02/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST
Between Uma's canoodling, "Beyoncé's birthday bash and P. Diddy
's showing off the Olympic torch, the year-old Marquee reigns as Manhattan's hottest celeb hangout. "Our goal was to build the modern-day Studio 54," says Noah Tepperberg, 29, who, with business partner Jason Strauss, 30, carved it out of a former garbage-truck garage.
After grooving to house or hip hop, stars like Lindsay Lohan
, Jessica Simpson
and Leonardo DiCaprio
relax in the intimate back lounge or on the glass-walled mezzanine. "It's the best setup club," says regular Paris Hilton
. The leather banquettes offer another perk: "We built little drawers so you can stash your pocketbook away," says Strauss.
The night Stevie Wonder gave an impromptu performance of "Isn't She Lovely," "I said, 'We just hit the pinnacle,'" says Tepperberg, whose Marquee outpost was a celeb magnet at the Sundance Film Festival. "Then I thought, 'No way. It is going to get better.'"