Tammany Hall owner and general party starter Dave Delzio has decided to take matters into his own hands with his re-launch of Little Chitaly tiki bar/pool hall Tropical 128.It’s hard not to get misty-eyed, reminiscing over New York’s party days of yore. In some ways it’s the blessing and curse of this city, forever trapped in a glow of its former self. Rather than indulge the nostalgia, though,
“Everybody wants old New York back, fuck old New York – it’s never going to happen,” said Delzio over the phone, on the motivation behind his most recent venture. Delzio, together with his partner Daniel Lara, took ownership over the 14-year-old establishment about a month ago. “I grew up on Manhattan, I’m 40 years old now, and I’m just so sick of everything going on in the New York party scene. I just want people to have fucking fun again.”
Delzio is specifically tired of “pretention,” the word he most often uses to describe New York’s nightlife. With Tropical 128, Delzio is countering the trend of club as impenetrable fortress, returning rather to a time when partying in the city meant mixing social circles and admittance was simply a desire for fun. “I just want an environment where you don’t have to struggle to get in and everybody can cohabitate: the downtown crowd, sexy people, unsexy people, no douchebags.”
Tropical 128, in turn, is Delzio’s earnest attempt to reclaim what he sees as this lost party space in the city. The next step, naturally, is décor. Keeping the pool tables, Delzio has since added some “old-school arcade games,” a couple of foosball tables and a new tiki bar. All of this, together with Tropical 128’s locale and pre-existing furnishings, translates to a vibe, according to Delzio, somewhere in between Coney Island and Kurt Russell’s classic, Big Trouble in Little China. And along with the drapes, of course, come the drinks. “We’re designing a new cocktail menu, nothing too fancy but creative cocktails that adhere to the vibe,” said Delzio, elaborating further on said vibe. “I don’t want it to be like a cocktail lounge where you wait 45 minutes for a drink, it’s got to be quick. I just want people to have a place they can call home.”
Tropical 128 is located at 128 Elizabeth Street and currently holds a weekly Thursday night party hosted by DJ Prince Terrence, called Toyland.