Showing posts with label East Village bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East Village bars. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2014

3 Awful Avenue A bars: What are they now?

A few days ago we noticed that the sign went up for Ethos Meze, the new Greek restaurant opening this year at 167 Avenue A

While the previous tenant here, Diablo Royale Este, has been closed for more than 18 months… the new sign is symbolic of sorts… an end of an era where three bars on Avenue A drew the ire of neighbors for the beer ponging, party busing, sidewalk peeing ways of its patrons...


[September 2011]

From May 2010 to August 2012, Diablo Royale Este, which claimed it catered "to a mature audience," was popular with the party bus crowd … and, most famously, once hosted (unwittingly or not) a Boats 'N Hoes party for NYU students.

Diablo Royale Este eventually closed after some ongoing issues with the State Liquor Department.


Then, at 200 Avenue A, there was Superdive.

Oh, the legendary Superdive, which started its reign of woorrorism with table-service kegs in June 2009… and remained open intermittently until October 2010… (Superdive threatened to return too many times… it was like trying to kill Jason Voorhees… )

[The glory days of 2009 via Meri Micara]

There was a midget dressed as a pirate working Champagne Tuesdays… Bargoers were encouraged to mix their own drinks… oh, lordy. We're just going to stop.

Today, the space is home to the ABC Animal Hospital.


… and at 34 Avenue A, there was Aces & Eights, which arrived in March 2009 … residents quickly branded the place a beer-ponging frathole …

But, to the bar's credit, the general manager did try to make some changes, reaching out to EVG readers for input … and even making good use of the upstairs space for a cool art show

The bar closed for good in October 2010.

The space is now home to Ruff Club, "a social club for dogs."

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's next for the now-former Bar 82 space on Second Avenue

As we first reported on March 22, Bar 82 was shutting down at the end of the month ... We never did hear any official word why the neighborhood spot on Second Avenue near St. Mark's Place was closing...

Last night was the bar's grand finale ... Meanwhile, a tipster hears that the landlord does not want another bar or restaurant in the space... and is looking for "dry goods" as the basis for a new tenant.

Per the tipster: "So, Duane Reade? Chase? We could use a Chase on this block ..."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Checking in on Louis 649's post-Sandy recovery on East 9th Street

[Katie Sokoler]

Louis 649 on East Ninth Street at Avenue C is one of the many East Village businesses along this corridor to feel the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. The low-key lounge, which offers free jazz, opened in 2000. Zachary Sharaga has been the owner since 2004. He answered a few questions about Louis 649 via email.


How long was the bar closed after Sandy?

Louis 649 was closed for business a total of 11 days/nights. As soon as we were able to get back into the bar, three or four days after the hurricane, we deep cleaned for a few days. At that point a lot of people were opening by candlelight but we decided that for safety reasons, we'd better hold off until the power was restored to the streets at the very least.

Five days after Sandy, when most of the neighborhood had power, we were still down due to the building's power box being completely fried in the basement and being held hostage to the eponymous "waiting for Con Ed." We had a party scheduled for Nov. 8 to celebrate a book release, which featured Louis 649's mascot Hamsa that we were debating cancelling. However, we decided that it would be best for the neighborhood to have something festive, so we went ahead with the party with the intent of a intimate candlelit book signing and the power came on five minutes before opening.

What has been the biggest challenge for you since then?

Our biggest challenge has been recuperating financially from the lost goods and the need to replace them and our limited operating capacity since most of our equipment was knocked out from the saltwater damage. We had just received a full shipment of wet and dry goods the Thursday before the storm, so in addition to losing most of that, we had to replace it all. Not to mention having to pay ALL of our bills regardless of any unforeseen natural disaster.

As far as the equipment goes, we lost a lot of refrigeration, which directly affected our purchasing patterns, inventory control and food offerings, so adapting to the limitation was a challenge that we fought day after day. Catching up after such an economic blow to us, our neighbors, our longtime patrons, and the city has been a challenge worth fighting.

[Photo of Lola and Zachary by Farhad Parsa]

Are you seeing the bar return to a pre-Sandy number of patrons?

Yes and no.

The weekends have gotten back to normal but the weekdays could surely use some momentum. Our first Sunday and first live jazz gig of the season was this past Sunday. Thankfully we had a full house.

How have you seen the East Village evolve (or, de-volve) since you opened the bar?

I guess this question is all a matter of perspective. One on side of the coin, there's a food and beverage renaissance rapidly evolving in the East Village, which is bringing in a healthy amount of traffic to support all of the new businesses opening up. The expectations and standards are being raised every day with every "new" innovation.

At the same time, the commercial rents are becoming astronomical, which is leading to a rapid turnover rate in small businesses, which brings me to the other side of the coin. Too many of these businesses are gone before they're even broken in and we're left with an unstable economy of empty storefronts and a lot of unemployed people with no money to spend. Pair this with the high residential rents and we're effectively relying on people outside of our neighborhoods to inject revenue into the East Village.


The bar's Tuesday Night Tastings return tonight. Find more information on that and more here.

Friday, March 22, 2013

[Updated] Reader report: Bar 82 is closing

Word was spreading last night that Bar 82, with its ample back room for bands, poetry readings and other events, is closing at the end of this month. At least one performer with an act booked after March 31 took to Facebook last night with the news.

Several other sources confirmed the impending closure. The bar opened here on Second Avenue near St. Mark's Place in 2008... the bar was a reincarnation of sorts of Verchovyna Tavern aka George's Bar aka Bar 81, which sat for decades on East Seventh Street until a rent hike KO'd it.

We'll have more information on the closing as it becomes available.

Updated 1:31

Per Bar 82's Facebook page:

Bar 82 is going to close it's doors at the end of March. We would love to see you all before then. I'm going to keep this page open after the fact to tell everyone where your favorite bartenders might end up just to be cool. Please come by and say hello and goodbye and hello again somewhere else. It's important to us bartenders. We love you peeps.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Checking in on the Treehouse, where you can find free live music every Sunday night above 2A

[Lenny Kaye and Kevn Kinney at The Treehouse]

On Sunday night, The Treehouse, the live music venue upstairs at 2A on Avenue A and East Second Street, welcomes Lenny Kaye and Cindy Lee Berryhill.

Treehouse proprietor Tom Clark is also on the bill, teaming up with his longtime friend Brian Halverson for a set of the "Never-Be Brothers." (It's a loving tribute to the Everly Brothers.) As always, the shows here are free on Sunday nights. (Start time: 8:30 p.m.)

Anyway, it seemed like a good time to check in on the Treehouse, which Clark launched upstairs on Sunday nights in July 2011. Via an email, Clark said that he wanted to create a vibe that was reminiscent of some of the places he had played in the good, old days when there weren't seven bands on the bill and the person running the show was nice and actually cared about the musicians and sound.

Has the Treehouse turned out as you planned it?

I have to say yes. It really could gone a lot of different ways in the beginning. It could have been insanely busy, then fizzle out, or it could have just fallen on it's face, like so many places have done.

I was lucky to know a good few talented people I could call on to get the ball rolling [for] the first shows, so a precedent was set of quality. Since the Treehouse is only on Sundays, I have to be kind of particular about the acts I choose because you only get four Sundays (usually) a month.

It's really grown into a nice destination on Sunday nights. No cover, a LOT of interplay between acts. Just good vibes. I hate to use that term, but that's what it is. I can't tell you how many emails I get a day from people wanting to play, and notes from people saying how much they dig it. I have every single show on video. I'm putting a site together now, where I'm gonna be posting clips.

A lot of really great venues have gone by the wayside — the original Sin-e, Banjo Jim's, Lakeside Lounge. It has hard to find places like those to play anymore.

What has been the best part of running The Treehouse?

I don't know about you, but I think having a job you look forward to is pretty nice. I get to watch and hear amazing songwriters like Lil' Mo (Monica Passin) and incredible guitar players like Fausto Bozza fingerpick like I could only dream of doing.

When I'm up in the little sound booth, I often turn around, just to survey the crowd, and it's a sea of smiling faces. That's really nice to see in this jaded day and age. I also love the fact that I get to play guitar with a lot of these cats. Always a thrill.

This Sunday is gonna be extra special. My pal Lenny Kaye is gonna play, and the lovely Cindy Lee Berryhill is in town from LA and asked if she could play. Then me my buddy since I was 13, Brian Halverson, are gonna do a set of Everly Brother songs like we used to do — and those damn songs are HARD, and we try to stay true to the originals. And then we will see what happens after that. That's always my favorite part. The stuff that's NOT planned. That's really where the magic is.


Clark, a guitar collector for years, also lends his 1949 Gibson J45 as the "house guitar."

"Most people, when offered, tend to go for it," he said. "Of all my guitars, it's my favorite, and you wouldn't believe how many musicians have never played a great guitar. I think at least 50 people have used it for their shows. I enjoy watching it be played. Guitars are happiest when they are played."

[Clark uses 2A's projector to show the performances on the wall across East Second Street. You have to be inside and upstairs to hear the music, though. Photo by Lauri Hornik]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Plywood arrives for Apartment 13, the new restaurant from Paul Seres on Avenue C

Plywood went up late last week at the former location of The Porch on Avenue C between East Seventh and East Eighth Street... Apartment 13 is the new restaurant from Paul Seres, the former president of the New York Nightlife Association and a partner in The DL on Delancey and Ludlow...

A quick refresher on the concept, via CB3 paperwork:

All entrees at Apt 13 will be market driven and will be served in the same style as Korean barbeque. Every dish will be served with side dishes, appetizers, condiments, sauces, salads, and garnitures. Seasonally and locally driven. Family styled dinners. Meant to feel reminiscent of an intimate sit down dinner in our apartment. All dishes will change based on market availability. In following the theme and mission statement of apartment 13 we strive to not only support our local state Farms but also our neighborhood by featuring local artists and supporting local businesses.

There was opposition to this application. CB3 OK'd the liquor license in December (it failed to get the green light in October) ... we wrote about it in December. (Revisit that here.)

Here is what CB3 signed off on... via the minutes from the CB3 website (PDF)

Apartment 13 (115 Ave C LLC), 115 Ave C (op)
VOTE: To deny the application for a full on‐premise liquor license for 115 Avenue C LLC, with a proposed business name of Apartment 13, for the premise located at 115 Avenue C, unless the applicant agrees before the SLA to make as conditions of its license the following signed notarized stipulation that
1) it will operate as a full‐service restaurant, specifically a comfort food restaurant, with a kitchen open and serving food during all hours of operation,
2) its hours of operation will be 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M. Sundays through Wednesdays and 4:00 P.M. to
12:00 A.M. Thursdays through Saturday,
3) it will play ambient background music only, consisting of recorded music, and not have live music, DJs,
promoted events, scheduled performances or any events at which a cover fee will be charged,
4) it will close façade doors and windows at 9:00 P.M. weeknights and 10:00 P.M.; Fridays and Saturdays,
5) it will only commercially use the second floor patio if it is first completely enclosed and soundproofed,
6) it will install additional soundproofing per the recommendation of an acoustical report, and
7) it will designate an employee to control crowds and noise on the sidewalk.
Community Board #3 is approving this application for a full on‐premise liquor license although this is a location in an area with numerous licensed premises because 1) Paul Seres, the principal of this application, has a longstanding history as a responsible liquor license holder at other licensed businesses, 2) this is an application for a full‐service restaurant with a locally sourced food and drink menu and moderate operating hours, and 3) this application will replace a preexisting problematic business.

No word yet on an opening date.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reminders tonight: Meeting to discuss incoming East Village bars

As noted back on Monday, there's an East Village community meeting tonight ... of particular interest to residents of the southern stretch of Avenue B and the side streets. (Read that post here.)

The meeting, sponsored by the East 4th Street A & B Block Association, will be held from 6:30-7:30 in the community room at 535 E. Fifth St.

Of particular interest is 14 Avenue B, where folks behind Urge hope to open a new bar.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A look at the East Village noise wars

There's a nice, comprehensive piece by Sarah Laskow in Capital, a new online publication run by some former Observer editors.... The piece is titled Is the East Village getting noisier or just grumpier?

An excerpt!

Data from the State Liquor Authority (S.L.A.) show that the number of active liquor licenses in the area has stayed relatively stable. In 2006, in the zip code 10009, an area stretching east from 1st Ave between Houston and 20th St., the S.L.A. documented 222 active liquor licenses for on-premise consumption — the types of licenses that restaurants, bars, and clubs use. Over the next two years, that number dipped to 216, but by 2009, there were 231 active liquor licenses in that area. The aggregate increase was nine licenses.

But there has been plenty of turnover. Of the 231 licenses in 2009, only 153 have been consistently active since 2006. That means that about a third of the licensed establishments in the East Village have opened in their current incarnation only within the past four years.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hi neighbor: Is this a new era for bar-resident relations in the East Village?

What happened with the Cabin Down Below management and the family next door is the latest example of East Village bar owners trying to be better neighbors...

1) David Schwartz, one of Lit's co-owners, recently outlined the steps his bar is taking to appease their unhappy neighbors. (Read that story here.)

2) The manager of the Elephant on First Street recently told me what she had done to help change perceptions neighbors may have of the Thai eatery. (Read that post here.)

3) In response to an exchange with EV Grieve readers, the GM of Aces & Eights made good on trying to dispel the bar’s Upper-East-Side, preppy reputation by hosting an art show by Curt Hoppe. (You can read that story here.)

4) Last summer, Destination's Mason Reese was the only owner who attended a meeting of residents on 12th and 13th Streets to address issues people were having with the proliferation of new bars on Avenue A. He agreed to close the bar's front windows by 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on the weekends. (And Reese recently chimed in on a comment thread to remind folks that he has kept his word.)

Maybe this is all for a good reason. Monday night's CB3/SLA meeting showed what can happen when neighbors get organized and work together... As Jill reported:

Tonight's Community Board 3 SLA Committee meeting was possibly historic. The Upper Avenue A residents had such a strong turnout ... The end result, which is often a testament to stamina more than brains, was that nobody got their license approvals tonight, and one of the three bars withdrew their application in the face of so much opposition.

I'm sure there are other bar owners who continue to be good neighbors... (and others who are anything but!) Still! Is this a New Era for Neighborly Love? Do bar owners realize that it might be a good idea to actually cater to people who walk a block or so to the establishment and not travel here on, say, the LIRR? I think back to those ugly, drag-out fights involving the people vs. Le Souk, Death & Company, among others.

As the Cabin Down Below neighbor said, it took a few phone calls, a little waiting... and one evening a bar owner is in the apartment to hear for herself what the noise is like while a contractor was outside on the stairs.

I just don't know if bar owners (and prospective bar owners) are just being smart... or they're scared.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

East Village bar roundup: An issue with Professor Thom's liquor license and Superdive's Mad Dog Room

Lots of EV-related bar news....

A follow-up on the Professor Thom's post from the other day. Eater has the news:

"They'll be closed down until Feb. 22. Turns out they forgot to renew their liquor license with the SLA in time..."

And also via Eater — as well as NY Barfly — comes word that Superdive is having some sort of issue ... Per Eater:

A quick search reveals they've been hit with a violation for working on the place without a permit and allowing people to gather without a certificate of occupancy. Since the building's ground floor certificate is still legal (PDF), one can assume the DOH is referring to the bar's newish basement space, called the Mad Dog Room.

Meanwhile, I will continue to ignore those e-mails about a Superdive Dead Pool ....