Monday, August 13, 2018

Webster Hall alum proposing new venture for former Lovecraft space on Avenue B

Updated 8/20: The applicants said that they are no longer considering this space.

Applicants who are family members of the previous Webster Hall ownership will appear before CB3's SLA committee this month for a new liquor license for 50 Avenue B and 238 E. Fourth St.

The addresses include the former Lovecraft, the two-level bar-restaurant between Third Street and Fourth Street, and the Johnny Favorite's pizzeria around the corner on Fourth Street. (The two spaces are connected.)

According to the questionnaire for the public posted to the CB3 website (PDF here), the still-unnamed establishment will serve "American fare in Avenue B space and pizza on Fourth Street, both American and pizza in the basement." The applicants are seeking a sidewalk cafe for the Avenue B side as well.

The paperwork also notes that "there will regularly be live music performances." (The type of live music isn't specified. The questionnaire includes a noise- and traffic-mitigation plan.)

The proposed hours are 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. on weekdays; with a 10 a.m. opening time on weekends.

Applicants include Stephen Ballinger, whose résumé posted with the questionnaire lists him as the head bartender and bar manager at Webster Hall from 2014-2017, and Adam Ballinger, who was most recently the marketing manager at Webster Hall.

The Ballinger family (brothers Lon, Steve and Doug Ballinger) owned Webster Hall from 1992 to last summer, taking over the venue on 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue in 1989 when the Ritz was ending its time here.

In the spring of 2017, they reportedly sold the now-landmarked building to Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and AEG Presents for $35 million. (Steve Ballinger is also listed as one of the applicants in the Avenue B venture along with his sons Stephen and Adam.)

The August CB3-SLA meeting is Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Perseverance House Community Room, 535 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Lovecraft, which was inspired by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, closed in early 2018 after three-and-a-half years in business. Johnny Favorite's shuttered in August 2017 after debuting in April 2015.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Lovecraft has not been open lately on Avenue B


2017gotham said...

I feel sorry for anyone who lives near this location. Having lived in the same block as Webster Hall for a year, I can confirm the business was run without consideration of those living in the community.

If this family is granted the right to run a music venue, the neighborhood should expect to find:
- noise and vibration so intense it can be heard and felt hundreds of feet away all through the night and into the morning just hours before your alarm is to wake you to go to work.
- broken glass and other waste covering the sidewalks, gutters and streets making it unsafe for any dog walking.
- urine and vomit on the street, on door steps, and in corners from the drunken and cracked out party goers.
- lines for the music venue and unsavory characters peddling “party favors”.
- city granted exceptions to the 4am time limit (during Pride 2017, Webster Hall hosted a circuit party that started at 2am and did not end until noon on Monday. No one in my building was able to sleep before work as the music rattled our building a half block away. There were lines of ambulances (like taxis) hauling off those party goers who were overdosing).

Giovanni said...

I’m sure there wont be many noise complaints since everyone who lives near this place is probably deaf in both ears due to the deafening roar from Poco’s bottomless brunch crowds across the street.

Anonymous said...

Quick cal the Mayor, no not him, the nightlife Mayor, she'll help us out of this mess.

XXXXXXX said...


sophocles said...

It will be interesting to see what conditions the CB3 will recommend to the SLA. Closing at 4 a.m. every night is a no-go, and I would expect some restrictions on the days, hours and volume of live music...