Mar 15, 2023
4 min read
In the heat of the summer of 2021, as New York City slowly and safely reopened, a mystical fantasy emerged like an oasis in the heart of Manhattan.
Instantaneously, Somewhere Nowhere, a multi-level indoor lounge, nightclub, and open-air rooftop pool perched atop Chelsea’s Renaissance New York Hotel, became one of the hottest spots in the Big Apple. Now entering its second full year in operation, the nightlife (and daytime) destination is poised to expand its diverse slate of musical programming to an even wider audience – throughout New York City and the country.
Any visitor to Somewhere Nowhere NYC will immediately be struck by the venue’s incomparable panoramic views of the cityscape, which recently served as the backdrop to performances from world-renowned electronic artists like Green Velvet, Francis Mercier, Tini Gessler, Wax Motif, Sonny Fodera, and Dombresky. Yet one of the founding principles of the venue was to create a space beyond the confines of genre. Somewhere Nowhere’s programming offers an eclectic mix of music, hosting everything from five-piece jazz ensembles for the after-work business crowd to high-energy house and techno sunset sessions that transition the space from an evening cocktail lounge into a VIP nightclub experience.
“To elevate the experience, we like to bring different types of musical formats,” says Nathan Leong, managing partner, founder, and owner of Somewhere Nowhere. “From jazz to hip-hop to house and deep house to everything from all around the world, we create a melting pot of different styles of music.”
Somewhere Nowhere is the manifestation of Leong’s childhood wonders. A lover of fairy tales, Leong helped design the space in the vision of his home country, Puerto Rico.
“The whole concept was built around my favorite childhood books, movies, and concepts. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, a lush magical island. I always wanted to create something that brought home where I was born and raised.”
At its core, the 5,500-square-foot venue, says Leong, offers patrons an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and transports them
into a world of culinary and sonic wonder. Equipped with a rooftop pool, in the summertime, the venue hosts poolside DJs and table service. In the winter, glass igloos where patrons can enjoy intimate dinner and drinks dot the roof. Meanwhile, the Main Lounge’s Secret Garden offers a whimsical pop of color against Manhattan’s majestic skyline year-round.
Somewhere Nowhere co-founders Sameer Qureshi and Nathan Leong.
Somewhere Nowhere’s location in the clamor of Manhattan — on the border of the Chelsea and Nomad neighborhoods — is also part of its magic. During the past decade, much of New York’s nightlife scene has migrated to Brooklyn and Queens, outer boroughs that typically offer more retail space for nightlife.
“We definitely saw the [nightlife] shift into Brooklyn. And pre-COVID, a lot of music in clubs was hip-hop and Top 40 dominated,” says Leong. “There has also been a cultural transition into deep house and tech house. We wanted to build our music programming around that. We also wanted to offer a venue where people don’t have to leave the city to enjoy that type of music, bringing that experience back to where a lot of people live.”
Pablo Fierro at Somewhere Nowhere
In its tenure, Somewhere Nowhere has boasted a range of artists across the international house and techno spectrum. Leong, himself a DJ, knew the importance of having a state-of-the-art sound system to attract world-renown talent, especially ones known for hybrid live performances.
“We have KV2 sound systems. This is a sound system where you could talk like we’re talking right now and still hear the music. Super crisp. You can hear everything. The sound system is a very important feature of the immersive feeling we try to instill for the patrons.”
“One of our favorite things is finding unique artists who play live. Monolink. Bob Moses. Or going after guys like Gordo, who transitioned from trap to tech house and deep house. It’s about finding that specific sound that goes with our all-around vibe,” he adds.
Even with only a year and a half under its belt, the Somewhere Nowhere team has ambitions to take their vision nationally, with immersive pop-ups at arts festivals and sporting events nationwide. For now, any time of year, patrons can find unforgettable, premium nightlife experiences right in the heart of New York: winter or summer. Daytime, nighttime, or golden hour, Somewhere Nowhere has created a space for any fantasy – if you just know where to look.