Warren Buffett was flanked by two women as he sat on the stadium-style couches at Jay-Z‘s club. The 81-year-old billionaire was there to celebrate the grand re-opening of The 40/40 Club, one of New York’s lamer nightlife spots which also happens to be owned by one of its coolest residents.
Situated between Murray Hill and what could be considered Murray Hill West, not a single rap song played at the sports bar-nightclub hybrid until midnight, three hours after the doors opened. Buffett subtly bopped his head to “Under Pressure”, as he waited for the proud new dad to arrive.
Tuxedoed men in goofy tophats and women in fascinators greeted guests with glasses of Ace of Spades champagne. The crowd itself appeared to consist of young bankers, slightly older bankers, and much older bankers. White guys in bad suits hung out with other white guys in bad suits. Suddenly Buffett’s presence didn’t seem so strange.
The club has one thing going for it: space, and lots of it. There are plenty of nooks — all lined with gilded baseball bats — with plenty of banquettes. The upstairs goes on forever, and keeps up the sports bar theme with bar stools, pool tables, and framed jerseys on the walls. There are TVs everywhere, all set to MSG, NBA TV, or both. Private party rooms look like nicely appointed cruise ship cabins. Some have pool tables in them.
When Jay arrived a fashionable hour or so late, a group of men from GQ got up from the couches where they were making out with their girlfriends and joined in the gawking. To their credit, they were the best dressed guys in the house. The rapper-turned-mogul looked immaculate himself, beaming and doling out hugs in a sharp black suit replete with tie clip and pocket square. Ashanti watched from below as Jay made his way up to Buffett at the top of stadium couches. Jay complimented his plaid tie, and the two mugged for the camera before retreating to a room in the back.
Throughout the night DJ S&S reminded the crowd they were at “the world’s greatest sports bar”, and gave a shoutout to “the whole Roc nation” during “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”. When he put on Rick Astley‘s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, we knew it was our cue to leave. We were literally being Rick Roll’d.
The coat check line was dozens deep with only two people behind the counter. The coats weren’t in order, and people were freaking out. There was shoving, there was crying, and there was Questlove. The Roots drummer stayed calm amidst the screaming girls, tweeting on his BlackBerry as he switched his pick from one side of his afro to the other. One girl turned to him, hoping he would share in her misery, oblivious to who she was talking to. He gave her a sympathetic nod.
“They got 99 coat check claims but that mink wasn’t one,” he tweeted. Hey, that was our coat! We tweeted back, praising his sweater with a puffy Q stitched on it. He responded that he was glad we got our coat, and we asked if the crying girl ever stopped. “That was a stroke of genius, I woulda given her any of them marchillas.” He meant Margielas, and we agreed.