Thursday, May 26, 2011

Manitoba's files for Chapter 11 protection

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this afternoon that Manitoba's on Avenue B has sought Chapter 11 protection. Per the Journal:

Genco Importing Inc., which operates Manitoba’s in the East Village, on Thursday filed for bankruptcy protection in Manhattan looking for a little breathing room to tweak its operations and file a restructuring plan. But don’t fear, Manitoba’s fans — the company plans to keep operating during the case.

Such a plan would likely be funded by a capital infusion from current majority owner Steven Van Zandt, a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band who also played a role on HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

Founder and minority owner Richard Manitoba, known from his punk rock days as Handsome Dick Manitoba, blamed the bar’s hard times on its 2008 citation for certificate occupancy violations. The bar made all changes by the following summer but ran up a $100,000 tab doing so.

14 comments:

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Having never been there, I hate to say it, but it sounds like handsome Dick opened an EV theme bar. I don't go to bars very often anymore, but I'll probably stick to DBA when I do. Also, kids in their 20s probably have no idea who the Dictators were, or care.

Marty Wombacher said...

@Ken: I've only been about six times, but always have had a great time when I went. They have great tunes on the jukebox and some great vintage punk rock pictures on the wall. Maybe others will disagree, but it doesn't seem like an EV theme bar to me. You should check it out.

Crazy Eddie said...

@Ken-"Better listen to him, Ken, he's in pre-med."

Neil said...

Definitely not a theme bar. It is an oasis from the popped collar jagovs that make the neighborhood less fun and more obnoxious. I hope to hell it doesn't close.

Bob Arihood said...

I'm with ya Marty , The place has the best box around , spent many adollar there . the only problem that I have is "trivia night" on thursday . Definitly dorm dweller faire

Marty Wombacher said...

@Crazy Eddie: Ha ha ha!

@Bob A: I've never understood trivia nights in bars. I go to bars to forget, not to remember!

cw! said...

@Ken : Hey, as a kid in my 20's who's moved to 9th + Ave A in the last year, I take offense to that! I really enjoy Manatoba's for it's low key atmosphere, good drink prices and ESPECIALLY the vintage punk photos and knowledge that Handsome Dick is often drinking right there next to me. I’m a HUGE nyc punk fan, and seeing all that old “memorabilia” (kitschy as it may be for people who were there) is actually really significant to me. I remember physically bumping my shopping cart into Handsome Dick at the Key Foods once after I recently moved here and being at a loss for words by how star struck I was. This stuff is still important to some of us!

We're not ALL horrible frat-bros (though they certainly give some of us a bad rep), there are still a healthy number of young, poor, artistic, weird, friendly, good-hearted, crazy kids who come to E.V. to hope to capture part of the spirit our kind used to have here.

Of course, I don't actually know what it used to be like, but good 'ole dives like Manitoba's (and Mars Bar, and International Bar, and KGB, and Hi-Fi…) really make it feel like the neighborhood I came here to enjoy and be nurtured by.

Plus, there's cheap Air Hockey in the basement. Hope it survives!

Anonymous said...

As perhaps the grouchiest person on this blog, I have to say Manitoba's is wonderful. Crowd, music, bartender's...I do not go there often but it's no "theme" bar. No Malice Palace, Hurricane Billy's, and the place next to the laundry btwn 3 and 4 on B...they are EV "theme" bars and can go **** themselves. But Manitoba's is a fine establishment.

Sammy said...

Isn't Genco Importing the name of Vito Corleone's olive oil importing business in "The Godfather"?

Lisa said...

As a non-drinker, I can say I go to Manitoba's for the juke box, which boasts some of the best music out there, and the ambience. This is not a theme bar by any stretch of the imagination; Dick is the real thing, as is his bar. Occasionally, not unlike reported sightings of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, you will spy a frat jock in there, but most of 'em can pretty much tell when they see the forbidding black facade that it's not gonna be filled with SATC types so they move on.

Anonymous said...

I'm 50 and don't go that often but it's NOT a theme bar. It's a nice relaxed bar with some really cool stuff that reminds me of the "good old days" on the LES

Goggla said...

@Ken - you really should check out Manitoba's. It's a great neighborhood bar as others have said, and I rank it pretty high for having decent bathrooms. DBA, on the other hand...I used to go there a lot, but it became too crowded and gross. When I had to 'go' I would just run home rather than face the bathroom there.

Shawn Chittle said...

Richard Manitoba and his bar are both jewels of the LES.

I used to go every Monday night and most weekends. Kevin the bartender is one smart mofo, and I always enjoyed riffing stuff off of him and our back and forths.

Manitobas needs help, so help is what they are going to get. I will be going every night I can until they are out of Chapter 11.

I am heading over there at 5:01 if anyone wants to join me, I'm always good for a few rounds.

T.E.V.B. said...

Manitoba's rules. Not at all an EV theme bar. The Dictators rock!