready to serve brunch. At 2:30 pm, isn't this more like a linner than anything?! I was starving and not a happy camper. When the food finally did show up, it was mediocre and the wait between courses painfully long. When we finished our meal, the sun had fallen and I felt woozy and disappointed to have lost an entire day's of sunlight (brunch took 4 HOURS).


However, when all is said and done, I must applaud Place Invaders for their creativity and business acumen. Their idea blossomed from renting Airbnb homes for the weekend to strategically partnering up with real estate agents to host dinners in homes for sale, which presumably lowered their costs significantly. But along the cost-cutting way, a little of their proclaimed magic got lost. It simply is not the same invading a well-lived, well-furnished home versus a home that's half empty and looking for some loving (and a lot of furnishing).

Overall, Place Invaders was an interesting concept and I got the chance to meet a lot of people I would never normally cross paths with. But would I do it again? Read: wait over two hours for overpriced, mediocre food?
No, thank you.

Review of Place Invaders, NYC's Secret Supper Club

tl;dr
Place Invaders, a "private dining experience set in extraordinary homes in NYC" was better in concept than in execution. It was a good opportunity to meet a bunch of cool people, but the high price point and long wait for mediocre food makes this a no-go in my book.

1 comment:

  1. These guys are absolutely amazing, and you'd be crazy to party anywhere else in the city. I would highly recommend this place to anyone. This best karaoke bar nyc is elegant, affordable, and delicious. You really get bang for your buck there! And the service is top-notch.

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