Diners enjoy sushi at a wooden table, with a platter of various sushi types surrounded by drinks and...

Nylon Nights

BONDST’s 25th Anniversary Was A Lesson In Nightlife History

Some of the late night scene’s MVP’s came out of retirement for the big night.

by Tim Latterner

Even in nightlife, it’s important to respect those who came before you. The clubs, bars, restaurants, and parties we have now were born from a previous generation of nightlife’s successes. In the early 2000s, where to go, eat, see people, and be seen by people came down to one Noho sushi spot: BondST. On Wednesday night, the landmark nightlife hangout celebrated 25 years of business by bringing all their clientele and friends to their new location at Hudson Yards.

Groups entered past a large “25” ice sculpture to the restaurant’s team passing around sushi and lychee martinis. Tuna tartare tacos, crab rolls, oysters, salmon sashimi, and crab shooters (and more) all floated around the room between three open bars. Sweeping, sunset views overlooking the Hudson acted as a gravitational force to pull people toward the back of the venue. People mingled around standing tables while the real favorites and early regulars claimed some of the large round tables. At one, talk show host Graham Norton was chatting with “I May Destroy You” creator and star Michaela Coel.

The crowd, like the restaurant, is more grown up now. In a Sex and the City episode from 1999, Miranda confesses to Carrie and Charlotte about Will Arnett’s Jack, “We’ve done it in the bathroom at BondST.” Today, the bathrooms have baby-changing stations that are actually used for their intedned purposes. Any of the men in attendance look like they could have seriously f*cked up Carrie’s week in 2002. Last night, the best dressed award went to one of their ten year old sons, who was munching on a tuna roll in a tailored jacket. Candace Bushnell herself also was floating from group to group last night, catching up with friends in a sequined, leopard print dress.

The party wasn’t any less lively though. Earlier in the night, I rode the elevator to the 5th floor restaurant with a 60-something woman toting a small dog in her purse named “Majorelle.” Nearly three hours later, Majorelle and two friends were jumping and dancing to the DJ booth. At the sight of this, Dorinda Medley, also in leopard print, started moving to the stage. In a flash, the Real Housewife had scaled the booth and was dancing with the two DJ’s. This is still the crowd that wears sunglasses inside at a party, the only difference is now they’re prescription sunglasses. And yet, it still draws the starry crowd it always has; last summer, Taylor Swift hosted a girls night there with Selena Gomez, Sophie Turner, Brittany Mahomes, Gigi Hadid, and Cara Delevingne.

BondST’s owner and founder, Jonathan Morr, has been a significant influence and mentor to the next generation of nightlife owners. Thatcher Shultz, the man behind clubs like The Garrett, Make Believe, Her Name Was Carmen, and plenty of others, cites Morr as an early mentor to his career.

“All the ‘whomst whomst’ of New York are here,” Shultz told NYLON. “It’s a great vibe, everything is decked out. What could be better?”

The night culminated in two celebratory events, a birthday cake that was sliced up and passed around, and the “breaking of the barrel.” In Japanese culture, breaking open a sake barrel symbolizes new beginnings, and fostering community. Surrounded by friends, regulars, the longtime diners that made BondST so successful, it’s easy to picture doing this all again in another 25 years.

Candice Bushnell, Pablo Ferrarim and Luann de LeseppsBFA
Graham Norton, Michaela Coel, and Spencer Hewett.BFA
Pablo FerrariBFA
Dorinda MedleyBFA