A new Playboy Club opened in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in September, a reincarnation of the original Club (home of famous Bunnies like Debbie Harry and Gloria Steinem) that closed in 1986. But despite the Playboy Club’s considerable legacy, all apparently has not been smooth sailing with this new establishment. Page Six quotes a source who calls the current situation there a “crisis,” because “management hasn’t been able to train the famed ‘Playboy Bunnies’ to perform basic hosting tasks.” Page Six suspects that these bunnies may have been hired for their looks, not necessarily their service skills, leaving some patrons drinkless and foodless.
The source tells Page Six that new management has brought in actual waiters, leaving the Bunnies to focus on running drinks. Playboy Bunny pay has also apparently been cut from $40 an hour to $25. The club tells Page Six officially, “The club is committed to creating a great experience for [its] growing number of members and dinner guests, as well as being a great place to work for all of our employees.”
The first Playboy Club opened in Chicago in 1960, setting the basic layout formula of a Living Room, a Playmate Bar, a Dining Room, and a Club Room. The club franchise died in 1991, but there have been a few attempts to bring it back, with this NYC club as the latest such effort. There was a new club in Vegas from 2006 to 2012, as well as clubs in Macao and Cancun that have since closed. The Commerce Casino in Los Angeles currently has a Playboy-themed lounge and Bunny waitresses. The New York Club’s website doesn’t feature any Playboy Bunnies on its front page, instead billing itself as a supper club and highlighting the high-end food.