Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aces and Eights still closed; new bar looking to rebrand and change image

One week after the DOH shuttered Aces & Eights on Avenue A... the bar remains closed...

...groups with events planned for the bar have had to go elsewhere....

On our previous post, Jamie-Lynn Argenta, the new general manager of Aces & Eights LES, left this comment:

Aces & Eights Saloon LES has been closed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene due to paperwork and permit issues. We will be open Monday. I am currently General Manager of the bar; my name is Jamie-Lynn Argenta. I understand that our image has been tarnished because of prior wrongs, however I hope we can look towards building a more cooperative and cohesive bond with the community in the future.

We strive to be a positive, successful force in this community. As the former GM Tom Michaelsen pointed out last year on EV Grieve , Aces & Eights LES has made many charitable contributions. We have also supported our customers’ efforts to give back by hosting numerous fundraisers for a wide array of charitable causes, and we will continue to do so when we reopen. This bar strives to be viewed as a professional and respectful establishment within this community. And I would like to encourage people to give us feedback and help us foster our growth with the community.

As EV Grieve posted, we will be changing the name of the bar. Aces & Eights LES will be holding a naming contest when we reopen and I am hoping to get input and support from not only our staff and customers, but also from residents in East Village and Lower East Side . It will give people a chance to help us rebrand and change our image; it will give residents an opportunity to help shape what kind of establishment we will become. We look forward to serving you again.

Monday may have been a little optimistic ... in any event, are you willing to give the bar a second chance?


Anonymous said...

God this feels SO good.
And I LOVE the fratgame relocation address!!!

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

Hahahaha a naming contest?

How out of touch do you have to be to think that will mean anything to anyone?

It'll be the same terrible bar with 20 beer pong tables and 50 flat screens (and no patrons).

esquared™ said...

how about simply call it "WOOOO!" -- apt and succinct.

Anonymous said...

NYCSSC has been in the LES for several years, and brings in quite of bit of money to schools and the community through field and playground rentals of spaces that would otherwise be vacant at night.

Referring to us as a "fratgame" is somehwat disrespectful, though I expext nothing less from LES hypocrites who claim to value the community, yet oppose economic investment in the area. As a life-long new yorker, who grew up in Hell's Kitchen, and was long ago forced to move due to gentrification and over development of that area, I sympathize with LESers facing similar issues.

The real problem comes not from bars like Aces, but rather monstrosities like The Ludlow or Hotel on Rivington, who change not only the architectural landscape of the neighborhood, but the social and economic demographics that give the LES it's life.

Aces was extremely accomodating to NYCSSC participants, and as one of the few bars that could accomodate the size of our groups, it would be a shame to have to relocate the entire league to another neighborhood.

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

It was extremely accommodating to NYCSSC because the bar was perpetually empty. I'm sure there's another terrible, empty bar you can find to host your events.

Bowery Boy said...

Ya gotta love Anon' above, "I sympathize with... LES hypocrites". Talk about a backhanded compliment.

But the fun part is the naming contest...

Sleepy Neighbors Club
Silent but Deadly Bar & Grill
Up All Night Restaurant
Block the Sidewalk Bar
Old Neighborhood Bedtime Story
F the Sleepy Locals Lounge
Our Music is Your Music Bar
Baseline Vibrations... In Your Child's Bedroom Bar & Lounge

It's not about "oppos[ing] economic investment in the area"; it's about businesses that can't color inside their own lines, and could care less if their activities spill over into resident's lives/homes.

Anonymous said...

...Referring to us as a "fratgame" is somehwat disrespectful...

Emphasis on the "somewhat":

...It's not about "oppos[ing] economic investment in the area"; it's about businesses that can't color inside their own lines...

Yup. Again, I'd argue that messy irresponsible bars tend to hurt the economic health of the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I'd much prefer and irresponsible bar serving college educated frat boys, than a pretencious club or hotel lounge denying entry to actual inhabitants of the neighborhood because they don't fit the "ethnic" requirements of their establishments.

But then again, I guess the LES won't be happy until the entire neighborhood is submerged under glass tower high-rises catering only to the wealthy, and all non-white low-income residents leave.

In fact, the Baruch houses would make a great location for a new W Hotel...The "W by the Bridge"...sounds good to me! 40 stories of luxury overlooking the poor peasants down below.

glamma said...

1. hey anon at 11:11 - you are so full of sh*t. give us a break. seriously.
2. there is NO group more destructive, ignorant and disgusting than "college-educated frat boys."
3. yes - on to the naming contest! really love "Block the Sidewalk Bar." Other suggestions:

-Puke Bar & Grill
-There Goes the Neighborhood (Again)
-Moron Central

come on grievers.. this is your specialty!

Anonymous said...

I guess the Tea Party has finally invaded Manhattan..."down with those liberal elitists with their fancy college diplomas!"

Can't wait til the EV/LES becomes all white, upper middle class yuppies.

Then you'll have more places like CV, that put quotas on how many minorities they let inside, or Continental that doesn't allow blacks.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to weigh in on this one as I have a foot in both worlds: I'm 26 and live in the "east village" (a term invented by real estate brokers in the 70s to differentiate the neighborhood from the LES) so I go to a lot of the bars in the neighborhood, but my family has been in the neighborhood for over a hundred years and I care a lot about the neighborhood's integrity and architecture (physical & cultural). I don't understand this false dichotomy the anonymous poster has referred to between aces-and-eights and ubergentrifying hotels. It makes no sense to me why not wanting a frat bar under your apartment means you're in favor of the ludlow, or how running aces-and-eights out of business somehow leads to another ludlow coming to town. There is , however, somewhere in there a valid point to be made about how places like the ludlow destroy the last vestiges of a once-vibrant neighborhood (its architecture) while frathole bars don't have the same effect.

On the other hand, while a bar should absolutely be shut down for not getting the proper regulatory approval (which itself speaks volumes about management's attitude towards its neighbors), I don't understand the reactionary attitude towards any bar with a tv screen or for whatever reason is too different than Mars Bar. It disappoints me to see many posters on this site and vanishingnewyork conceive of the "east village" as some sort of hermetically sealed 80s punk rock mecca, as if people who don't listen the the Ramones don't belong in the neighborhood. Yeah, places like superdive and 13th step suck, but I don't think there's that much of an overabundance of sports bars in the east village, and not every bar can be lucy's. Of course, bars that blast music late at night and don't regulate their patrons, yes, they should be shut down no matter how much money they make the owners and how much patrons love the place. People who ignore the externalities they create in pursuit of self-interest are the most vile breed of narcissist.

Of course the structure of the city government is a huge problem, as local government arms are entirely unaccountable to their constituencies. Community Board members are appointed by the borough president, who I believe is himself appointed by the mayor. Businesses should be free to lobby entities like the community board, but they certainly shouldn't have a seat on it like certain bar owners on CB3.

I'm pretty impressed that CB3 recently has started getting tough on bar owners and liquor license applicants. Keep the heat up. Keep attending those meetings and keeping tabs on the neighborhood. But reactionary opposition to a bagel shop, for god's sake, only delegitimizes opposition to businesses that truly pose a threat.

LuxLiving said...

I love contests!

Chug 'n Chunder Grill
Beer, Bitches, & Burritos
Drink 'til U Stink

EV Grieve said...



Anonymous said...

I'd definitely give them another chance. The upstairs was nice. There's a monthly goth/deathrock party there that's really fun. I live a few blocks away, so it was nice to be able to stay in the neighborhood to get my Sisters of Mercy fix.

I hope they either a) get more goth nights or b) have more art shows. Stuff that appeals less to the "frat boy bro" crowd and more to the "sit and drink and talk about art or something" crowd.

Anonymous said...

Named the East Village by real estate brokers in the 70's ????

Get the fuggouta here .... !

Anonymous said...

the mayor doesn't appoint the Borough President--you elected him.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Borough Presidents are elected officials.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous from September 23, 2010 4:23 PM

Thank you so much for those comments.

I feel like both sides in this debate are missing the true issue here. The bar was not shut down for being a "frathole" or for having beer pong. Those who keep hammering away at that point do so simply because they don't like that scene. That's perfectly fine, as everyone is free to go to, or like, whatever bar they want to.

I, for one, am all for diversity and could care less if one bar has beer pong, while the next has live music.

The underlying problem with Aces is not really about the content of the bar, but in the system that allowed an establishment with no operating permit, to 1) not only obtain a liquor license, but 2) remain in business with no permit for close to a year.

This problem goes way beyond any incompetence or arrogance in the ownership of Aces, as I'm sure they were well aware they were lacking necessary permits while open.

No business should be allowed to operate for so long without the necessary permits. That's what upsets me.

I have many friends who've opened business in the LES, and CB3 is probably the one of the toughest community boards to please. But, regardless of how many loops they had to jump through, how many papers they had to fill, and how many signatures they needed to obtain, they went through the process properly. All businesses should, with no preference given to any.

How a bar, that seemingly had so much opposition from the get-go, can fall through the cracks, makes me question how many other, less polarizing, businesses might not have permits either.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous September 24, 2010 9:46 AM

No one is saying that this bar was shuttered for being a frathole or for having beer pong. The TRUE issue here is that the previous management did not disclose to having beer pong when he applied for the liquor license. And when beer pong was a part of the attraction there, it indeed attracted the douches and the frats. And you argue that you are all for diversity. That's just the thing, the bars that are sprouting in the EV are mostly frathole joints; the ones with the beer pongs and the HDTVs playing all kind of sports. Where's the diversity in that? The frats are the one who are usually the ones making the noise after they had left the bar, inconsiderate of the people who live in the neighborhood. Has nothing to do if we like the beer pong bar scene; it's the type of crowd it attracts: the fratholers and the doucheoise. Regardless, the bar is open again. You COULD care less anyway.