Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Continental says it will close late next summer

[Photo from Friday]

As first reported yesterday, Papaya King has closed its location at 3 St. Mark's Place.

Last week, Real Estate Equities Corporation made public (via The Real Deal) its plans to demolish the existing low-rise buildings at 3 St. Mark’s Place, 23 and 25-27 Third Ave. to make way for a 7-story office building.

There wasn't any mention of a timeline for the existing businesses to depart ahead of the demolition of this northeast corner. Given Papaya King's quick departure, it seemed as if the development would take hold sooner rather than later.

Yesterday, however, The Continental, one of the remaining businesses, addressed the situation on its website. Here's part of the message via owner Trigger Smith:

It is with heavy heart that I have to inform everyone that Continental has less than a year left. Some time after the end of August 2018, this corner will be knocked down and developed. It's truly heartbreaking that we and so many Old Skool places are falling by the wayside but unless you own your building that's how it goes.

For going on 27 years this Bar has been my life. First as a Rock Club and then as a Dive Bar and I've loved every minute of it (mostly speaking). Don't hate my landlords. They're older now, got a great deal and I can't blame them and I want to thank them; Eddie, Ruth and Jack (RIP) for treating me like Family and always giving me an affordable rent and I also want to thank Jeff Bezos for not selling Beer. Special Thanks to my Staff — especially Noel and Bingo, the Bands, the Regulars and the rest of you lunatics for coming to my bar all these years! I'm grateful and honored that we're part of NYC Rock History and I'm also very proud of this incarnation, what I call a Classy, Dive Bar. When I was bartending my way through college — this was my Dream and it happened! I will always be so deeply grateful for this experience...Trigger

[EVG photo from May]

The Continental was a live music venue from its inception in 1991 through the fall of 2006, becoming home then of the five-shots-of-anything-for-$10 promotion before that changed to five-shots-of-anything-for-$12 in the spring.

Trigger signed off with the P.S.: "[I]f we're very, very busy for the remainder, it's possible that we'll have the funds to relocate!!!"

As Crain's previously reported, the bar has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy twice.


Anonymous said...

Continental last had live music regularly eleven years ago. Right - you, "Trigger", sold out, traded the indie rockers, punks, artists, and bands for the NYU five shots of anything crowd over a decade ago. Good riddance to a place which ditched supporting creative people years ago and no you're not reopening. Your location and it being around in the '90s (the last time the East Village was interesting) and the '00s (the last time the EV was somewhat interesting but not nearly as interesting as the previous two decades) was 95% of why it lasted so long. No one's going out of their way for your shots deal.

Anonymous said...

I have cried there, twice.

Once, at the bar on an April early afternoon, dressed-up in my punk rock attire-- Docs, leather jacket with studs, black leather pants, belt with chains... -- and had couple of Jaeger shots (before that 5 shots for $10 was ever implemented). This was a few hours after learning and confirming that my gf then had been cheating on me with a bartender at a different pub. The scenario of them together naked and having sex that I had imagined just kept repeating over and over in my head. And.I.just.couldn't.help it -- I just started bawling uncontrollably. Bartender just went on her business nonchalantly: neither trying to console nor judge me.

The other time, was NYE 1999, end of millennium, everyone had plans, but I found myself staring at walls and ceiling alone in my seedy and affordable den of iniquity back then. Decided to go to Continental, which had live bands all day night long and for a minimal fee of $10 entrance after 9pm (I believe if memory serves me correctly), to be alone without being alone.

At close to midnight, the band was still playing, and did not stop for the countdown or ring in the new year. While outside everyone was wooo-hooing and hugging and kissing each other. I just started to tear up, because I never felt so so so alone. I felt more alone in that crowd at Continental than alone in my apartment. Others saw me, but no one gave a flying f---. That's what I like that place back then. They let and leave you be.

Well, one is not a New Yorker after all if they have not cried in public. Just because I was so punk-rock back then and looked tough and intimidating, didn't mean that I was tough or not human. Punk rockers are often times shy and quiet and more importantly have feelings too. Punk rock I am no more, but still shy and reserved.

What's the point of this comment? I don't know. Nothing, really. Just reminiscing the past. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Anonymous said...

Hi, 12:51, your comment was very evocative and I appreciated it. Of course I've cried in public too. I'm not even sure how many times! Not lately -- fingers crossed. Anyway, thanks for the stories.

Anonymous said...

@12:51 - I also appreciate your comment. Thanks for sharing such personal memories.

I cried on the street last election day. Also cried on the street after seeing a dog put down at the vet. Many of us have those moments of being so alone among millions.

As for Continental, I enjoyed the days of live music so long ago. Never set foot in there the last 15 years, but I liked knowing it was still there, a nod to a fun gritty past.

Gojira said...

No matter how much Continental sold out, it still wasn't an office building, that vibrant hub of creativity, exuberance, excitement, originality, and individuality. Ahem.

Anonymous said...

It's a big, lonely, beautiful village. I always appreciated the freedom of no one caring what I did or didn't do. Land of the lonely oddballs. I'll drink to that.

Anonymous said...

More techbros coming, great.

PJ said...

The Orange building with the zebra stripes is suddenly not looking so bad after all.

Anonymous said...

Before it was The Continental it was The Continental Divide. So named because 3rd ave was the border between "The Village" and "The East Village". A restaurant, there was no stage. Bands played first on a raised table area on the north wall and then the beginnings of a stage on the south wall. Can't remember the owner / booker's name. Alan something?

If all this is mentioned in the post or upthread oh well.

Anonymous said...

Anon @7:45 PM
When I first moved to the East Village the bar that was there was called Seiden's. Then it became Frieda's Disco Palace--drag shows--and then Continental Divide and then Continental.

chris flash said...

(This was posted regarding the pending demolition of the Sunshine Theater, but this applies to the pending demolition of the Continental and all the stores along the corner of St. Marx and Third)

This is happening only because the city is giving the owner open-ended zoning variances that allow them to build as high as they want to.

Restrictive zoning would stop this from happening, but that would require non-corrupt city officials and those that gave a SHIT about our community. Unfortunately, they ARE and they DON'T.

May they all rot in hell....