Uptown Omar

by AVENUE insider Photographed by Leonel Priano
Friday, March 30, 2018
Liliana Cavendish, Omar Hernandez and AVENUE columnist Nina Griscom


Last night, the staid East Side was hopping long after midnight as Omar at Vaucluse, the new collaboration between the Altamarea restaurant group and downtown club-owner and man-about-town Omar Hernandez, proved there is life and style in the old neighborhood yet. 

Among those spotted in the restaurant-club in recent days: AVENUE columnists Debbie Bancroft, Asher Edelman and Nina Griscom, Young Paris, Linda Fargo, Christine and Stephen Schwarzman, Katherine Keating, Gilles Mendel and Maxwell Osborne, Yaz Hernandez, Lavinia Snyder, Aerin Lauder, Alex Shustorowich, Ramona Singer, Dorinda Medley, Wilbur and Hilary Geary Ross, Roy Kean, Richard Johnson, Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece, Four Seasons co-owners Julian and Lisa Niccolini, and an international cast of young, old and in-between.

Omar’s newest venture opened with a handful of friends and family dinners in mid-March, but since it began welcoming the public nine days ago, with a resident dj, it’s been an instant hit. The bar and dining room occupy the east end of the sprawling Vaucluse, which has had a rocky journey since it first opened at 100 E 63rd St. just off the corner of Park Avenue in September 2015. A bad review back then from the newspaper of record seemed to spell doom for the French eatery, but executive chef Michael White and his Altamarea partner Ahmass Fakahany proved determined to make the place work. A revamp of both the space and the menu late last year was a good first step. But the addition of the swellegant Omar has proved a game-changer.

Vaucluse proper (which stops serving at 10:30) was empty as Thursday turned to Good Friday, but beyond a thick curtain, Omar’s joint kept jumping well into the wee hours. “Not since the Surf Club,” one patron sighed, eyeing lithe lovelies of both sexes dancing down the lounge aisle, conjuring fond memories of the time when the infamous Beavers Brothers ran one of New York’s best late night joints. Back then, certain powders of ill repute fed the revelry. Nowadays, patrons make do with the three Ds: Drinking, Dining and Dancing. And still, the energy stays high. 

Will Omar spark a nightlife renaissance on the East Side? Stay tuned.




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