Troubling news from over at 9 Bleecker Street, longtime headquarters of the counterculture group and home of the Yippie Museum Cafe. There's a campaign under way to help revitalize the space. (Last summer, the Yippie Museum Cafe closed to make some renovations and add new menu items.)
According to a letter on the Yippie's online donation page:
As a Sea of Starbucks engulfs the East Village, one of the Last Castles of Free Thought and Artistic Freedom is under siege. The Yippie Museum Café is a movement encapsulated into a Coffee House Performance space, founded by artist/activists, maintained by artist/activists, and is still run by artist/activists. It is a rare state of affairs these days.
"The Yippie has every intention of remaining an East Village bastion of vibrant and varied live music, free speech, challenging art, the demand for social justice, and a place to get some affordable caffeine. But like many non-corporate businesses, the Yippie is suffering financially. It needs a new HVAC system, new equipment for its backline, and some essential physical upgrades. Help the Yippie, protect one of the last great East Village Castles."
As of last night, they had collected just $230, well short of its planned $10,000 goal. Megan Hayes, the Yippie's events coordinator, told me that "every penny is going to improving and revitalizing the space." (According to an article from 2006 in the Sun, the Yippies partnered with a group called the National AIDS Brigade to purchase their longtime headquarters for $1.2 million in 2004.)
There's also fundraiser on Sunday from 4:30-10 p.m. hosted by John Murdock and Joey Gay of WBAI's Occupational Hazards. There will be other various speakers and musicians during the late afternoon and early evening as well.
Is there any danger of The Yippie Museum Cafe closing?
"If we can't pay off our bills, sadly yes," Hayes said.