Emo’s East Village Enclave Opens for Business

At 8:45 last night (April 30), the tables were still being shoved into place at Pete Wentz’s new East Village hangout, Angels and Kings (500 E. 11th Street). Or, if you prefer the version the waitresses advertised on homemade tees, AK47. The bar’s been home to the FOB clique for about a week now (The Academy Is…, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, and Midtown are among them), and they were out in full force to support the space for its official opening night.

Free drinks flowed in the small, cavernous space, lit by red bulbs that cast a pleasant, warm glow over the skinny jeaned, hipster crowd. “I feel like we threw the red light special,” said the man of the hour himself, Wentz. “Everyone looks good in this light.” That way, he explains, you’ll never go home with someone ugly. Um, thanks? Not that anyone in the place needed to worry. The pretty people were in the majority, dancing to Bloc Party, Hot Chip, and Lily Allen remixes blaring from the DJ booth manned by DJ TKOmri. As the night wore on, others hit the decks, including Midtown’s Rob Hitt, Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy, and inevitably, NYC’s ubiquitous party kids, the Misshapes.

Despite the Moroccan lounge theme, exposed brick walls, candles, movie projector (The Godfather, last night) and a slightly VIP area where Wentz held court with Ashlee Simpson and crew, Wentz says the décor was somewhat of an accident. “I wanted it to be a dive bar. I wanted to put a bridge on the boys room and a tunnel on the girls room. That idea was shot down, though changes could still be made; right now the bathrooms are covered in cool, arty, Asian-themed wallpaper left by the previous owner.”

The crowd stayed strong until midnight and beyond, with Pete making rounds, endearingly making sure everything was going smoothly and keeping his new patrons happy. But mostly, Wentz looks forward to the day AK47 becomes a regular neighborhood bar. “In the coming weeks we’ll see how it really is,” he said. “If people show up, they show up, if they don’t, they don’t.” For now, the former seems like a pretty safe bet. ROBIN MONHEIT / PHOTOS BY JACKIE ROMAN


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