The Beatrice Inn was a zeitgeist-defining party spot, like the Paradise Garage or Studio 54 before it, with such forceful hipness that NYC has yet to find a suitable replacement. Spaces continue to jockey for the honors that venue won; we look at a few of the contenders.
1920 Bunker Club
Not to be confused with the raucous Williamsburg techno throwdown, the Bunker Club is the Beatrice heir with the best claim to the throne—it's co-owned by Bea cofounder Matt Abramcyk. The underground space has a ceiling that's a bit too high to evoke its forebearer's claustrophobic intimacy, but the Bunker Club has captured some of the old-fashioned rowdiness that helped persuade Bea patrons to let loose, aided by a cheese-friendly music policy. 24 Ninth Ave at 13th St (212-837-4700)
The Ballroom at the Jane Hotel
You won't find all-night dance explosions here anymore, but the music hasn't died. When the Bea passed into that great nightclub in the sky, a lot of the energy that animated it flowed down the block to the Jane. The DJs here still spin some of the old favorites, and the door remains tough enough that this is still a good place for the Olsens and other celebri-ties to let their hair down like they used to up the street. 113 Jane St between Washington and West Sts (thejanenyc.com)
The Electric Room
The Dream Downtown's underground playroom is probably the toughest door in the city right now: It's almost brand new and painfully tiny, with just enough room for about a hundred revelers. But it's still more lounge than club, and whether this particular dream can be dirty enough to snatch the Bea's scepter remains to be seen. 355 W 16th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-229-2559, dreamdowntown.com)
While the Bea was partially defined by its lack of a view, Le Bain is on the 18th floor of the Standard, facing west; the venue is nothing without its panorama and the voyeurism its location evokes. Some Beatrice partisans scorn the slickness at work here: While the door is quite difficult, the selection is a bit less boho, a bit more bottle service. There's also a hot tub (correlating to its French moniker). Still, for a certain type of monied, celebrity-proximity-valuing Manhattanite, Le Bain sometimes achieves a level of abandon that once lived at the Bea. 444 W 13th St at Washington St (212-645-4646, standardhotels.com)