Ben Maisani, Coop's Boyfriend, to Open Hell's Kitchen Hotspot
By Diego James
Anderson Cooper and his boyfriend Ben Maisani were recently spotted together at dinner with their pal Alan Cumming after one of his jaw-dropping performances of Macbeth (so stop your dirty thoughts about that park kiss).
He's not only lucky in love, however: Maisani has been successful with his two previous bars in New York City's East Village: Eastern Bloc and Bedlam. The first is a tiny Soviet-era-themed gay spot (that has become very popular with party gals) and the second is a more lavish, overtly straight-friendly nightspot far from public transportation (or prying eyes). Now it seems he's decided to head west and open a big-deal bar in Hell's Kitchen, which is the gayest place in Manhattan at the moment.
According to The Real Deal:
Maisani, 40, took possession of a 5,000-square-foot watering hole at 753 Ninth Avenue, between 50th and 51st streets, this weekend after being approved for a liquor license at the property in April under the name Oxido Corp., sources said. The location was once home to wine bar Vintage and is opposite Boxer’s HK, a three-level, gay sports bar recently opened at 742 Ninth Avenue.
The new space is comprised of 2,500 square feet of space on the street level and 2,500 feet on the lower level, according to a listing for the property on BuzzTarget.com. The term of Maisani’s lease is 15 years, sources said. Retail rents in the area range from $150 to $200 a square foot, they said.
Anyone who has been on Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen (Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn's district, by the way) knows that the narrow sidewalks are overflowing with boys and girls looking for a good time. This intersection already has quite a few popular spots, so we can only imagine how many more thousands of gay boys (and eager tourists) will be on the prowl looking for a peek at hottie Maisani—and a potential Anderson sighting (don't hold your breath). Will this be the tipping point that sends HK over the brink?