Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When the Sidewalk reopens, you'll see clean spaces, new faces

On March 1, Sidewalk on Avenue A and Sixth Street closed for renovations.

The official word: They'd be closed for six weeks.

However, six weeks have come and gone and the place doesn't seem any closer to reopening. According to several sources, the Sidewalk's liquor license lapsed. So, while management was taking care of the paperwork, they figured they'd spruce up the space too. And that turned into major renovations.

According to a former employee: "The plan as I know it is to start from scratch, new restaurant, new management, entirely new staff. None of the former staff is being hired back."

Sidewalk's long-running open mic nights on Mondays have been taking place at a Gathering of Tribes on East Third Street. As for the future of music at The Fort, the backroom of the Sidewalk ... according to a post on the Sidewalk Music blog dated March 16 from 
Ben Krieger, who has has been hosting the open mic show: "I met with management at the club last night ... they’re DEFINITELY renovating. From what I can gather the club will resemble a better/stronger/faster Sidewalk than a martini bar (sigh of relief), For now, pretty much everything that isn’t a wall has been cleared out! At the moment they’re redoing the floors and blasting the brick walls for repainting/varnishing."

You can find a few more details here at Sidewalk's Sidewalk, another site about the cafe.

For more history on the Sidewalk and the Antifolk movement:
How Does It Feel, Antifolkies, to Have a Home, Not Be Unknown? (The Times)

Folk the Pain Away (The Voice)

An interview with Lach about the Fort and Antifolk (YouTube)

First Person | At the Sidewalk Café (The Local East Village)


Anonymous said...

Any idea when the renovations will be complete? I am really tired of seeing the usual tompkins park folk take up residence in the vestibules...

EV Grieve said...

Still waiting to hear about an opening date...

Angela said...

I used to work at Mark, the slider place on St Marks owned by the same people as Sidewalk, but I don't anymore. When I was working there they told us originally it would only be a few weeks, but they do tend to go crazy when renovating/building so I'm not surprised. The owner likes to build everything from scratch himself so it could be a while until he's satisfied with the result.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to a fresh new Sidewalk Cafe!

Goggla said...

That really sucks that none of the staff is coming back - everyone there was really friendly. It's one of the few places left to enjoy free music...and I've really been craving a pink margarita.

Anonymous said...

Does my heart good to see the videos on YouTube - Lach the visionary, and Paleface, stomping that foot.
Sidewalk is fine. The Anti-Folk folk are SuperFine!

ak said...

i'm gonna miss the staff too. sucks - i had the same two waiters for most of the last few years. they were always super personable and even remembered what i usually ordered. booo

Melanie said...

Bring back the old crew. They are out of jobs now.
@Goggla--I like the pink margaritas too!!