Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Because you want to know more about the plans for 34 Avenue A

Rebecca Marx talked with Todd P. at Fork in the Road last evening... and he shared more about plans for 34 Avenue A:

Patrick says that he and his co-partners (who also include Mo's/Two Boots owner Phil Hartman and Mike House, an architect whose projects include work on Santos Party House) all want to create a venue that "reflects and serves the surrounding community. No one wants this neighborhood to be this gauntlet of bars where you can get Jell-O shots. We are very happy to remove that stain [of Aces & Eights], but at the same time, no one wants more overpriced boutique restaurants."

The new space will have a ground-floor restaurant which, Patrick says, "will be the main revenue source and the main face of the business." Its menu will be seafood-based "Pacific Coast-style Mexican cuisine" (Pacific as in Jalisco, not California) and its atmosphere "casual yet fairly sophisticated as well. We envision high-quality and not bargain-base priced cuisine, but also not prices that price out the average individual."


As for the performance part of the equation, Patrick stresses that "this is not an indie club, not a rock club, and certainly not a dance club." Instead, it will be purely avant-garde. "Our feeling is that it's a genre that really needs to be represented in the city," he says. "Both the Stone and Issue Project Room are great, but they're maybe more of a museum setting than we would like to be. I have a great respect for those things, but you're seeing kind of a presentation of something rather than it being a little more free form."

(DNAinfo also has more on the space here.)

The comment box is awaiting.

As EV Grieve first reported last Friday:
Phil Hartman bringing a 'performance venue' back to former Mo Pitkin's space

And Monday:
[Updated] Bringing 'the tradition of the old Knitting Factory and Tonic' to 34 Avenue A


RyanAvenueA said...

Speaking of experimental, is this turning into Frankenstein's monster? Pacific food, a Mad Men vibe, run by a curatorial committee? Cue the villagers with pitchforks.

Anonymous said...

This sounds nice, actually. Kudos to Todd Patrick for being straight and forthcoming about what they have in mind. Most people hide their intentions, but this seems thoughtful and benign, and kind of awesome actually.

What's to hate on here?

Anonymous said...

He's no dummy--I think he's stuck with an establishment he can't open and is grasping at straws to hit all the "right" notes to stave off opposition.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if they want to wrestle Varvatos and take over the old CBGB space and remove Phil and Damadian from the equation I might support this, but given Phil's past and the politicics behind this space I would have to say no.

Also, I saw this guy Damadian at the community board meeting where he was denied the transfer from Aces and Eights. He stood there in some kind of infantile autistic state mumbling and his manager to be sat there with a black eye and split lip looking like he just got beat up, saying nothing, and I thought these two guys are gonna run the bar/restaurant?

Phil just wants to be on the side that's winning, and while these people seem to have some credibility, and while I do like Branca and Moore, sorry no. Phil sold the building, then he sold the license, Damadian claims to have lost $600,000 to the Aces and Eights owner, and now these two guys are still part of the equation. When Damadian said he gave the owner of Aces and Eights over $600,000, David McWater said I wouldn't give this guy 60 cents, you didn't know where your money was going.

Sorry, there's something really shady here. Lots of luck.

Anonymous said...

the only shady things here are the ulterior motives behind the hyperactive phil hartman hater here in these comment pages.

this is a good idea and a quality addition to the neighborhood landscape. why make it your mission to sink a group of people who are clearly choosing to do something tasteful and interesting when it would be so much easier (and more profitable) for them to do something obnoxious? I for one am hopeful for this idea!

blue glass said...

if i recall there were lots of problems with the start of howl because of hartman's feeling and attitude that his crap didn't stink - i didn't pay much attention to it other than to smile when he was very pompous at a cb3 meeting, so sure that what he wanted was the thing to do.
i think there's a bit of name dropping in him too, rubbing elbows with the stars, etc.
perhaps somebody remembers those days and the "mission?" of howl, etc.

Anonymous said...

@anon 4:51
No ulterior motives - just pointing out the facts concerning Phil - to your point though If they are really trying to do something tasteful and interesting for the community then why don't they open a not-for-profit performance space - perhaps they can provide low-cost artist studio space or rehearsal space on the upper floor. If I recall one of FEVA's goals ( i think it is in their original mission statement) was to provide affordable artist housing and health insurance. This is about money man not art - plain and simple, thus the need for a trendy restaurant/bar element with a full liquor license.

Anonymous said...

@anon 8:25
Yeah no "ulterior motive". You just want him to do, what "You" want to do.
Here's a novel idea; why don't you STFU about some guy and "his" plan, and instead, "you" do this thing that you want to do?

Anonymous said...

To repeat my favorite comment from this thread. (Not made by me but clearly by another survivor.)

Wow! Phil sure is full of shit!

Anonymous said...

For those lacking neighborhood memory-
the first three years of HOWL were fantastic! Our very own arty, inclusive, delightfully demented County Fair! It wasn't until the 'artists' started demanding housing and health care that the situation devolved into a hotbed of selfishness and backstabbing. Come on folks- Phil's only one person- even Obama hasn't been able to deliver on that!

Anonymous said...

How exactly is The Stone or Issue Project Room "more of a museum setting"? Is it because they don't serve "Seafood based Pacific Coast-style Mexican cuisine"?

Also, I'm not sure its possible for either venue to become any more "free-form" than they already are.

Perhaps I'm just old...

Anonymous said...

Has there been a business that's opened in the east village in the past 2-3yrs that people don't complain about? I mean this area is getting worse than the Upper East Side about complaining. You're all getting too old, move uptown. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This neighborhood used to be a lot rowdier and a lot louder. Now all the people who were causing the noise are older and sitting in their apartments reading newspapers on a saturday night. Wake up and realize that the area hasn't changed as much as you have.(Note: I do believe the area has changed but you people have changed at a more rapid pace).

Anonymous said...

The EV has never been a quiet neighborhood, if you're looking for that, move uptown.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:09,

I have lived in Alphabet City and the L.E.S for the past 8 years and I'm 26. Not old. I go out but the noise and environment is different even in the past 8 years. And it is different than when I used to frequent the area in high school and middle school as well, though at that point it was harder to tell so I can't really judge.

Anonymous said...

"Not written by me"

In other words, obviously written by you.

Anonymous said...


No, definitely not written by me.

If you honestly think there is just one person who has a huge problem with Phil Hartman's way of doing things, you must only have met one person in the neighborhood. Perhaps their initials are PH.

@blue glass
"...a bit of name dropping in him too, rubbing elbows with the stars, etc."

uh, more than a little. Those pictures and paintings at Mo's were more than obvious.

"It wasn't until the 'artists' started demanding housing and health care that the situation devolved into a hotbed of selfishness and backstabbing."

Maybe that would be because Phil had said that was what the organization was about! As well as stopping Duane Reade, defending community, reclaiming the legacy of Alan Ginsberg, saving Charas....

Maybe he should have realized he was "just one person" and himself STFU and supported his pizza business and his movie theater instead of spreading everything thinner than tomato sauce on bad pizza. Then the theater could have survived, and all the b.s. of FEVA and Mo's and .............. whatever else wouldn't have happened. It was his fault for promising the moon and delivering a ditch.

Also, 11:06am, do please update us on the status of that theater in Connecticut, hmm...?

Anonymous said...

The Facade
Phil Hartman is owed money from the Aces and Eights transaction
Jevan Damadian lost money and wants it back
Damadian tried to take over the place through a transfer and was denied by CB3
David McWater went full force against him and like Ryan said he said "you're no Phil Hartman"
McWater is good friends with Hartman and set him up with an endorsement for Mo's and also pushed for the transfer to Aces and Eights because Phil lost money
Two Boots Pizza creates a CBGB slice and aligns himself with music and musicians
Phil will do a performance benefit at Le Pouson Rouge proceeds going to The Girls Club
Phil presents a proposal for a Bar/Restaurant/Performance Space but is vague
More information is exposed where he is evasive states that it will be in the spirit of Mo's
Further information suddenly surfaced about a clandestine plan that had been in the works all along involving many partners including Damadian and powerful music industry people and an alignment with avant-garde music

This was all a disgraceful set up rooted in power abuse of power and money they are using avant-garde music as a front because there's alot of power in it

Anonymous said...

(to anon above)
...someone's paranoid AND jealous!

Anonymous said...

It's true there's a lot of paranoia and jealousy in anon above and others. I'm just waiting for one of these partners to tell us that Charlie Sheen is in on this deal too and that the community is now supporting Halliburton and Dick Cheney because he's going to give $2,500 to The Girls Club for Christmas and another $2.5 g's to BAN for Hanukkah. You know money is money.

Anonymous said...

I went to speak to Damadian when he had his on-the-street open house in front of Aces and Eights last Nov. It was a weird experience. He had four men, younger and older, hanging out with him who when I voiced concerns about another bar and what it was doing to the neighborhood, began running lines of the opposing argument "would you rather see an empty store front?! don't know it will create jobs?!" etc. I wasn't sure whether D. thought this was good neighborhood relations or whether they were trying to impress him with their enthusiasm or what. Bizarre.