Let the show begin at Brooklyn’s newest soon-to-be hotspot: The Red Pavilion (红馆). The first of its kind Chinese teahouse & apothecary by day, Asian neo-noir nightclub by night opens in the eclectic Bushwick neighborhood on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Offering a variety of programming and culinary indulgences, guests at The Red Pavilion can expect immersive theater and cabaret showcases, wellness workshops, alchemical sound journeys, live music, intimate dance parties and more. Weekly programming includes dim sum brunches on Sundays and entertainment from the Red Pavilion Jazz Band on Fridays, where listeners will be transported to Old Shanghai with live Chinese and American jazz and blues. To bring the experience home, wellness meal sets and online workshops are also available.
With a mission to amplify Asian representation and the larger BIPOC community by providing a cultural institution focusing on theater, food, spirits and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), The Red Pavilion and its founders—creative director, Shien Lee and TCM chef and author, Zoey Xinyi Gong, along with cocktail shaman, Orson Salicetti—represent a new age of immersive entertainment.
“The Red Pavilion creates a stage for local artists and performers to share their vision and for people to come together and enjoy thoughtfully curated live entertainment in a memorable, cinematic space,” says creative director Shien Lee. “From its inception, The Red Pavilion was designed to be a soulful place for like-minded and like-hearted people to connect, get inspired and build community.”
ALL THAT AND DIM SUM
The Red Pavilion starts the day as a lively TCM teahouse & apothecary reminiscent of those in Shanghai or Hong Kong. Walk-ins can enjoy over 10 directly sourced, functional teas, brewed traditionally with wellness in mind – think TCM in liquid form. To eat, guests can choose from a bevy of chef Zoey’s medicinal desserts, Qi-boosting bone broths, seasonal congees and more.
Salicetti crafts Wuism libations and TCM herbal shots, a category inspired by Chinese folk religion where beverages are shaken or stirred with medicinal ingredients designed to promote wellness. Also on offer are a variety of unique zero-proof cocktails for those inclined toward temperance. Served during evening programming, cocktails are thoughtfully concocted with distinct flavor combinations. Highlights include:
· Sesame Colada – Tequila, wolfberry-infused Baijiu, caramelized pineapple, mangosteen and white sesame paste
· The Red Dragon – Mezcal, tamarind, blood orange, lily bulbs, lemon, agave, Sichuan chili powder and a poppy seed rim
· Moon – Longan-infused vodka, lychee, Salers Gentiane aperitif and lemon
The Red Pavilion also offers several other unique dining experiences including a chef’s table celebrating the 24 seasonal points of the year, which is thought to help diners align their bodies with the current season. On Sundays, The Red Pavilion hosts a festive Cha Cha Yum Cha Dim Sum Brunch with a 1940s Tropicana meets 1960s Hong Kong flair featuring a dim sum-inspired tapas menu. Highlights include the Steamed Adzuki Bean Bun; Patatas Bravas with fermented tofu aioli; Shanghainese Sticky Rice Shumai; Cantonese Chorizo with smoked bean curd and olive skewers; “Bun” con Tomate; Purple Sticky Rice Pudding and an Egg Tart with black sesame cream. Guests can book all experiences through Tock or on the events page of The Red Pavilion website.
Sporting an Asian pulp-noir aesthetic inspired by the seductive stylings of Wong Kar Wai, the 2,500 square foot space has a standing capacity of 225 and seats 60. Interior designer and personal friend of Shien, Jordon Zadfar imagined the sleekly designed, “retro-futuristic” space showcasing a new wave of venue design that combines Eastern aesthetics and furnishings of the 1960s with Western know-how. Red and green neon accents adorn the walls along with traditional Chinese paper lanterns and ornate glass sconces. The vibey bar and seating area coupled with signature red lighting throughout the space was designed to invoke a German expressionist feel, inspired by the surrealist sets from 1920’s film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Born in Shanghai, China, Zoey Gong is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) chef, food therapist, registered dietitian, author and educator who has hosted hundreds of pop-up dinners, workshops and events revolving around TCM food therapy. Her most recent cookbook, The Five Elements Cookbook: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine with Recipes for Everyday Healing, was released in early 2023. Taipei-born nightlife producer Shien Lee is an experience architect who’s spent over 16 years as a creative director in the luxury events industry, and is known for throwing extravagant costume balls under the banner of Dances of Vice. Shien and Zoey met in 2019, and with a mutual passion to establish a physical venue for their work, ultimately combined their strengths and visions to create The Red Pavilion. Having immigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela when he was 18, Orson Salicetti has dominated the mixology scene internationally for the last two decades, successfully opening 56 bars and venues. Today he helms the bar at The Red Pavilion, shaking up wellness-focused libations and serving as the venue’s general manager.