Thursday, November 4, 2010

New owner of the former Aces and Eights space speaks out; "the beer pong is gone"

There's an excellent piece this afternoon on The Lo-Down by Jennifer Strom that delves into the behind-the-scenes legal wrangling that eventually shuttered Aces and Eights at 34 Avenue A.

Here are two excerpts with her interview with owner Jevan Damadian:

After a career in his family’s successful chain of MRI centers, where he remains a regional director, Damadian came into some cash when the family sold its centers to a large health corporation. Seeing the stock market falling, he looked around for alternative investment opportunities. He lives on the Upper East Side, upstairs from the original Aces and Eights at First Avenue and East 87th Street, and had watched it grow into a successful bar under the leadership of owner Solomon Eljashev. The two men had become friendly, and eventually struck a deal for Eljashev to open the East Village branch with Damadian’s money.


If he is able to reopen the bar, Damadian says, he would like to establish an upscale tapas lounge in the upstairs space, where business people can meet quietly. The downstairs space, which garnered a reputation as a rambunctious “frathole” during its tenure, is still home to a pool table, but Damadian would like the bar’s critics to know one thing: “The beer pong is gone,” he says.

Read the whole post here.

You can meet Jevan yourself on Wednesday night.

[Photo via The Lo-Down]


Cookiepuss said...

Thats good! " Damadian came into some cash when the family sold its centers to a large health corporation." LARGE HEALTH CORPORATION

"He lives on the Upper East Side" UPPER EAST SIDE

"he would like to establish an upscale tapas lounge in the upstairs space, where business people can meet quietly." UPSCALE

A place like this is a million times more detrimental to our neighborhood then Aces and Eighths could ever be. For every upscale lounge that goes up another Cynthia Nixon moves into the neighborhood.

Upscale lounges like this are great catalysts in helping to ease celebrities and affluent persons doubts about moving into the neighborhood. They support peoples positive yet delusional justifications towards the belief that what has happened and continues to happen in the East Village and the Lower East Side is actually progressive and they want to be part of it. Their way of living and playing is ultimately the right way.

I wish this guy would stay uptown. Cry me a river!

glamma said...

this is disgusting.
please stay out of the east village with your "businesspeople" and your "upscale small plates."

reading this does not make me hungry, it makes me violently nauseaus.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise!

The same readers that were constantly griping about the type of bar Aces & Eights was are STILL complaining about the bar owner trying to do a total 180 and put a classy spot in its place.

Knock it off and let the guy try to run an honest business instead of watching our neighborhood turn into empty storefronts.

Judgmental, pretentious people make ME nauseous.

Kurt said...

@Cookiepuss, I love how posters like you are self appointed arbiters of who should and shouldn't move into the neighborhood. So is it only inappropriate for succesful actors to move to the East Village or should all actors stay out of the neighborhood. I just want to double check with you.

Chris said...

Agree with anon and Kurt. It's great that this guy wants to work with the neighborhood, but the "neighbors" that griped about Aces & Eights don't want to work with anybody. No matter what he does, he can't possibly create a restaurant or bar without these people complaining. It's a lost cause. I feel bad for the guy.

Cookiepuss said...

@Kurt its not me who set the stage for who can and can not afford to live and open
businesses in the neighborhood

RyanAvenueA said...

I'm looking forward to the meet and greet next week. It's a real shame that again we're left with such vocal opposition to ANYONE who wants to move in there. I'd like to at least hear what the guy has to say before the villagers grab their pitchforks.

Anonymous said...

yeah right, this guy sounds like he really cares. I feel so sorry for him that he had no idea that Aces and Eighths was a nuisance. Now all of a sudden he's in the picture. Why doesn't he try to transfer the licence uptown. After all he is an uptown guy and they have their own identity. Why would he want to even come down town.

Anonymous said...

Is this true about Cynthia Nixon. How ironic. What can I say, check out Jeremiah's Vanishing New York for information and opinions on Sex and The City.

Rocky Raccoon said...

Kurt, Chris and Ryan - let me get this straight this guys invests a ton of his cash in a bar, pays no attention to it, let's it become a complete shit-show and we are supposed to trust him and reward him with a liquor license. He openly admits he has no experience in running a nightlife establishment, lives on the upper eastside and we are supposed to reward him with a liquor license, a license he can then sell when his bad business model fails, or perhaps sell a few months later to recoup the money he lost by bankrolling Aces and Eights! You gotta be kidding me - This block already has more than enough places to drink and the hood certainly has plenty of places now to get "small plates" - which used to I think be called an appetizer. Cry me a river - how about something that meets the needs of the people who live here.

Anonymous said...

Dude looks humorless.

Anonymous said...

Not to be cliche, but hindsight is 20/20. The fact of the matter is this man has invested, by his estimate: $700,000, substantial time, and a fair amount of distress, it seems, into this currently failed endeavor. Unfortunately, he can't even sell at this point without attaining another liquor license and god knows how long he can afford to keep the space closed. So now there's another lifeless hole on Avenue A.
In my estimate the number of empty spaces is quickly growing equivalent to the number of bars on the block. I'm assuming everyone who worked at the bar (probably not the affluent UESers everyone's so concerned about) lost their jobs as well. Possibly neighborhood people, students, artists. Who knows. I honestly have sympathy for Mr. Damadian who is in a tough spot, and everyone who was effected by this situation. I never root for a business fail or people to lose everything, even when they have been crappy neighbors. I hope he gets his second shot to turn things around.

RyanAvenueA said...

You're right rocky. Aside from the paper store and the empty storefronts under the projects it's a block packed with hotspots. God forbid someone crosses your neighborhood lines to invest where you live. Empty storefronts don't employ neighborhood people, bars and stores and other businesses do. What if someone from NJ, or god forbid a big corporation comes in! What will we do?!

Anonymous said...

As an investor in the neighborhood in the form of my coop that I purchased, I don't see why one business owners investment should infringe on my & my neighbors investment. It is well known that the East Village has too many bars & neighbors that will protest. He knows going in that he will have opposition. Community opinion is part of the licensing process. If he chooses to try anyway & ets denied no one should feel sorry for him.

Anonymous said...

Sooo... How would you describe Moe Pitkins? Upscale? I didn't think I could go in there in jeans. Community theatre space? They had performances from all over the country. I would love to see Moe's back, this is the closest proposal to Moe's that we've seen so far. Maybe he just needs to talk to the Poetry club to see how their performance space continues and Moe's didn't. Because Moe's didn't continue and that needs to be investigated why not.

Anonymous said...

There are only a few places in the city where i feel jeans aren't ok. Anywhere in the LES isn't one of them... and the place was "Mo Pitkins", not "Moe Pitkins".