Monday, December 11, 2017
After 42 years on St. Mark's Place, the Grassroots Tavern closes on New Year's Eve
The Grassroots Tavern will close after service on New Year's Eve, according to a post on the bar's Facebook page this past Thursday night
This development comes after the news last week that a new owner is set to take over the bar at 20 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.
Richard Precious, who owns the mini chain of bars called The Ginger Man (the one on 36th Street opened in 1996), is expected to appear before the CB3-SLA committee tonight for a new liquor license for the Grassroots.
The questionnaire on file at the CB3 website doesn't mention what the new bar might be called or what type of modifications may occur at the Grassroots, which opened in 1975. There is mention of serving "casual restaurant fare." (A tipster shared a copy of the menu submitted with the plans. It appears to be the same menu as the Ginger Man on 36th Street.)
In January 2016, Klosed Properties bought the landmarked 20 St. Mark's Place from Jim Stratton, who is also the majority owner of the Grassroots. At that time, as previously reported, a source said that the bar had a lease for the next five years, with an option after that for renewal. According to public records, Klosed Properties paid about $5.6 million for the building, which includes a 2nd-floor co-op that also served as an art studio.
Stratton told Bedford + Bowery that the rent had just become too high. "We were not forced out by any means, it would just have required a radical change for the business and the way we operate. We basically decided we had to throw in the towel." (Several GR regulars wonder why Stratton, as the seller of the building, didn't negotiate a favorable lease for his bar.)
A retail listing for 20 St. Mark's Place made the rounds this fall...
The asking rent was $25,000.
Updated 8:30 p.m.
According to attendees at tonight's meeting, the committee issued an approval — with stipulations — for this application.
Previously on EV Grieve:
20 St. Mark's Place, home of the Grassroots Tavern, has been sold
Your chance to live in this historic home above the Grassroots Tavern on St. Mark's Place
New owner lined up for the Grassroots Tavern on St. Mark's Place
An end of an era at the Grassroots Tavern
RIP John Leeper
RIP Bob Spedalere