[Image via Facebook]
Handsome Dick Manitoba and Zoe Hansen, owners of Manitoba's at 99 Avenue B, shared the following letter with us last evening... (slightly edited for length)
Since January 1999, Manitoba’s has existed and thrived as one of the last great New York City Rock and Roll Bars, with a sub-specialty in Punk Rock, a casual bar to enjoy a few drinks, watch a game, play a game, or have a lovely conversation with a member of our wonderful, unpretentious staff ... and listening to Johnny Cash, The Stooges, The Beatles, The Ramones, and The Dictators, for example.
Sadly, this East Village landmark is now in danger of shutting down.
Due to a small wrinkle in the interplay between State and Federal law, Manitoba’s was recently forced to reluctantly settle a case with a private individual for a cumbersome amount that threatens the future of the establishment.
Our backs are against the wall. Our ONLY choice, after being advised by several very competent lawyers, was to settle.
Manitoba’s, its proprietors and patrons, are the very fiber of the East Village — the same East Village that is now being commoditized at an alarming rate and manifesting itself in the form of tenants in expensive apartments levying noise complaints at 8 pm.
This is a battle cry for help. Please don't let Manitoba’s meet the same fate as other business institutions that have recently been forced to close.
Understand this please, this situation is not part of what you would call, "business as usual." It's not a fine, and it's certainly not business mismanagement. We either pay, or shut down. Not one penny goes into the owner's pockets, or is being used to pay bills. All of it goes to settling this claim and keeping the bar open.
There will be auctions, concerts and donations. Every donation — no matter how small — will greatly assist towards keeping the lights on, the beer cold and the jukebox playing.
Handsome Dick Manitoba & Zoe Hansen, owners
We'll have more information on the situation here as it becomes available...