Friday, March 18, 2016

About Lucky, a new bar opening on Avenue B — 'There isn’t gonna be a theme'



Photos and text by Stacie Joy

Longtime local writer, editrix and party producer Abby Ehmann is fulfilling a dream of hers and opening a new bar at 168 Avenue B between East 10th Street and East 11th Street called Lucky. I stopped by to see the space during its renovation and to ask her a few questions.

What can you tell us about your new space?

I’m taking over the old Boxcar Lounge space [which closed for good at the end of February after 18 years in business]. It isn’t a very big bar so my plans aren’t too extravagant. I want it to be a comfortable neighborhood bar. I have all kinds of ideas but I want everything to be a surprise! But I am hoping it will be the bar for all the people who feel like there aren’t any bars left for them. 

Why did you want to be a bar owner?

Judging by all the people offering me their ideas, it seems like anyone who’s ever sat at a bar has thought about owning one. Seriously, though, ever since the first time I worked behind a bar I’ve wanted to own one. It was 1992, my “summer of discontent.” I’d been laid off from the ad industry and was crying into the want ads. Tommy at The Village Idiot gave me a job as a barmaid. I’ve had about a million jobs and bartending’s my favorite. I love interacting with people.

What can we expect from your bar? I heard you had an amazing jukebox planned.

Yeah, people have asked what my “theme” is gonna be. There isn’t gonna be a theme. The vibe of the bar will be completely dependent upon the bartenders — almost all people who’ve worked in the neighborhood for years — and the music.

The jukebox will be filled with as many mix CDs as I can collect. I’m hiring DJs to make them for me. I want each one to be an homage to a defunct bar, club, party or “world” — Downtown Beirut, Mars Bar, The Idiot, Motherfucker, Green Door, Jackie 60. Even if the person putting their money in hasn’t ever heard of any of those places, the music will be great. But for those who do know what the mixes mean, I’m hoping it will make them really happy. It’s a warm, familiar nod to the past, to what came before.

What are your favorite bars — in NYC and/or elsewhere?

I’m a huge fan of dive bars, neighborhood bars, places that feel like an extension of your living room…if you have a living room.

Back when I lived on 10th Street between First and Avenue A, I practically lived at Downtown Beirut. I could go there alone and as soon as I walked in the door, Carolyn would hold up a pitcher and point and I’d nod. My beer would be on the bar before I even sat down. That bar was my favorite bar in the whole world. I still miss it. And that jukebox, heaven!

I usually go to Double Down [on Avenue A]. I love the punk rock and PBR. I’ve been going to 2A for 30 years. It was the first bar I went to in this neighborhood. I’m not too sure about their recent upgrades, but the vibe and general feng sui of that place…I love it. Exposed brick and those big windows, it’s the quintessential bar. Sophie’s, 11th Street Bar, International Bar, Manitoba’s, Coal Yard, Doc Holliday’s (when it isn’t full of college kids). Places that feel like they’ve been there forever. And places that don’t have a TV. Not a big fan of the twee cocktail establishments or “speakeasies,” where someone else decides whether you get in or not. I wouldn’t subject myself to that bullshit. I don’t like to wait in line for anything. I mean, even if they were handing out gold bars, I wouldn’t wait in line.

What do you think makes a good neighborhood bar?

Locals and regulars, a bartender who knows your name, or at least pretends to! Knows what you drink. Nothing pretentious or fake. A place you can go when you’re having a really crappy day and you’ll walk out feeling better.

What are your thoughts on the East Village in general? And what are your thoughts on the East Village nightlife in particular?

It’s easy to complain about the East Village and all the changes it’s gone through. I’ve lived here since 1989 and I’ve watched a lot of those changes. It’s heartbreaking when places that have been around for decades close down.

And I hate the new buildings. I have this ridiculous, irrational, somewhat romantic love for old buildings: Old architectural detail, the tenement apartments, walls with history. So whenever something gets torn down, I mourn.

The East Village may not be as “cool” as it used to be. It certainly isn’t as affordable…so many of my friends have moved away, but it’s still better than anywhere else. It still feels like a neighborhood. I can walk down the street and see people I know. Go into a bar or restaurant or Key Food and bump into people. What’s the alternative? I mean, have you been to LA? Hell-fucking-no. New York City is the best place to live. I get choked up, still, when Frank Sinatra sings about it… I swear. I’m a sap. What can I say? It’s the fervor of someone who has chosen this city as home.

I really enjoyed Ada Calhoun’s "St. Marks Is Dead." It applies to the neighborhood and to the city in general: if it’s dead to you, yes, it’s dead. If all you have is old memories and you aren’t creating any new ones, yes, it’s dead.

A lot of the grumblers, including me, simply aren’t raging drunk through the streets anymore. It might’ve been why — or maybe when — we moved here but many have moved on, if not geographically, otherwise. I can’t begrudge younger people their right to rage drunk through the streets. I’m sure there were bartenders who found me and my friends obnoxious. I can bemoan my lost youth and hate on the youngsters, and often do, but complaining about noise in the biggest city in America seems a little…sad.

I’m not a fan of too-high heels and girls who all wear the same dresses when they go out or man buns and overly fussy facial hair or whatever the latest trend is. I’ve never been into trends. So sure, I lock myself into my apartment on the weekends. I guess the bottom line is: noisy bars have always been and should always remain noisy bars. Deal with it. Create your own nightlife. Yes, I’m opening a bar but over the past decade I’ve hosted (much smaller) parties in my living room to avoid the people I find distasteful. Just cope with it however you can.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I feel fortunate to have this opportunity. My landlady isn’t one of those greedy folks who are quadrupling the rent, which appears to be VERY rare, bless her. I have a crystal-clear vision of what I want my bar to be, but I can only control so much. I can create an ambience and curate the music and pick the beer and booze. Once I open the doors, though, who knows? I would like it to be a refuge, or as my friend Joe Vincent said, “an oasis in a desert of douches,” a place that all the people who feel displaced can call home. Or as I’ve said, “a respite from the stumbling insanity.” That’s my vision, anyway. That and a room full of people singing along to "Bohemian Rhapsody."


[Lucky under renovation]

You can keep tabs on the Lucky bar project by checking out Abby’s IndieGogo campaign

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is she crazy? The East Village is still cool. Maybe she should move her bar to Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

good luck to her; glad to hear this is opening up!

Gojira said...

Abby has been living in the EV for decades, although I've only known her for about 20 years. This is a bar where I can see myself stopping in for a drink, and I can't think of another place in the nabe where I can say that without cringing at the thought of having to wade through yet another bro-fest. Welcome, Abby, I'll see you soon!

Jill W. said...

I love this! Most of these quotes I could have said myself, especially "I’m not a fan of too-high heels and girls who all wear the same dresses when they go out" and also "Deal with it. Create your own nightlife."

Giovanni said...

This will end in beers.

Anonymous said...

The comment at 9:22 doesn't make any sense. What does that even mean?

In any case I wish her well and will definitely come by for a drink when it's open!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I can't get behind any new bar these days. We are losing diversity in our commercial spaces, it's become all alcohol selling and not much anything else. Some of this is the fault of landlords asking very high rents which startups cannot afford unless they have wealthy backers who in turn only want open restaurant bars for bragging rights.

Kelpek said...

Brava to you! What a great perspective on bars and life in NYC. Looking forward to drinking here!

Anonymous said...

She sounds judgy. It's one thing to dislike "girls" who are shouting WOOOO! But if they're not, who cares how high their heels are, or what their dresses look like, or if their boyfriends have "man buns and overly fussy facial hair."

Also, I can't help but laugh at "Noisy bars have always been and should always remain noisy bars. Deal with it. Create your own nightlife." LOL, so the answer to fighting, say, the 13th Step is to open a competing bar called Mausoleum, where no music is played and speaking is banned. Seems realistic.

Anonymous said...

She sounds great and this place sounds cool but she is wrong about there always being noisy bars here. I have lived in the neighborhood for more than 25 years and there are way more bars here now and they are a lot louder. People aren't complaining for no reason.

Drunk Satan's Therapist said...

I wish her luck but she needs to understand that bars are likely the work of Satan -- or greedy landlords in case Satan himself is not available -- which is why part of the LES is known as Hell Square. When she says thet people complaining about noise in New York is "sad" she shows the same kind of disregard for unnecessary noise created by their own patrons that way too many bar owners share. If she's drinking half as much as she says she does on her blog, she might not even notice or be able to handle her rowdy customers. I agree with Giovanni: This will end in beers.

Anonymous said...

Noisy bars is a recent development in the EV. Been here since 1981 which I know seems like I'm talking about 1881 but dive bars noise (if any) never spilled into the streets, there were no open facade bars until recently. Too many bars already even if this one is a throw back it is yet another alcohol establishment.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:51: I guess we should not equate the person with the style. I get annoyed by the blue-green hair that has become popular. Strikes me as woman trying to be different by being the same as other woman trying to be different. But fashion is always this way.

Anonymous said...

She sounds great but I'm really concerned about her plans for the backyard space. It's basically in my bedroom and I'd love it if she made attempts to control the noise.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should open a business that adds to the 'diversity'. Shes opening a business- why dont you? So easy to sit and judge and complain. She doesnt have wealthy backers.

Anonymous said...

Seems defensive and judgmental. Agree with 10:51 AM.

"Noisy bars have always been and should always remain noisy bars. Deal with it." Um, yes and no. Yes, bars were always can be loud. And most patrons can be loud, but they remained inside the bars. Not spilling-out on the streets like today.

Maybe the theme is a themeless bar. Meta irony.

I have a feeling transients will stop here first and early and have their fill of alcohol before heading out to the themed and trendy places serving $20+ drinks where they'll nurse it all night long.

Mixed on this, regardless. On one hand it is yet another bar. On the other hand, it could be a neighborhood bar, an extension of one's living room -- a place where one can socialize and have conversations -- and not another destination where people socialize via Tinder and Snapchat.

Anonymous said...

You're kind of completely wrong here. There used to be diversity and now it's all NYU meat heads running around the EV. If anything, Abby's bar may lure in the colorful crowds that the EV of today kicked aside, who are predominantly not noisy college kids.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps you should open a business that adds to the 'diversity'. Shes opening a business- why dont you? So easy to sit and judge and complain. She doesnt have wealthy backers."

I have owned a business for 16 years here (not a bar), started it with $20,000 my life savings. Anything else?

Alistair Mohadda said...

Abby and her friend Joe Vincent insult the entire East Village, new and old, by calling us a "desert of douches". She rightly refers to herself as "a sap": a solipsistic sap, at that.

Anonymous said...

I can't blame everyone for wanting to dive into the bar business in this neighborhood. There is a lot of money to be made in booze, and you can do whatever you want and you aren't going to get shut down. Before Double Wide opened it was billed as a restaurant. It's not a restaurant. It's a bar. And a loud one. And neighbors all around have been calling the cops about the noise for a few years now and the cops come and don't do anything. As much as it would be nice to think this will be a quiet neighborhood joint, she doesn't have much control over the clientele in this neighborhood, and it's all loud frat and sorority types who are here to PAR-TAY!

Anonymous said...

Dear Drunk Satan's Therapist,
Thanks for the clarification. And here I thought Hell Square was named after Richard Hell.

afbp said...

This campaign is to raise awareness about Lucky and get YOU involved in its success. All donations will be added to my already existing funds. This is happening! Papers have been signed. The bar opens as soon as renovations are finished.

The money for the purchase of Lucky has already been secured. Any funds raised here will pay for upgrades and improvements, such as:
+ a new air conditioner and ducting
+ a shade structure for the backyard
+ heaters for the backyard
+ landscaping for the backyard
+ video projector to show movies in the backyard
+ improved storage in the basement
Yes, ultimate goal has already been met and the opening is imminent. You're all here to help put the frosting on the cake. Or maybe the head on the beer. And to help get the word out!

abby
i want you to succeed
i truly do
please
be careful with your back yard :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds promising! Nice interview, makes me want to check it out when she opens.

Scott said...

I walk down this street on my way home from work. Sounds like the kind of place I'll want to stop into on occasion since it seems like Abby and I have similar feelings about the neighborhood these days. Now I'm gonna hit happy hour at Bowery Electric and then lock myself in my apartment for the weekend.

Glenn Belverio said...

Good luck, sounds cool. I will check it out on an early weeknight (I don't like crowds). The only bar I ever go to in the EV is The Library. I miss Downtown Beirut!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope the place is a success. But the part about hiring DJs to make music mixes is kind of ridiculous. Everyone has a taste in music. One hires a DJ if they are having an event and need a person to provide a sound system and to physically keep the music playing. But if you are opening a bar, why not take a few minutes and select the music yourself. Unless one is an asshole, one does not need professional consultation to select some crummy jukebox tunes. I am tired of this idiot pretense that DJs are somehow more musically enlightened than non DJs.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember a backyard space at the Boxcar -- maybe I was there in winter? In any case she can't just open it up to commercial use if its not in her license. If she does apply for an alteration to use the backyard then everyone who opposes it should show up for the CB3 meeting.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a cool woman. Will drop by her bar for sure.

Anonymous said...

Like every one else, behind Abby's rhetoric about "neighborhood" lies the fundamental truth--I'm opening a bar because I can see it as a money maker--and like Zero Mostel in The Producers--I want to flaunt it baby!! I wish owners of stores and bars would stop this false appeal to nostalgia as a reason for doing what they are doing. No one will denounce you Abby if you just said, I've always wanted to open a bar, and I have always dreamed of $$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Boxcar had use of the garden, the terms they agreed to with CB3 was that they'd close it at 10 weeknights and 11 weekends. For the most part they kept to that agreement, if Abby inherits that usage I hope she keeps the same hours.

Anonymous said...

Another bar, just another place... I've been living here longer than she has and have seen EV watering holes come and go---"authentic" or not, so no big deal here. She is still hawking a bar that will sell over-priced drinks and yes, the girls with very high heels wearing the same dresses will not be turned away with their loud douchey frat boyfriends. Business is business. and yeah, hiring a consultant for the right kind of music is just laughable...

Anonymous said...

She lost me at "curate the music" and "complaining about noise in the biggest city in America seems a little sad." She might as well have said yhat Lucky will be no different than ahipster bar and if you don't like noise, then move to...

Anonymous said...

Hiring DJs to program the music is not laughable. The selections of these DJs will evoke the ambiance of legendary downtown clubs. It's a great idea. I know everyone thinks they're a DJ these days but Abby's going for something a little more interesting than unlimited iPod song salad.
Dany - former DJ at Club 57, Mudd Club, Pyramid, Boybar, Clit Club, Area, and others

Eden Bee said...

Abby is a cool lady. I will give this place a chance for sure. That block could use something non douchy thats for sure.

bayou said...

The 11th Street Bar is decidedly undouchy. Awesome live music and generous, community-minded owner. Come hang with us at happy hour. We're home by 9:15.

Anonymous said...

"That and a room full of people singing along to "Bohemian Rhapsody.""

I see. And if it's a room full of people singing along to "Don't Stop Believing", I suppose they're douches.

"I’m not a fan of too-high heels and girls who all wear the same dresses when they go out or man buns and overly fussy facial hair or whatever the latest trend is. I’ve never been into trends."

Ah, right, the punk aesthetic isn't a trend.

"I can bemoan my lost youth and hate on the youngsters, and often do, but complaining about noise in the biggest city in America seems a little…sad."

And how is bitterly hating on the youngsters because their vitality is not something you have anymore not a lot sad?

But, anyway, I'm sure you sit around with your burner friends and tell yourselves what open minded, kind, accepting people you are and in contradistinction to everyone else. But, yeah, go ahead and somehow justify to yourself it's okay to have your backyard open at 1 am on a Tuesday when a kid across the way is trying to get some sleep for school the next day. (And don't tell me it was any different back in the day. Back in the day that kid just happened to be a racial minority so you simply didn't notice them.)

P.S. Smart move broadcasting you don't give a shit about the noise. I'm sure CB 3 will love to read this when the first noise complaints come filtering in.

Anonymous said...

Sure- whats the name of it?

Anonymous said...

This woman, who seems honest and sincere, who I am sure comes from a good place, comes across as somewhat obnoxious. In referring to a question asked about the noise, she says, "deal with it." Um, I don't think so.

I live on the corner of C and 7. I hate the weekends because it is spring break every Friday and Saturday. Kids screaming, yelling and partying until 4, sometimes 5 am. Frat boys screaming, some of whom throw up, and initiate fights with their friends/girlfriends, reminding others of their masculinity. This entire stretch of C, along with B and A (don't get me started with Bro Ave; aka 2nd ave) is enough to make me crazy. I am not an old man. Only 41. But when I pay excessive amounts of rent to live in my apartment, I expect a certain level of decorum. I don't mind the younger generation getting their groove on. What I do mind is the mindset to "deal with it" or "move out."

This is not just this woman's neighborhood. She doesn't govern what happens in the EV, although she sure sounds like it. Maybe she is cool. Whatever. People need to embrace the change of our neighborhood. Not all of us can have our cake and eat it too. Even I have to contend with the BS of the bros and millennials who seem to think they own the world. What I don't have to contend with is the arrogance. I don't care who owns what bar and what they're all about. I am a resident who is tired of the BS. How would they like living next to a bar on the weekends if they have to wake up the following morning with very little sleep because someone decided to punch their friend because he wasn't respecting his girlfriend, the very man who just bought and drank five drinks from the bar outside of my apartment, where the cops arrive and make arrests. Really? Occurrences such as this happen every day. It is tiresome and unnecessary.

Whomever owns a bar in NYC is in for a struggle. It is a financial hardship and a never ending competitive whirlpool. I wish Abby luck. She certainly has a lot to say and contribute. Perhaps it will be a positive addition. I just don't need to be told, "deal with it."

blue glass said...

how can you be a neighborhood hood bar when the neighborhood has been destroyed by tourists, students, bars, and bros

Anonymous said...

Whatever anyone thinks of this bar (personally IDGAF about it, although calling any business "Lucky" seems like a built-in jinx on par with getting a tattoo of your partner's name), please listen to Dany at 12:52 -- she knows what she is talking about, she's a god-honest EV DJ legend.

respect :)

Anonymous said...

Hiring former CB member 'AP' as her consultant says a lot. Her establishment had one of if not the most noise complaints in the city.

roy edroso said...

I've known Abby forever. She's got her head on straight, and this bar has a lot of promise. I wish her luck.

Anonymous said...

One more project where people are being asked to contribute ($100 gets you a $150 bar tab) to help make someone's dream come true. Abby in the interview here and in her Indie Gogo campaign comes across as just another egotist. My bar will be different because?? No it won't. It isn't going to become a haven for people in the neighborhood who have had enough of the go-go bars that cater to tourists and weekend drunks. The neighborhood is already saturated with bars--each one claiming to be that oasis that makes it different from its neighbors. What we are going to have here is another concept bar. Just open the bar and stop trying to convince yourself and everyone else that you are saving the true character of the East Village (what it used to be like). The EV will never return to what it "used to be like" because the times, people, and the economy are different. When I started going to Phebe's in 1964, it was because that was where a community of theater people and artists like myself were hanging out. When I went to the Old Reliable it was because that was where plays were being done. For me, and I imagine others, the bars we went to were not just for drinking. They were havens for people with similar interests to gather and exchange ideas and hopes and fears. That sense of community is what is missing from most of the bars in the EV. A very few places like those bars still exist--and they should not be destroyed by announcing them in every post. What I find annoying about Abby and her interview here and in her post is the earnestness with which she is proclaiming that she will not be like every other bar in the EV--the truth is she will create a mirror image of every other bar in the EV. The pretentiousness of her talk is self-revealing.

Anonymous said...

Abby- your consultant Ariel is famously quoted as saying:
"If Hitler were the applicant you should meet with him" and this classic - "the East Village is ripe for the picking". Just saying . . .

Anonymous said...

Most of the comments here obviously do not understand who Abby is our what the subcultures she refers to and had been central to are. I guess that is ok, there are only a few of us still around. As someone who does understand, hell yes I want Abby to be running a bar in the east village instead of someone else without her background! The problem with liquor licenses in the east village is old, 10 to 15 years ago too many were given. The community board now fights against new licenses, and unfortunately had blocked new promising music venues by doing so while allowing yahoo bars to proliferate. But they can't stop the yahoo bars, those licenses were long since approved. This is not a new liquor license, it is a bar that would no matter what become someone's new bar, I am grateful it is becoming Abby's. Just the fact that she is a longtime resident of the neighborhood is enough to make her welcome, along the principles of money circulating into the neighborhood in which it is spent. ..but she has much, much more to offer than just that.

Shawn G. Chittle said...

@Eden let's go break this place in. I dig this gal she sounds like my kinda people.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Shawn G. Chittle. You go boy.

Anonymous said...

If I had a dollar for every bar/restaurant owner who said they were not going to cater to the new demographic, well you know the rest. . .Instead of opening another place to compete with the bars already trying to cater to long-time EV residents like: Sophies, Lucy's, Monas, HiFi to name a few, why not just patronize them. Every single one of them caters to locals, tries to create a local vibe, yet they are all trying to hang-on in an environment that has demographically changed. So the answer is simple, just another resident who claims to want to preserve what was once here cashing in what is here now. We have plenty of good old-school neighborhood bars struggling to survive, so why create one that will compete with them - oh because you have a dream . . .I will spend my money at our remaining long-time bars and skip another themed one, especially one with the "I'm not gonnna be douchy" theme. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Ugh really? You are going to suggest she can't handle drunk people? You don't know her. I look forward to seeing her handle all manner of shenanigans with ease. It's a tiny bar, it's not even open yet and you are complaining about the noise. Well done Satan.

Anonymous said...

Abby has a bunch of friends from different scenes, I love the idea of a mixtape from a moment in party scene land time, instead of a few songs and endless café del Mar. By hiring djs she means that she's going to pay artists to provide something that she wants. Excellent.

Morgan said...

Luckily, the things people whine about on the internet have almost zero effect on reality, so, if you think the East Village is still really cool, or Djing takes no talent, or that referring to the neighborhood as full of douches is wrong, or you moved to the East Village because you were seeking some peace and quiet, or are concerned about some fictional "minority" boy being sleepy due to noise, you are the problem with the neighborhood that long-time residents have to cope with on a daily basis, not the other way around. It's the over-entitled, trust-fund millennials that are ruining everything that used to be meaningful in the area. I for one will be happily visiting Abby and her amazing jukebox and continuing to bemoan the death by inches of a once magical place that is slowly being destroyed by people who have no spiritual or historical respect for why people moved there in the first place. Get some perspective on those who made this neighborhood a destination and walked down these streets when it wasn't safe for you flip-flop wearing, cell-phone zombies to pay zero attention to your surroundings. You would not have lasted a day. Check your privilege, someone is trying to start a business that is her dream, and all you can do is rip it to shreds before it is even open.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to wait for something to happen before you judge it?

Anonymous said...

You would prefer a douchy bar at the site?

Joey X said...

I'd attend the opening of an envelope if Abby was associated with it. Looking forward to getting Lucky.

Anonymous said...

Some of these comments are so damn grumpy. I personally look forward to a place like this -- a spot that isn't trying to be anything but a neighborhood bar. I appreciate that Abby is resurrecting a certain vibe that's sadly missing from this changing neighborhood. If anyone can do it, she can.

truesatori said...

Trolls and douches that post anonymously will ALWAYS share their negative opinion over printed word, meanwhile we'll have the entirety of Lucky staff and patrons in an hours-long singalong to not only Bohemian Rhapsody, but ALSO Don't Stop Believing (and who knows what else). We'll be 'having a good time' and you wankers will still be blasting a new business on the Internet. If you don't want it to be like all the other bars in the neighborhood, why don't you come check it out before you shut it out?! Abby is known for slanging drinks behind a bar and I'm known for drinking them- sometimes quietly and sometimes rowdily. She is an old school kind of gal and her "theme-less" bar is a throwback to when bars were just bars and good people ran them. Abby knows what it takes to run a great bar, and she is going to KILL IT!!! And it won't be pretentious, or full of all the things you haters dream up. God forbid it actually be one of the saving graces of the neighborhood that remind you of how things used to be in the EV and I know for me, it will feel like home. Best of Luck(y) Abby!!!

Unknown said...

Mozart should compose, Rembrandt should paint, and Abby should run a neighborhood bar. We should all hope to do what we love, and what we are great at, and she has the right balance of toughness, character, determination, innovation, and an amazing capacity to embrace and include the community around her. She loves the atmosphere of the bar scene and making it work organically. She could have built her bar anywhere, but she chose a place she loves and a place where she has planted her roots, and that place is right here. She is very observant of the community around her and she certainly has opinions about it, but that's because she actually gives a damn, participates, and wants the best for that community.

Abby and her bar aren't the reason for startup failures, greedy rent increases, the deficit, or crazy political parties. She is just a person that wants to offer something tangible that will create something we all need, and that is a break from the worries of work, the economy, loneliness, politics, and that huge freakin rat that lives behind the dumpster. "A place where everybody knows your name".

Participate in your community and help shape it to be the best for all concerned, talk to her about your concerns for the bar, and you will see that she is a great listener.

Urania Mylonas said...

Huge congratulations to Abby, who is a wonderful human being. That may seem like something ordinary, but believe me, it's extraordinary, especially in the bar business. Abby has a heart and a soul, and is excited to be bringing her decades of experience to this bar. Let's give some support to a female business owner! It's a tough world out there, and I'm willing to bet if you walked into her bar, she'd make you a fabulous drink, listen (with true interest, because she is also a journalist) to your story, and laugh (or cry) with you. I say that's a rare and beautiful thing, indeed.

truesatori said...

^^^^ ALL OF THIS!!!!

Anonymous said...

So pleased that Abby's finally getting her own bar after planning and saving for so long. I only wish it were in my little corner of the world.
I've seen her handle brutal back to back marathon bartending shifts with humor and style, keeping the patrons happy and playing awesome tunes. If anyone can make the douche-bros and hipsters feel unwelcome with a glance it's her.
I hope all the doubters here will stop by to be pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...

To those of you who seem concerned - I know Abby from having worked with her and she has supported nightlife for many years as a successful producer, reliable bar manager, efficient and affable bartender, excellent stage manager and many other jobs. Yup, Abby can be a snarky human but she's also a very solid adult. It's a really tiny space so it won't have room for people without a sense of humor. She will run her bar well and it will probably attract people over thirty, so for all the fuss about noise, it probably won't be noisy. Dissecting and allowing yourself to be upset by her brief and breezy interview isn't really going to help if you actually have a situation that might be affected by the business. Some of you are just bored at work and snarky too. The bar is happening and if you really have a problem with something, just talk to her in a respectful manner and there will be a reasonable solution. It's not a faceless corporation running things. If you don't like living near bars, the suburbs are wonderfully quiet and affordable. For those of you who support her, Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Abby is a NEW YORK TREASURE. Those who snark do not know her. She's going to run a beautiful warm fun place. I've known Abby for years and years - her central concern is going to be creating a space suitable for hear giant heart to flourish in...

Please just take a breath - and give her a chance.

She loves New York and the humans there in a big big way.

If you're LUCKY she may even hang out a bit while you enjoy your drink.

If it's not your speed....there are a million other places to be.

Life is short people.

Find the others.

Giovanni said...

In the spirit of helping Abby launch a successful bar, I would like to suggest a name change that will bring her a lot more business (and tons of free PR for years) than the current name. Simply name it after the owner and the bar's location, and call it Downtown Abby.

Anonymous said...

So.....You moved into a neighborhood known for its bars, rented an apartment near a bar for an excessive amount, and then complain to get it shutdown? Dude! You picked the wrong city! You need to move to SF! Where you will feel heard. Seriously. All of the generic, grew up on 90210, 41 year olds with excessive cash and delicate sensibilities have migrated west. Wagons Ho Bro! -After 5

Bobbie Daniel said...

I absolutely can't wait to go to this bar! If there's one thing I know about Abby, it's that she knows how to bring a great group of people together, and how to throw a party! I'm very familiar with her experience in the club/bar industry, and this woman is no freakin' joke!

With so many awesome places leaving the East Village, and so many places being closed forever, it's nice to have something exciting and new that I know for a fact is going to be an awesome place to just chill, and catch up with friends!

Also, I can't wait for the Jukebox! I also can't wait to see who she has as bartenders! It's going to be awesome!

Eden Bee said...

@shawnchittle Hell yeah! Definitely will be checking this place out. A cool neighborhood chick with a sex podcast who has a pretty interesting history since coming to NYC to say the least is trying to open a bar that douchebags won't come to? Count me in. I've been listening to her shows online for years now. She already stated she's not keeping late hours and she's planning to soundproof it all esp the back. If anyone would actually care about any complaints made about noise and all the rest and do their best to stop it it would be her. Jeez.

Anonymous said...

Y'll need to move on. Your East Village us dea. What a bunch of sad saps trying to relive the youth that have moved on. Your heries have moved on. Madonna, Iggy Pop, etc. wouldn't come to this place. If they were still alive today, Basquiat, David Bowie, Keith Haring, etc. , would never come here. You know where they'd go? They'd go to all the places that y'all despise: Empellon, Miss Lily's, Sons of Essex, etc.

G-man said...

Abby is wonderful and I expect this to be a great bar... and for the haters, this is not a new bar in so much as it is an existing bar being redone. Yes there has been an influx of new places as I've witnessed in the last 30 years but I'd say more restaurants than bars (still not so easy to get a liqueur license and we usually block any requests at our community board to stop the spread). As for noise in the last few years, definitely increased on the streets but mostly because of the smoking laws that push all the smokers onto the sidewalk and it looks like everywhere is crowded, but the space could be empty inside. Not a fault of the proprietors, but an unfortunate side effect of a good law protecting workers in bars and restaurants. There are many divisive and evil capitalists taking advantage of our still great neighborhood, but Abby is not one of them. She is one of us, an old school East Villager who is providing for our community, not breaking it.

Anonymous said...

Abby has a long track record as a cultural contributor in downtown Manhattan. She is no late-coming opportunist, and she works hard. This place will be for real people of various generations, many of whom partied in legendary ways and places, and it will be fun. It will respect its customers. Can't wait for the opening, and congrats, Abby!
—P Hall

ACE said...

My congratulations to the lovely Ms. Abby, who was born to run a bar. I wish her all the success in the world, and love the vibe she is trying to create. My complaint here is I see way too many whiners on here, moaning about "too many bars" or "too much noise", when they have yet to experience what Abby's vision is, which a chill hangout space, not for fratboys and their girls who wear too-high heels (can never grasp that) and all the same dresses. This space will be the antithesis of that vibe. Of course, the naysayers have the pitchforks and torches out already, without giving her a chance. My other complaint is the those who seem to think *their* life is singularly more important over the many who have already enjoyed the new space, and those still to come. "I pay too much rent" is the familiar refrain. I ask those people: did you not ascertain whether there were establishments nearby your domicile that might pose a threat to the unrealistic expectation that dead silence in the Big City will even be possible? I see some long-time residents complaining that the bars "noisier than ever" as well. I don't think that is possible. As a former NYer, and one who has patronized many a bar in the EV, I can tell you that in the early 1990's, when bars like Holiday's, Psycho Mongo's House of Sublimination and Alcatraz ruled the day, it was pure chaos out on the street. Nowadays it's the aforementioned fratboys and their dates rather than rockers and artists making the noise, granted, but the noise will happen - especially on a weekend. I have spent 18 years above a bar in San Francisco, and yes, on those occasions when I am home on a busy weekend, I "deal with it", and the owners appreciate it. I worked it to my advantage by not bitching, even getting part-time gigs there - and my money is no good, so if I want a drink or 3, I can sit down and there it is. My recommendation to those who complain about noise in an area populated by a slew of bars and restaurants is either get earmuffs, or find a way to cope, as Abby says. Or, befriend the owners, hook yourself up, grab a couple drinks on the house, and then doze off with a few drinks in you to ease the pain...