Duane Park Brings Burlesque, Jazz (and Lady Gaga?) to Bowery Poetry Club Space

photoKelsey Kudak
IMG_2052 copyKelsey Kudak

A fresh coat of paint is still drying on the facade of the Bowery Poetry Club, but last week patrons slipped through the side door of 308 Bowery and entered another era.

The club now shares a space with Duane Park, the well-known burlesque joint formerly in Tribeca. Chandeliers from the 1920s glitter from 15-foot ceilings that allow room for aerial performances. Antique iron railings guard blue velvet booths and bar seats. A lofted VIP room looks over the restaurant’s 70 seats.

“I like that it looks like you’re out on the Bowery, and then you walk inside it feels like you’re somewhere else,” said Billy Camicia, a partner in Duane Park. Mr. Camicia books and produces the club’s acts. He has worked with Lady Gaga, and she’ll perform in the new club at some point, he said.

IMG_2070Kelsey Kudak

Though burlesque and modern jazz usurps the space Tuesday through Saturday, the poetry club will live on Sundays and Mondays.

Bob Holman, its founder, said he brought Duane Park into the space because his efforts to run a downtown arts center and coffee shop never proved sustainable. “It was providing a great service for us to be able to host music and theater and other sister arts, but we were spending so much time trying to book and run the space that we weren’t tending to our mission, which is giving a home to poetry as an oral art,” he said.

Mr. Holman said he had known one of Duane Park’s owners, Marisa Ferrarin, and her husband, Paul Etienne Lincoln, for years. “Their mission fits in with the new Bowery, and their population fits in with the old space,” he said. Mr. Lincoln, an award-winning artist, designed the new club, creating a catwalk, throwback wallpaper, and a spinning, hydraulic stage.

IMG_2072Kelsey Kudak

The Bowery Poetry Club’s bar has been given a new marble top; everything else has been designed anew, or has been repurposed from the original Duane Park. What was once the poetry club’s stage is now the new club’s kitchen. A tunnel was even built to allow performers underneath the floor of the restaurant to enter the dressing room and stage.

The Bowery Poetry Club will use the space on Sundays and Mondays and Duane Park will be open Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight. Check out the southern-inflected menu below.

Warm Duck Confit
White Wine-Steamed P.E.I. Mussels
Sunchoke Veloute
Tuna Tartare
Baby Arugula Salad
Pan-Roasted Shrimp
Chorizo-Chicken Liver Mousse

Pan-Roasted Organic Chicken
Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Pan-Roasted Monkfish
Grilled Fillet of Branzino
Penne Rigate
Roasted Rack of Lamb
Sautéed Pork Tenderloin
Pan-Seared Diver Scallops

Maple Créme Caramel
Chocolate Hazlenut Torte
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Rhubarb Crisp
Pecan Tart
Selection of Sorbet