New York City

Bunnies and Backgammon: Playboy Club NYC

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Since opening on W. 42nd St. last fall, the Playboy Club NYC has been breathing new life into the Playboy lifestyle many had come to believe was gone forever. Though the original NYC club closed some 30 years ago and the flagship print magazine on which the company built its success, has undergone a series of revisions due to societal shifts and Internet availability, the Bunny remains a powerful force. Without question, the midtown club has tapped into that force, and, even in 2019, it seems to be working.

The Playboy Club seeks to emulate the Mansion experience as evidenced by its membership packages which range from $5,000 to $100,000 annually granting access to members only venues in the club and a variety of classic, unique Playboy-themed events.

Part of that experience includes Backgammon Tuesday Nights. The game was a favorite of late Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner (Hef), and a mainstay activity at the Mansion for years. Hef’s son, Cooper Hefner, who currently oversees global partnerships for Playboy Enterprises, dropped in at the club on Tuesday night (2/26) marking a clear return to this tradition.

Despite it being a Tuesday night in February, the club was full. The Playboy Bar was populated with patrons sharing a drink and light conversation, while others came for the Backgammon as gaming tables were set up around the room. A DJ set the mood amidst the chit chat and revelry for a crowd ranging from generationally Millennnials to Gen-X, with a fare share of non-males in attendance, reflecting the ever-evolving appeal of the Playboy brand.

Weaving through the crowd, of course, were the ever present Bunnies, clad in the iconic uniforms complete with rabbit ears and cotton tail, all of whom were charming and quite personable. Hefner mingled with the crowd for a while before taking to a Backgammon table himself, flanked by several Bunnies as he did.

Although extended access to The Playboy Club is limited to members, dining and drinking, along with select Playboy events are open to the public. For dinner reservations, membership details, event listings and general information, visit their website at:

Cooper Hefner photo by Evan Wood

Interior photos by Teddy Adolphe



Jack Raplee is a Queens native with over 20 years of journalistic experience covering industries as varied as entertainment, manufacturing, engineering and consumer electronics as well as hard news. Apart from writing, he has enjoyed additional exposure in radio work, standup comedy and modeling. While his career trajectory has brought him far and wide, living in places like Nassau, Bahamas; Sungnam, Korea; and Jackson, Mississippi he always seems to end up in his native NYC. Jack is currently working on a yet-to-be-titled book providing his unique perspective on his native Queens as seen from the table of a local diner.

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