A symbol of the avant-garde, pre-Bloomberg East Village, Lucky Cheng’s is slipping its moors and heading uptown—to the glitzy, tourist-tempting Times Square.
The first cabaret-restaurant to employ drag illusionists as servers, hostesses and entertainers, the campy Chinois café’s will relocate to 240 West 52nd Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue. In landing smack in the middle of the bustling theatre district, the restaurant’s managers and staff “hope to avail [themselves] of a broader audience of tourists and theater-goers.” The move takes place September 17-21.
The relocation comes with a dramatic new aesthetic in keeping with its theatrical locale. Michael Byrnes, brought on board for interior and exterior design, has created stunning identities for theater and opera, music videos, film, restaurants and nightclubs. His credits include stage designs for Michael Jackson, Katy Perry and Phil Collins. His vision for Lucky Cheng incorporates elements of vintage movie palaces, kitschy sixties television and inscrutable drag touches. The soaring tri-level space features 20-foot ceilings, professional lighting and staging, and two enormous pink pumps flanking the entrance.
Les girls of the Lucky Cheng’s family are very busy creating costumes, headpieces, curtains, wall hangings, working on group and solo numbers, collaborating with songwriters, and training in aerial acts to dazzle the most blasé of audiences. Naturally, a reality show pilot following the move for the first episode is in the works with NBC’s affiliate Peacock Productions.