Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rodeo Bar is closing; last show set for July 26



This past weekend, several EVG readers passed along word that the Rodeo Bar, billed as "NYC’s longest running honky-tonk," was closing at the end of the month.

It was unclear, however, if the Rodeo was ditching its free music program as part of a makeover ... or closing for good. No one at Rodeo responded to our queries.

However, the bar just posted this to Facebook today:

Dear Rodeo Bar patrons and music lovers,

We are deeply saddened to announce that after 27 years in business, Rodeo Bar and Grill is closing its doors after July 27, 2014.

Here at New York's longest-running honky-tonk, we stayed open during some of the city’s toughest times — Hurricane Sandy, the 2003 blackout, 9/11 — but recent rent increases, combined with a changing landscape, have made it impossible for us continue.

For the past three decades, Rodeo Bar has been home to thousands of bands, and we’re proud to have helped define the country, Americana and rockabilly scene in New York City for all these years. But more than that, we were supported by an incredible community of people from New York and all over the world who helped make this bar great. We can’t thank y’all enough.

For the rest of July, we’re open every night, and the music schedule is killer — and free, as it always has been. So come on down and join us for every show, every Shiner, and every moment with the horse trailer we call home. We’re going out with our boots on.

Much Love, and Until the Buffalo Sings,

Rodeo Bar

An EVG tipster told us that the building at 375 Third Ave. at East 27th Street is for sale. According to a listing at Buchbinder & Warren Realty, the asking rent is $58,333.

The last show is July 26.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, real sad that this not-even-in-the-EV drunkhole is closing, but I feel compelled to say that those are aggressively awful font choices. Like, someone said "I'm going to find the most hideous fonts available, and use them all in one flyer."

Anonymous said...

^^^ lolololol TRUE. Fire that graphic design intern!

Anonymous said...

Goddammit! This decimation of NYC culture isn't going to end until the last condos and corporate logos are completely covering the landscape. But hey, if that's what the people want, that's what they're going to get. 10-15 years from now, forget it. It's going to look like zombie land.

Giovanni said...

Too bad the Rodeo is over, but no one can seem to survive this real estate bubble. Rodeo Bar stayed open during the Sandy blackout and served drinks by candlelight. This place used to be Albuquerque Eats, which was a bit of a yuppie hangout for Mexican food and margaritas in the early 80s but they had some really great food and drinks. And they used a very nice font.

There was another Albuquerque on the UES, but both closed down along with Carramba! during the great Mexican Restaurant Meltdown on the mid 1980s. Carramba! was near the old Tower Records, Bayamo, Bar Lui and Betty Brown's (all closed) on LoBro and served fishbowl-sized margaritas that were so big they called that size Ridiculous. Then the owner got AIDS and the whole chain collapsed.

Rodeo Bar arrived in 1985 and made it more about the music, it was always busy. Now Third Avenue is teeming with big loud sports bars that are all about the alcohol and Bros/Hos woohooing all night long.

Anonymous said...

Northeast corner location facing traffic. Banks are gonna have a bidding war over this space.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure when they opened they got a great cheap lease and rode it for 27 years now the rent goes up and they close did they at least give the employees notice and is this music really that popular here plus can't they move to another area god forbid someone who can't afford Manhattan rent moves to another borough

Anonymous said...

@commenter at 2:43
you've never been to New York City, have you?

JAZ said...

58 thousand dollars for rent?

the fro-yo joint that takes over is gonna need to find some big ass hooves

Bayou said...

It's worth noting that a lot of EV musicians played at Rodeo and a lot of EV residents went to hear them. The owner is an NYC native.

They had previously announced that the live music program was ending on July 26 and that news alone stung.

The places to throw peanut shells on the floor are ever more scarce.


nygrump said...

sports bars are a fucking cancer, but each to their own. They want to watch corporate sports on corporate networks drinking corporate booze, thats their own choice.

Anonymous said...

I love this place.. I took my nephew there 3 months ago and told him of all the good times i've had there. I saw some amazing bands, ate a shitload of peanuts, drank tons of margaritas and eaten my share of their bison burgers. WTF! --Hank

Anonymous said...

At some point in the not too far off future when all the white-washing is near completion. Someone is bound to look around and say 'jezz...what the hell did we do to the place'.

Break out the Brondo people, 'cause that's where were headed. In fact we're just about there already. Hope all the Stepford robots enjoy themselves.

3:35 p.m. said...

Ever tried driving, biking, taking the cab/bus on 3rd or 2nd ave. on a weekend night in Murray Hill? Those bros and sorostitutes think that the avenues are part of the bars. They just jump on the oncoming vehicles and wave their hands up in the air like they don't care. And they say WOOOO. And say WOOOO, WOOOO. WOOOO WOOOO WOOOO. And then they they say 'HO! And everybody screeeeeams.

Anonymous said...

I am so weary of the censorship here. Defend racist misogynists like Anthony Cumia, yeah. Try to say some dumb Murray Hill bro bar is dumb, no way. OK then.

Anonymous said...

A number of bands that played at both the old 9C and Lakeside showed up there over the years. Hopefully Jack Grace will a gig or two before the end. Bummer all around.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if anyone remembers but way back when (some time in the early 80's) this spot was a restaurant called "Buchbinder's" I wonder if the lessor of this space is connected to that restaurant.

Anonymous said...

It's at the point where I'm getting sad over the loss of places I've only been to a couple of times. Another lost music venue--the blandification is out of control!

Anonymous said...

Could not agree with Anon 3:42 more. Only Gojira, Giovanni, and a handful of others that share the same one-dimensional viewpoint are allowed to post their thoughts here. It'll be a miracle if this post makes it through.

sam_the_man said...

Dear anon 2:43 -

Punctuation is your friend.

Anonymous said...

Lookout everyone, professional asshole in the house! HE ONLY TAKES AMEX!

olympiasepiriot said...

@ Anon 4:34

There's several people on this thread alone who are either sarcastic about this or who don't care about the place. Stop whining.

Me? I've been to this plastic 'roadhouse' a few times. It has been for years the only place in Manhattan to hear Luther Wright and The Wrongs, or zydeco, or bluegrass...did I love it? No. There were a helluva lotta people there who weren't staying to listen to the music and the food was only okay (on the scale of 'roadhouse' food) and the weekend-warrior atmosphere bugged me and I REALLY hate that stretch of the Avenue so getting there was torture...but whatever. It was a place still in Manhattan with live music, food and beer that wasn't 'curated' and the prices were reasonable. It also wasn't a chain. I'll miss it.

And did I mention? You really sound like you're whining. Feel free to complain. Your comment is up. We hear ya.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:42 & 4:34 PM,

At least try to disguise your writing style somewhat to make it seem like you are NOT the same person.

Giovanni said...

I second Olympia S., Rodeo was just a nice down home neighborhood plce with live music, one of the few left after all the live music closings on Bleecker Street. It wasn't Boomers, or Roseland, or the Palladium, just a nice place for regular people to eat, drink, and play music. If we cant have that in this city anymore then whats the point of being here?

@4:02PM: You are correct, before it was Rodeo/Albuquerque Eats it was Buchbinders. I found an old listing in CUE magazine (which was the local TV and entertainment guide which was folded into NY Mag). They featured a weekend brunch with live chamber music, and their specialty was Nora's East Hampton Clam Chowder. How times have changed.

To the anonymous whiners: I'll give you a little secret to not getting "censored:" Say something coherent, or interesting, or memorable. And use a name, any name. Anonymous is so boring and passive aggressive.

One day soon, but don't hold your breath, the EV Grieve Central Planning and Mind Control Committee will publish every miraculous little thought bubble that pops out of your little brain. Or maybe not.

Crazy Eddie said...

Wow, CUE magazine! Decade check. Thanks Giovanni.

Anonymous said...

honky tonks > gastropubs

Jill W. said...

I hung out there a lot and liked it, because I knew several staff members about 12-15 years ago. Spent NYE 1999 there, and saw Hank Williams 3rd play, and tons of other bands. I miss those times more than the bar itself.

Anonymous said...

Fuck the Rodeo Bar. They were the first music venue in the city to stop paying musicians, which led to everyone else following suit. It might have happened anyway, but fuck them nonetheless.

Billy said...

Haven't been to the Rodeo since the late 90's when I was a kid and they'd let me in to see Rockabilly shows. I remember seeing the Three Blue Teardrops there and eating a cheese quesadilla. Pretty cool. Never went back as an adult living here, but when I was a kid I lumped it in with all the other places to see shows.

Giovanni said...

Actually it was Arlene's Grocery on the LES that was notorious for not paying musicians back in the 90s, when Rodeo bar did pay. Arlene's used the excuse that it was good exposure to play there since music industry types were regulars. I'm pretty sure that I'm sure no one got rich playing Rodeo but they didn't even charge a cover, and I doubt Clive Davis or Arif Mardin were hanging out at the bar looking for talent since that not what this place was about. Rodeo was not pretentious or full of itself, like so many other places these days. Apparently being real and down to earth no are qualities that are no longer needed on this planet.

Gojira said...

@Anon. 3:42 and 4:34 (cos I'll wager long green you are one and the same boo-hooer) - yeah, love you too, honey. Feel free to keep taking my name in vain.

Anonymous said...

Rodeo bar always, and still does does pay their bands. I don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

As a band that has had the privilege of playing the Rodeo Bar 64 times over the past 5 years, we send our thanks and regrets to the owners and staff of NYC'a Longest Running Honky Tonk. This iconic treasure of Live Music has served NYC for 3 decades and as we say goodbye....The Hell or High Water band would like to say THANK YOU---for a REAL good time!

Jason said...

Really, I can't be sad about this one. EV Grieve does a good job of covering stuff, but Rodeo is far north of 14th and not really relevant to what happens in the village.

Anonymous said...

How sad that the closing of a simple independent restaurant, bar and music venue could elicit so much tangential venom from people with axes to grind.

I saw just one show there. Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers performed a beautiful set. If the name isn't familiar you can check out Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds. He was an icon of American Music and I treasure my memories of that show.

The closing is no great personal loss to me. But the cumulative evisceration of NY, the accelerated loss of places both major and minor is deeply unfortunate.

And the best some commenters can muster is to spit on them or try to scratch and claw at others.

Giovanni said...

If you look up the definition of the word "Loser" in the dictionary, there's a picture right next to it of a guy posting on EV Grieve about how he doesn't care at all about the total ongoing destruction of neighborhood institutions all over New York. He's sipping a 7-11 Slurpee in his Garanimals PJs and typing on a Commodore 64 computer with a 14,400 Fax modem. and his mother is yelling at him to get off the Internet so she can make a phone call to his therapist, but not before he whines one more time about the censors blocking all his snarky comments about how he doesn't care about places that he never even visited which are sadly closing down.

Anonymous said...

I think Giovanni was censored once. He posted something using only 10 words.

Anonymous said...

Of course fuck Arlene Grocery. That goes without saying.

I was told by musicians that Rodeo Bar started the policy of not paying. This was in the 90s. Maybe it was only true for a while, or on certain nights. Maybe it wasn't true at all. If so, un-fuck them! They made a great margarita.

Anonymous said...

Rodeo is an iconic part of the NYC music culture. You can't just "move it". If you read about what is going on in Manhattan, you will see that we have lost many small businesses. Even Danny Meyer was forced out of Union Square with a $50,000 rent! The landlords have gone crazy, with 50-100% increases. There should be rent stabilization for commercial properties. People spend their entire lives building a career and business, and poof, GONE, with nothing left to sell but the furniture. Horrible.

Anonymous said...

It is doubled rents that lead venues to try to cut corners. Sadly, musicians are often in those cuts. HOWEVER, you don't know what you are talking about. Musicians were fed and paid, CUSTOMERS got the music for free.

Anonymous said...

I can't even believe I'm bothering, but no, 3:42 and 4:34 are not the same person. Believe it or not, there's more than one of us that finds it disturbing that pro-Cumia comments are apparently OK when ones mildly criticizing this doofus bar, a bar you would laugh at were it in the EV, are not. Mother's basement jokes, really? The old "you just be the same person" accusations -- really?

Giovanni said...

@The Same Anonymous Cretins Who Keep Complaining About Me Instead Of The Hyper Gentrification Killing New York:

Sorry if I hit a sensitive spot there, didn't mean to insult your dial-up modem or lack of cultural awareness, or for that matter your apparently non-existent social life. It really doesn't matter if you don't miss Rodeo Bar because of the font it uses or the neighborhood it in, or St Marks Books because some clerk was rude to you once, or the newsstand on Astor Place because you have an odd dislike of newsstands. The rest of us do care, which is what this blog is all about. Caring. Look it up, it's a very good word.

Also sorry if you don't like reading lots of words, this is blog with lots of words, and words are free as is speech in this country. If you don't like reading lots of words try Instagram, it has pictures, many without captions, and you won't be bothered by opinions of people with brains who use word to express them.

It's a shame you don't get this because this is a great city in a transition time akin to ethnic cleansing, its an economic pogrom of historical propositions. If the shops replacing our institutions were art galleries and locally owned business, not condos and generic chain stores, we wouldn't have an issue. But this is a city and neighborhood worth defending, which is why after 12 years of Bloomberg we elected DeBlasio, in a last ditch effort to take the city back in the other direction.

Now please try to enjoy what New Yorkers have enjoyed for years before its gone, and before Bellevue calls and asks you to return that strait-jacket.

Sincerely, your mom's best friend, frequent dinner companion and shoulder to cry on,

Giovanni

P.S.: Street Fair! Street Fair!

Anonymous said...

Giovanni, let me be very clear to you. I have not called you out by name once. I have no particular issue with you until now, but I have been at EVG longer than you, since you apparently want to get into some dick-size contest, and I've been in NYC for forever. So please don't lecture to me about what New Yorkers have liked forever as if the Rodeo Bar is some cultural institution when I am betting everything that you've never even been there.

I have one objection: the Cumia comments being accepted when other, non-racist comments were not. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Butt out, son.

Giovanni said...

Wrong again Anonymous trolls, check out the Facebook postings about how so many people and bands loved the place. I'll be there tonight for about the hundredth time if you want to discuss this intelligently. I'm dying to see what an Anonymous looks like. I'm guessing the species resembles something between a Dodo bird and a Troll.

Rodeo Bar Facebook Tributes

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what this Anonymous looks like: a sober person who isn't faux Stone Ponying my middle age away at a bar for people who can't let high school in suburbia go.

Anonymous said...

Commentary that is intended to flame/attack will not be published.....
unless Giovanni writes it - is it an good
idea to invite the person to meet you? Anyway referring this as ethnic cleansing? Isn't that a little overboard ?
Economic pogrom? Wow - and if you think deblasio will help well he will help crime go up and try to raise taxes but even if he were so inclined what can he do? I know Bloomberg pushed through all sorts of developedment in his last year to keep his real estate buddies happy and there is nothing deblasio can do. I mean he can't get rid of the horses.in central park . Free speech only means you won't be arrested. It doesnt eam there are no consequences- I wonder how much talking all the keyboard gangster do.when they are faced with a live person and they might.have to face the music. People weren't as hardcore when.they didnt hide. In the old ev you'd get smashed for.running your mouth.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

This is Anon 4:34, and I am not the same as 3:42. Not sure why my last 3 posts have been censored since they don't come close to the aggressive, angry, bitter posts that Giovanni has been spewing, but I guess that's how it works. Let's try one more time...

@Giovanni, why does it matter what our names are? My name is David, your name is Giovanni, and nobody knows if either of those are the truth. Some of us don't post our names because we don't care for the "glory" and ego-stroking that you apparently get from seeing your name on the screen.

(Side note: Your profile links to some ridiculous website that talks about "urban sex myths", fake Bin Laden death photos, and "vilifying male sexuality", are you sure you're not the one from Bellevue?)

Please re-read all of your insane posts above and take a long look in the mirror. You are a terrible person, and I look forward to the day you are replaced by an NYU student, a finance bro, or a 7-11.

Please say hi to my mom, and keep acting like an entitled never-has-been.

Sincerely,

David (Anon 4:34)

EV Grieve said...

No one's comments were "censored."

There were two comments I didn't approve from Thursday.

Enough.

Anonymous said...

Actually I'm from here unlike most- and what does that mean? Where are you from? Sorry to be contrarian but I bet they had cheap leases and now its over - as a native my opinion matters more lol

Anonymous said...

The Rodeo Bar back in the nineties was a place you could wander into on any given night and listen to Dale Watson, the Belmont Playboys, the Derailers, Wayne Hancock, Ronnie Dawson, the Planet Rockers, and many other now legendary roots bands. You never had to pay a cover, and if you simply wanted to stand and listen to the music no one hassled you. Their booking did seem to fall off track in recent years, but Lord knows what kind of pressures they were dealing with to stay afloat. It's sad that New York can't support a place like that anymore.

Anonymous said...

This place has been one of the few stable spots in a neighborhood that is swiftly being devastated by continual construction and the opening of an endless number of sports bars. Between 23rd St. and 29th St. on THIRD AVENUE ALONE, there are EIGHT loud bars and one pinball place. Unregulated real estate development is fast destroying this city, and once it's gone, it's GONE. You cannot retrieve charm and history. And as each new high rise goes up, every rent stabilized tenant in the neighborhood is trembling because they know they are next. Several buildings have been bought and the bullying of long term tenants has already begun. Ugly Ugly Ugly.

Pontifica said...

I tell you this comment thread is a wild ride not unlike one you'd experience at a rodeo (ar, ar, ar). I don't know who this Cumia character is. Where and what did he post that is offending you all? And the anons fighting the anons is hysterical. I don't care if you live here or not, if you think it's AOK for a landlord to jack up rent and throw out good stable tenants who have brought business to a neighborhood and actually have some character, you are totally missing the point. Giovanni, despite his rude cleverness, is right on the money. This is an economic pogrom. Small business is being abused and eventually eliminated by big business. OF course the banker boys and girls who have taken over the neighborhood will likely spew the erroneous party line that it's the government that's killing business. Look around you, finance wizards, and see what's replacing all the old mom and pop stores and cafes here. Hint: it's not your mother's bakery. It's Banks, Duane Reade, 7-11 (in Manhattan? I mean, we have actual real food stores here. How is it that anyone would prefer 7-11?), and any and all kinds of sports bar.