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Studio 54 co-founder launches new Manhattan club, Public Arts

“You come here to be entertained, stimulated, be expanded …”

Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager has launched another successful New York City destination, Manhattan’s PUBLIC Hotel and accompanying Public Arts basement venue. The event space opened in June with a Patti Smith performance and is set to host events ranging from art exhibitions to “hot sweaty dancing”.

The event space is Schrager’s first nightclub venture since being arrested, and subsequently pardoned, on charges of tax evasion. “It brought closure to a very painful situation,” acknowledges Schrager of the pardon granted by President Obama. “It was something I was embarrassed about for my children. I wanted acknowledgement that you can make a mistake -- and boy, did we make a mistake -- but what’s important is that you pick yourself up and dust yourself off and go on.”

Schrager spent nearly $50 million to acquire the once-empty lot on which the hotel and performance space now rest. The nightlife veteran enlisted the talents of entertainment entrepreneurs Matt Kleigman and Carlos Quirarte to serve as day-to-day managers of the Public Arts space. The pair also own Soho café The Smile.

When asked by Billboard how Public Arts will differ from the iconic Studio 54, Schrager states: “You come here to be entertained, stimulated, be expanded and to try to get under one roof all those things that you previously had to go to many different venues to get. When you do a nightclub with just dancing, it has a shelf life. This doesn't because of the variety and nature of the events.”

Read the full interview here.

In related news, Schrager recently published a photobook of his Studio 54 highlights.