Retro jazz club opens on MacDougal St.


BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Last month, a retro jazz club called Special Club opened its doors at 43 MacDougal St. 

The spot is modeled after old-school musical social clubs and features live jazz, blues and soul performances, with two seatings a night, one at 8 p.m. and the second at 10 p.m.  A $20 cover charge gets patrons access to a show. A $40 cover charge includes a cup of sake and light bites. 

The lineup of performers is updated on Special Club’s calendar every two weeks. So far, guitarist Mark Sganga, saxophonist Kenny Shanker, soul group Poetic Thrust, jazz group Shenel Johns Quartet and pianist Dayramir Gonzalez have made up the club’s musical lineup. Upcoming acts are also announced on Instagram. 

Special Club’s drink menu includes a variety of sakes, cocktails and wines from neighboring Niche Niche’s wine cellar. Both Special Club and Niche Niche are owned by 31-year-old restaurateur Ariel Arce, whose other social spots are Tokyo Record Bar and Air’s Champagne Parlor. Special Club is the fourth venue Arce has opened in the last three years. All four of her places are on MacDougal St.

Special Club owner Ariel Arce has opened four venues in three years. ( Photo by Noah Fecks).

Chefs Zach Fabian and Aaron Lirette will serve up small plates of caviar, shrimp and pork dumplings, spicy pickles, tuna tartare and boiled king crab for guests to snack on as they take in shows. For more information about performances and reservations, visit Special Club’s Web site, specialclubnyc.com