Strut is a (now) monthly Tuesday night party that was created by Deryck Todd in 2014, hosted at ACME restaurant’s basement bar. The party has always felt like an intimate soirée of fashionable misfits who don’t have much to do on an off-night of the week, except to get fabulous and go out. “The reason I started Strut, was because I wanted to encourage people to be themselves, celebrate life, dance until their feet ache and never worry about coming alone because you can always make a new friend there,” Deryck says on the motivation behind starting the party.
He says that he wanted to create space where bottle sales don’t take control, where the queer community is celebrated, and where you can hobnob with celebrities, yet always feel like you belong.
At first, the venue’s door might seem intimidating, but there is actually no testy face-control that so many New York “hot” venues try to implement to gain the coveted, but dubious title of “the hardest door in New York.” Once you are inside it feels like you are transported into someone’s important private party.
Even though the party’s slogan is “Upbeat music for downtown kids,” it still has a very laid-back vibe, where you don’t actually feel the pressure of presenting “cool,” but can quickly assimilate into the crowd even if you came by without a look. One of the long-running hosts of the party, Kiss, a silicon drip art fashion designer famous for creating one of Aquaria’s legendary DragRace looks “Oil-spill Mermaid,” says, “The party has an easy vibe, it almost feels like you are hanging out with a bunch of friends you haven’t seen in a while.”
Maybe this chill and easy vibe is what has attracted a slew of recognizable names over the years to stop by and lurk within the shadowy interior of ACME’s Downstairs: Malia Obama, Zachary Quinto, Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monáe, Kim Petras, Amanda Lepore, Hamish Bowles, Mary-Kate Olsen, Violet Chachki, Brian Atwood, and more.