In downtown Salt Lake City, a mysterious after-hours nightclub off Market Street is open on weekends and operates until 4 a.m., even as bars around it stop serving alcohol hours earlier.
The New Yorker Social Club sits in the former New Yorker restaurant space, located in the basement of The New Yorker building at 60 W. Market St.
It is licensed with the city as a reception center for private gatherings that are invite-only, such as wedding receptions, which allows it to operate as late as it does, regulatory officials said, and club owner Glen Ross Easthope, also known as “Ross Glen” Easthope, said the space is currently rented by two members-only groups.
Any alcohol served in the establishment is only what event organizers bring in themselves, said bartender Jasmine Rose, who has worked at the club since it opened.
One of the exclusive groups that meet at the New Yorker Social Club, called Foreign, favors hip-hop, Latin, Afrobeats and R&B music and meets from about 1:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings, said group founder Kevin Smith.
He said the group’s members are a mix of 21 and up, and Smith’s mother cooks food for everyone. “They love the food she cooks,” he said.
Sometimes, the group will host private parties for artists who are passing through town, including famous musicians and comedians, he said.
Foreign has been meeting at the New Yorker Social Club for about seven months, Smith said, and people can attend the group only if they have a paid, invite-only membership.
The other group, called The New Yorker, rents the space from 9 p.m. on Saturdays to about 1:30 a.m. on Sundays, said Rose. She described the group’s members as “mature” 30- to 45-year-olds, not the “young, crazy crowd,” and said they range from car dealership owners to dentist office owners.
Rose said The New Yorker group enjoys line dancing, mingling and chatting with her as she works behind the bar. Some of the events they hold are birthday parties, baby showers and themed events. Other times everyone wears their best cowboy boots and hats.
She said the group is made up of a lot of LGBTQ individuals and people “you could tell never felt included in things.”
“I have so many different personalities in there and and everybody’s accepted,” she said.
The New Yorker group has been the subject of a lot of rumors, Rose said, but “if anybody got the chance to meet the people that are a part of the group, I think that they would really love and even enjoy being in their presence, because they really are such a positive, uplifting group.”
To get in the club during a group event, you have to have your own membership pass, and it’s not enough to tell a security guard that you’ve been invited by someone already inside, Rose said.
Previously, on Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., a private group called The Divine Assembly, led by former Utah Sen. Steve Urquhart, met there. Urquhart said in an email that Easthope allowed the group — which bills itself as a “magic mushroom church” — to use the space for free.
Easthope was previously convicted of operating a business without a license, court records show, and is currently in an ownership dispute with one of his business partners regarding the since-shuttered Echo Nightclub at 134 W. Pierpont Ave in downtown Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City police are “very aware of” the New Yorker Social Club, Brent Weisberg, a police spokesperson, said. The agency has been involved in conversations aimed at addressing violent crime occurring “at/around” the venue “for several months,” he wrote in an email.
The landlord of the club’s building issued Easthope two eviction notices in June. Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is representing Easthope as the club contests the eviction — and continues operating.
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