On March 1, Sidewalk on Avenue A and Sixth Street closed for renovations.
The official word: They'd be closed for six weeks.
However, six weeks have come and gone and the place doesn't seem any closer to reopening. According to several sources, the Sidewalk's liquor license lapsed. So, while management was taking care of the paperwork, they figured they'd spruce up the space too. And that turned into major renovations.
According to a former employee: "The plan as I know it is to start from scratch, new restaurant, new management, entirely new staff. None of the former staff is being hired back."
Sidewalk's long-running open mic nights on Mondays have been taking place at a Gathering of Tribes on East Third Street. As for the future of music at The Fort, the backroom of the Sidewalk ... according to a post on the Sidewalk Music blog dated March 16 from
Ben Krieger, who has has been hosting the open mic show: "I met with management at the club last night ... they’re DEFINITELY renovating. From what I can gather the club will resemble a better/stronger/faster Sidewalk than a martini bar (sigh of relief), For now, pretty much everything that isn’t a wall has been cleared out! At the moment they’re redoing the floors and blasting the brick walls for repainting/varnishing."
You can find a few more details here at Sidewalk's Sidewalk, another site about the cafe.
For more history on the Sidewalk and the Antifolk movement:
How Does It Feel, Antifolkies, to Have a Home, Not Be Unknown? (The Times)
Folk the Pain Away (The Voice)
An interview with Lach about the Fort and Antifolk (YouTube)
First Person | At the Sidewalk Café (The Local East Village)