THE MAN WHO MADE PACHA A NIGHTCLUB FIXTURE IN MANHATTAN BRINGS HIS FLAIR FOR DANCE SPACE CONCEPTION TO A BOROUGH STARVING FOR THEM
BY KENNETH MILES
I was always a believer that the definition of a nightclub should be a melting pot…all shapes, sizes, and colors,” Eddie Dean, owner of Schimanski in Williamsburg said. “Everyone there for the same reason to have a good time. I like to call the philosophy I apply a ‘No jerks allowed’ policy.” When you arrive at 43 North 11th Street, in front of what Google Search terms an “industrial nightclub,” a mental and visual stretch might be required to detect signs of good times within. In an increasingly popular presentation among the small handful of dance clubs in the borough, a minimalist approach prevails, and in daylight hours it’d be reasonable to assume this was a loading area, a depot…anything but a “dance outpost refuge, free of whining hipsters,” as one Yelp reviewer put it.
Named after the hard bitten detective Horst Schimanski on a long standing and eponymous German TV series, this new club has become as popular with tourists as it has with locals still chafing at the remarkable lack of dance options for an urban community that, standing alone, would be the fifth largest city in the country.
When guests step inside the 10,000-square foot space, they are patted down and searched by security with the thorough-ness of TSA agents a process that, as Dean explained, is meant to offer peace of mind, and not intimidation. e interior was designed by the owner, who has been in the nightclub business almost 30 years, and emphasizes a blitzkrieg of computerized lighting and an Alpha Dynacor audio system (founded in 1946, this component maker has over the years developed a passionate following in the nightclub circuit).
New Jersey native and married father of three, Dean spent years running the popular nightspot Pacha in Manhattan, and has earned a reputation for attracting celebrity guests, such as professional athletes and models like Kendall Jenner. He brought the current Schimanski site in 2016, a building that formerly housed the dance club Verboten, knowing that Williamsburg was overdue for a better conceived late night venue. “Brooklyn has become a real brand,” he said. “You go to Europe, they know the borough, but this idea was badly needed.”
As for programming, eclecticism is his watchword.
“We try to mix things up. If it’s trance…electronica, if it’s techno, or EDM, we stick to respected producers and DJs,” he said while preparing for a party later in the evening. “We’ve assembled a great team. I guess I’m the air traffic controller, and sort of work out the bigger picture…generating new business.”
Part of bringing in that business includes attracting corporate clients like fashion labels Supreme and Marc Jacobs, and also booking live performances from artists like Jaden Smith, who played at Schimanski during Grammy week. Another special event was “Muse,” a party wherein DJ Dennis Cruz curated a set of chart toppers and underground classics.
The typical admission is around $25, which is actually on the thrifty side, and designed to be so. “Let’s face it, some people don’t have the money to get into a club, so we create an opportunity; if you come before 12 a.m., we’ll let you in for free,” the owner said.
In due course, Dean plans on expanding the club and offering more daytime events.
“We’ve done some really fun brunches. We did something called ‘Daft Brunch,’ which is a play on a Daft Punk themed brunch,” he added. “Instead of French toast, we have ‘Fresh Toast,’ which is sort of a hip hop and freestyle themed brunch, and we will probably do more in the spring.”
54 North 11th Street / schimanskinyc.com