At one time, the 40/40 Club was one of hip-hop’s sacred spaces. Owned by Jay-Z, it was immortalized in his 2003 song “Dirt off Your Shoulder” with the lines, “Me with a boss b-tch of course, S.C. on the sleeve/Me at the 40/40 Club, ESPN on the screen.”
The club and brand were a prolific entertainment destination for years. Fat Joe celebrated his 48th birthday party at the NYC location in 2018. LeBron James celebrated his 23rd birthday party at the Vegas club in 2007. J. Cole had an album release party at the New York spot, and when Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price announced she’d be expanding her brand in 2005, investor Jay Z hosted the media announcement there.
But now, a spokesman for the company says that its original location in Manhattan’s Flatiron District has closed and will relocate. In its heyday, it expanded its brand to five locations around the country in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, and in the Barclays Center, where it operates as a restaurant.
When it opened with a lavish party twenty years ago, Magic Johnson, Lebron James, La La, Lil Kim, Derek Jeter, Damon Dash, Jason Kidd, and Steve Stoute were all in attendance, along with Jay’s then-girlfriend Beyoncé.
“I love sports and wanted to create an environment that is conducive to match my lifestyle while watching the games at the same time,” Jay said in 2003. In 2012, the 40/40 Club underwent a $10M makeover that made it a state-of-the-art facility, with four VIP lounges, updated LED screens, an illuminated bar, iPod docking stations (a thing back then), party packages, and a revamped menu.
“The overall feel of the space is one of sophistication and urban luxury, devoid of the austere pretentiousness that one finds in many traditional nightclubs these days,” architect Jeffrey Beers said in 2012 when the updated club reopened.
But it appears that the party’s over for now. The Las Vegas and Atlantic City versions of the 40/40 Club have already closed. The restaurant will remain at Barclay’s Arena in Brooklyn, but the Manhattan flagship says they will reopen somewhere else in February 2024. No further details were made public.
Jay Z has not commented on the closure.
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