News & Runway

Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club Reopens: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

Jay Z

WHAT: The Reopening of Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club

WHERE: 6 W 25th St, New York City

WHEN: Last Wednesday at 10 PM

WHY: Why not?

WHO: Jay-Z, Spike Lee, Damaris Lewis, QuestLove, Warren Buffett, Russell Simmons, Selita Ebanks…

…and me. The scene was bananas: white tents as far as the eye could see, bouncers guarding every entrance, line wrapping around the block, red carpet, step-and-repeat, lights, cameras, and lots of action. Inside, my friends and I were greeted with glasses of champagne and a see-and-be-seen crowd dressed to the nines. Massive LED televisions shined from up high, gilded bottles of bubbly lined the walls, and passed hors d’oeuvres by Chef Mike Shand were scarfed as soon as they emerged from swinging kitchen doors. Meanwhile, tiered rows of leather couches showcased ladies dancing to 80s beats, and their dates scanning the crowd for the man of the hour.

It was a slightly different night for my friend, Lauren Menache, who does PR for the 40/40 Club, which was reopening after a $10 million-plus renovation. Her evening included panicked bouncers, sleuthing party crashers, and a to-do list of managing guests, press, red carpet arrivals, and Mr. Carter, himself. There are a few ingredients necessary for the perfect party and no one knows that recipe better than Menache. I caught up with her the next day (despite a wicked hangover) to do some research in the name of my own future fetes…

Top 3 Ingredients for the Perfect (Opening) Party:

  1. Organized lists that can be easily followed and read by everyone involved…including media lists, inside press lists, guest lists, celebrity attendee list, crasher lists, etc. We have people running the event that were seeing my lists for the first time an hour before the party. They had to be easy to understand and easy to use under high-pressure situations.
  2. Open Bar — you need to get people in the spirit to celebrate!
  3. An engaging, upbeat DJ

It was some party…and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.