Three decades after the original Playboy Club in New York City closed, a new one is emerging, just a few blocks from Times Square.


The Playboy Club featured Playboy Bunnies as bartenders, waitresses, and hostesses, decked out in leotards, rabbit tails and rabbit ears. The original was shut down during a change in American views on women. And yet this year, a new Playboy Club will emerge in the Cachet Boutique New York Hotel on West 42nd Street. It will replace the gay-themed Out Hotel that closed in 2016.

It “will be one of the most chic and sophisticated venues in the world,” says Playboy Enterprises spokesman John Vlautin. It will boast a lounge, restaurant, game room, and of course, Bunnies. While the original Manhattan location shut down, many still operate, in London, Hanoi and various places in India. Shanghai will open its own around the same time as the new New York location.

Travel guidebook publisher Pauline Frommer thinks the timing is all wrong with the opening. “Retro is in, but I’m not sure this type of retro,” she says. “We live in this era when thousands of women are gathering in marches to protest. I’m not sure the zeitgeist is right for Playboy now.”

Former Bunny Kathryn Leigh Scott, 74, weighed in, citing memories of her time at the Playboy Club. “Yes, it was chauvinistic by today’s standards, but back then, one felt protected and there were stringent rules we used to laugh about. It was more paternalistic than chauvinistic,” she said. “It was an opportunity and it was fun. You put your school clothes in a locker and put on a satin costume.”


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