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Address246 West 14th Street
LocationNew York City
Coordinates40°44′22″N 74°00′07″W / 40.7394°N 74.002°W / 40.7394; -74.002Coordinates: 40°44′22″N 74°00′07″W / 40.7394°N 74.002°W / 40.7394; -74.002
ClosedMay 30, 2004

Nell's (or Nells) was a nightclub located on 246 West 14th Street in downtown Manhattan. It opened in the fall of 1986 in the space of a former electronics store and closed May 30, 2004.


Nell's opened in the fall of 1986 in the space of a former electronics store.[1] It came onto the scene when some clubgoers were tiring of the cavernous discothèques (e.g., Studio 54) popular in the 1970s and early 1980s.[1] Decorated as a slightly shabby 19th-century English men's club, Nell's afforded its upscale patrons a place to eat, sit, socialize, and listen to live music.[1] Other exclusive supper clubs like M.K. and Au Bar soon followed.[1]

Actress-singer Nell Campbell was its namesake and longtime proprietress. Initially, she co-owned the club with Lynn Wagenknecht and Keith McNally.[1] McNally gave up ownership when he and Wagenknecht divorced.[1] The painter Thomas Moller was Nell's original manager.[2] Moller takes credit for attracting New York's art scene to the club. Also a 1985 Interview Magazine included Nell and Christian Lepanto in different articles. Christian L worked as coatcheck and introduced Semour Stein to Tommy Page. At its peak of popularity in the late 1980s, with a capacity of only 250, Nell's was known for denying even the famous entry to the club. The bathrooms were coke dens.

It was the quiet hookup place for Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert. Prince also visited as well as Al Franken. It was the last Nightclub Andy Warhol attended with Dione Warwick just before his botched hospital visit in which he died.[1] On June 4, 1987, artist Robert Mapplethorpe and actress Susan Sarandon hosted a dinner for AIDS charity amfAR at Nell's.[3]

In the 1990s Nell's matured into a jazz, reggae, and hip-hop showcase.

Run-DMC was often known to take over the DJ booth on any given night. In 1995, The Notorious B.I.G. made his video for "Big Poppa" there. It was also there in 1993 that Tupac met a woman who accused him of sexual assault[4]

Nell's was also a frequent haunt of fictional character Patrick Bateman, in the book American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

In early 2004, actor Mark Wahlberg was planning to buy Nell's.[5] It closed on May 30, 2004.

The space later held a private club NA opened by actor Chris Noth and his business partner Noel Ashman.[6] Noel Ashman then teamed up with new partners to open semi-private club NA in 2005. Several other clubs opened and closed in the space before the space split into two to become Stash nightclub, which lies underneath Snap Sports Bar.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Marchese, John (27 February 1994). "The Mighty Nell's". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Nell's at". Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  3. ^ Anne-Marie Schiro (June 5, 1987), Artists Rally To Fight AIDS New York Times.
  4. ^ "The Alleged Rape". Thug Life Army.
  5. ^ "Wahlberg in Nightclub Buyout". Contact Music.
  6. ^ "Ripe For The Picking". UrbanDaddy. Retrieved 2019-05-07.

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