From the EV Grieve archives: April 7, 2008:
The New York Post has a piece today on the new John Varvatos boutique, which opened over the weekend at the site of the former CBGB on the Bowery.
According to the Post article, written by Serena French: "[P]unk preservationists will be glad to hear that the Bowery site -- which once hosted such pioneers as the Ramones and Blondie -- hasn't been sanitized beyond recognition.
The stage is gone, replaced by a tailoring shop, but it's encased with gold Alice Cooper records.
And those who remember the walls encrusted with posters and stickers will be relieved to find them intact and preserved behind glass."
Hmm. So Varvatos has reportedly made the shop equal parts museum and retail space. "I wanted to combine music, fashion, memorabilia and really make it like a cultural space," he told The Post. He's planning on holding monthly concerts there too.
What do some old-timers think?
"I like it. I'm relieved," Arturo Vega, creative director for the Ramones, who has lived around the corner from the club since 1973, told the Post. "We were expecting a drug store in the space," he said. "So when I found out it was Varvatos moving in, it was a relief."
Yesterday, in the Post's Page Six Magazine, Dana Kristal, son of CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, was asked whether he thought his father would approve of eight high-profile new ventures on the Bowery. Interestingly enough, he wasn't asked about this shop.