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

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The wooiest stretch limo ever spotted in the East Village? You can't really make this stuff up. Avenue A and East 11th Street last night.

Photos by Shawn Chittle.

Friday, September 7, 2012

So, how about that 'nightlife district' in the East Village?

Well, it doesn't seem as if that idea for an East Village "nightlife district" is off to a rousing start. On Wednesday night, CB3's Economic Development Committee met to hold preliminary conversations about zoning changes that would place restrictions on the location of clubs and large bars.

As Grub Street reported today, committee co-chair Richard Ropiak said while the idea might have worked 20 years ago in the East Village, "it ain't going to happen now."

Paul Seres of New York City Hospitality Alliance told Grub Street that the city "probably isn't ready for a dedicated club district, but that it might be able to create one 'post-Bloomberg.'"

Bloomberg only has one or two more terms, right?

[Image via]

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Somehow, East Village nightlife primed to become more fucking ridiculous

And at the Daily News today, there's a chirpy report that East Houston ... "the boozy border separating the East Village from the lower East Side is about to get a whole lot more chic."

Let's go right to the article!:

In recent weeks, major nightclub operators associated with the Meatpacking District, SoHo and West Chelsea have been sniffing around the E. Houston corridor from the Bowery to Avenue A, where the weathered and fully licensed lower First Ave. properties Sutra Lounge and Lucky Cheng’s are prized commodities.

According to our sources, those interested in either these spaces (or a handful of unlisted ones in the area) include operators from Pink Elephant, Greenhouse, Hudson Terrace, Acme, 1Oak and Electric Room.

And here's a quote from a member of the Community Board 3's State Liquor Authority & Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing committee:

“The East Village is ripe for the picking right now,” says Ariel Palitz, who’s closing Sutra Lounge after nine years. “There’s an opportunity to change the culture and the makeup of the neighborhood from the underground nightlife experience to a high-end clientele.”

Yes! Especially if you're trying to sell a lounge space near East Houston!

And from Alex Picken, described as a "nightlife real estate specialist" ...

“It’s a good location for nightlife, because the residents for the most part are a younger age group,” he says. Picken also notes that a neighborhood used to loud bars won’t be impacted by a switch to lounges and clubs.

Yes, because a switch to lounges and clubs will have zero fucking impact on the neighborhood! And we're all 22! And want clubs and lounges everywhere! WOO!

The piece also mentions the coming changes to the former Nice Guy Eddie's space and Club Element on East Houston...

Good thing the MTA put in those bus bulbs to handle the overflow of limos and stretch Hummers on First Avenue...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Envisioning a new-look First Avenue nightlife scene

For better or worse, changes are likely for three nightlife establishments on the east side of First Avenue between First Street and Second Street. Let's take a look.

On the corner, there's the long-dormant Cafe Rama space...

In the fall, The Bean announced that it would take over this space. Since then, however, The Bean decided to focus on their new locations on Second Avenue at Third Street and First Avenue at Ninth Street instead. The space is now for rent.

Meanwhile, people have been buzzing about the anticipated departure of Lucky Cheng's (and Bento Burger around the bend on Second Street).


As Grub Street first reported, owner Hayne Suthon is planning to relocate to Midtown. And her First Avenue empire is on the blocks. (By the way, if you haven't already, then you should really read Jeremiah Moss's post on the recent history of this address at Vanishing New York.)

And then there is Sutra, the lounge-club owned by Community Board 3 member Ariel Palitz.

As we first reported on Nov. 7, Palitz decided to put the space on the market "to explore its value and interest."

So that's three of seven businesses on one short block where we may see some changes.

The possibilities are probably endless. Which isn't always a good thing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

[EVG Flashback] At Superdive

Originally posted on June 26, 2009...

Superdive opened last night at 200 Avenue A. (So it was Thursday the 25th after all!)

A reader sent me a fairly lengthy e-mail early this morning after a night out at Superdive. The reader started off by saying: "Maybe you can excerpt something useful from this, but I don't know. It just wasn't that interesting." We'll be the judge of that!

To the reader's e-mail:

Upon entering, confronted with a wall of noise. It's *incredibly* loud. You can't make anything out — total wall of noise.

Near the door are some mini kegs stuck in ice. By the window are guys filling mugs from a mini kegerator. Very fratty, all around. Fratty smell, especially.

We try to figure out the bar situation. Confusing. It looks like there is no bar and patrons are just doing whatever, but really there is a bar. It's just surrounded by patrons. We eventually get drinks. My mixed drink is quite strong. This is good, as it took an eternity to get it. It was served by a bartender wearing legwarmers on her arms. As we're trying to secure drinks, we're hit by a blast of flatulence. Did I mention this place is fratty? We get our drinks and head toward the front. The girls here are CUTE.

There is a live band in the back, playing under an enormous lit sign that reads APPLAUSE. The sign is always lit. I do not clap. There is a guy on piano, trying to sing over the noise, and he's accompanied by a drummer. They're playing "When a Man Loves a Woman."

There are plastic cups everywhere.

We go for another round of drinks. We ask how much, and the bartender says "Ummm.... 30?" as if we're bartering. We pay. It seems fair for the amount of drink we're walking away with.

A cringing girlfriend leading her man away from his friends.

A group of girls enter, high-fiving each other. They are cute.

A guy in a yellow shirt starts to lose composure, head in hands. He's had enough beer.

"Thriller" is played (the pianist/drummer are done now). There is cheering, dancing.

And that's about it. We get bored and go for pizza.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

[EVG Flashback] Celebrities are just like us! (Dive bar edition) (aka: OMG! It's Keanu!)

Originally posted on Sept. 2, 2008...

According to this week's Page Six Magazine, "stars are forgoing getting trashed at clubs —- and seeking a far trashier scene." Like bars WE like to go to! And so the magazine features six such places where you don't have to pay $12 for a bottle of beer: "Pull up a stool to New York’s greatest, and grubbiest, dive bars." (Their words, not mine.)

Here's their report on Joe's on East Sixth Street:

Alphabet City Dive-y-est Element: Gunk-covered floor and bathrooms tinier than airplane stalls — all presided over by the toothless but friendly day-shift bartender, Tommy.

Celebrity Customers: While the former speakeasy hasn’t changed — or perhaps been mopped — since owners Joe and Dot (who refuse to give their last names) took over in the ’60s, stars have made Joe’s their dirty little secret. “Drew Barrymore comes here and so does Matt Dillion,” reports barfly Magda. “Keanu Reeves was just in last month, playing pool,” she adds. “Celebs are sick of getting their covers blown and want a taste of reality,” says Tracy Westmoreland, owner of legendary but now-closed dive Siberia. That “shipwrecks” like Joe’s are more popular than ever signals “the new golden age for dive bars,” he adds.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Queen Vic opens today (and without an awning!)

After the quick succession of 2x4, Ambiance, looks as if the awning streak comes to end here at Second Avenue and Fourth Street... oh, and the Brit-style pub/eatery opens today....

And here's the menu ... or at least the parts of it that I photographed... There's an English menu with Bangers and Mash, Fish and Chips, Toad-in-a-Hole... and "an American Grille Menu" featuring deep-fried hot dogs and Buffalo wings... There's also an Afternoon High Tea...

Pints seem pricy... $8.50 for a Bass or Guinness?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Keeping the awning record alive

Work on the Queen Vic, an English-style pub/eatery, continues here at Second Avenue and Fourth Street ...

Looks like we're in for another awning after 2x4, Ambiance, Evolution...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Start the Evolution again!: Surprisingly, flair bar fails to ignite on Second Avenue

Oh boy. Faithful readers of this space many may know that we've been following the saga of this space on Second Avenue and Fourth Street through various incarnations/awnings...2x4, Ambiance, Evolution..

And now! Not really a surprise, but... Evolution has given way to a new UK-style pub....

Thanks to EV grieve reader Tad for these above photos....

Meanwhile, please bow your heads for a last look at Evolution.... from a video that we shot in January...

"Yes, that's very nice Young Flanagan... but I just wanted a fucking bottle of Bud."

Previously on EV Grieve:
At Evolution Lounge: Vodka martini, flipped, not stirred...



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bar (temporary) closure sign shows flair for the dramatic

Here we are outside 2x4/Ambiance/Evolution on Second Avenue at Fourth Street... and why is the bar closed for a few days...?

"Our flair bartenders have entered a flair educational contest."

OK! We'll just continue on our way then...

Previously on EV Grieve:
At Evolution Lounge: Vodka martini, flipped, not stirred...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How Lit Lounge is trying to be a better neighbor

During the CB3/SLA meeting on March 15, the owners of Lit Lounge -- the two-floor bar/music venue/art gallery at 93 Second Ave. -- were requesting a license transfer to launch a new venture in the space.

As Eater reported that night: "The pitchforks and community outcries came out ... several community members brought signs and spoke out against the owners of Lit, complaining about crowds on the sidewalk forcing pedestrians to walk in the street and music that plays past 4 a.m. on weekends."

There was more: "You run an unbelievably irresponsible business," said one young man who moved above the bar six months earlier. (He's not renewing his lease.) Nearly every speaker invoked the same phrase: 'Lit is not a good neighbor.'"

As The Lo-Down reported: "One resident called the owners 'a lawless group,' who don't bother cleaning up broken glass on the sidewalk, refuse to control their customers and are unresponsive to complaints."

The owners withdrew their transfer request until they can demonstrate that they are willing to make changes.

I recently contacted David Schwartz, one of Lit's co-owners, and asked him what Lit has — and will — be doing in the coming weeks to be a better neighbor.

Via e-mail, he sent me a lengthy list of the steps they are taking. Among them:

Hired an extra person outdoors for crowd control from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., and to tell patrons to watch belongings inside. Also, we're now asking people to kindly move on after smoking outside or go back inside. We also have brand-new red ropes for two separate corrals for smokers outside.

Noise control
Limiters for sound system
Turn amps down to take control away from DJs.
Informed all staff to tell appropriate parties to lower music if too loud.
Informing people who are controlling the levels how to adjust the system to keep levels fair and balanced.
Lowering bass.
Hiring sound engineer to do meter readings next door.
Soundproofed whole side of bar.
Music off at 4 a.m. mandatory

All signs have been replaced or made noticeably bigger.

Band loading
Making sure someone is at Lit while load in takes place and load out happens safely and earlier than later.

Gave out a memorandum that stated that the some neighbors and community board were not happy with Lit. Listed different topics for them so they could give me some more creative, serious ideas to help us be better neighbors.

The Lit owners have also places fliers on adjacent apartment buildings...

Last Thursday, Schwartz met with members of the East 5th Street Block Association, several of whom spoke out at the March 15 CB3/SLA meeting. The Block Association will be approving and signing a list of the stipulations... I hope to have those soon...along with some more local reaction.

Schwartz said that Lit will likely wait several months before returning to the CB3 to make sure that they're doing things right...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

That baited area next to Croxley Ales

Last November, the former Croxley Ales beer garden went on the market on Avenue B near Second Street ... And, perhaps, as the first step of the next step (development!), the space is now being poisoned for pests...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Croxley Ales beer garden ready for development

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Niagara to "get a facelift"

Eater pointed us to an interview at NiteTalk with Jesse Malin, who owns Niagara, Cabin Down Below and Bowery Electric... Of particular interest...

Without playing favorites, what bar of yours would you be most likely to frequent on a night off? Which fits your sensibility the most? Black & White or Manitoba's because I don't own them, and that's truly a night off. Our spots are like our kids, I love 'em all. Niagara just turned 12 and it's about to get a facelift.

I do hope that the Joe Strummer mural remains safe here on Seventh Street and Avenue A ...

UPDATE: Eater reports that Niagara's former Tiki Room has been turned into a new bar called Lovers Of Today... complete with a separate entrance...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So Bono, Michael Stipe, Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Spike Jonze and the Olsen twins walk into a bar on Avenue A...

Over at Guest of a Guest, Billy Gray has a report on Black Market, punk veteran Jesse Malin's new nighspot at the former Pizza Shop. All those celebrity types showed up for some party. As Gray notes, "The wingding was in honor of fancy pants clothing line Rodarte and during Fashion Week, which inflated the guest list. But it bodes well for the Avenue A newcomer (and poorly for local peasants hoping to check it out for themselves). It also confirms that Malin has stealthily joined the roster of NYC nightlife heavyweights." Later in the post, Gray wonders:

What's a veteran East Village punk doing hosting a party for Rodarte? As another Fashion Week bites the dust and thankfully takes some star wattage with it, Black Market will hopefully relax into a solid, rock-tinged neighborhood joint. The sweaty, puke-stained ghost of CBGB would not abide another velvet rope.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Report: Former Pizza Shop becoming a bar

Thanks to Eater for noticing this...I would have missed it too... As Eater noted yesterday ... this piece of news was buried in an other otherwise ridiculous piece in the Post on hipsters hanging out at rat-packy piano bars: Jesse Malin is planning to open another bar next to Niagara at Avenue A and Seventh Street.

As you may recall, this space was home to the Pizza Shop, which closed in November. As co-owner Kevin Cole said in the EV Grieve comments: "We closed ... because the rent was too high. We struggled every month to make it... someone gave me an offer on the space and i decided it was best to take it."

The rent was a little more than $10,000 month.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Evolution looking for attractive female bartenders "who are willing to learn how to serve flair"

Yesterday we noted the (re)opening of Evolution on Second Avenue and Fourth Street...The lounge has posted an ad on Craigslist for two female bartenders.

To the listing! (which they posted in all caps):




Monday, January 11, 2010

At Evolution Lounge: Vodka martini, flipped, not stirred...

While walking on Second Avenue the other night, I saw that that the Evolution Lounge had (re)opened at Fourth Street...As you may know, we've been following the saga of this space through various incarnations/awnings...2x4, Ambiance, Evolution...

Our old friend Hunter-Gatherer was told by a construction worker last summer that Evolution would feature "flipping bottles, fire tricks…you know, bringing a Las Vegas style bar to New York."

Flipping bottles, eh?

Didn't see any fire tricks, though.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Flush with success: Cabin Down Below open again

A sign was up today for the Cabin Down Below at the former Pizza Shop space. Which must mean the great toilet overflow from last weekend has been corrected. Which means they were open this weekend....

Friday, November 20, 2009

200 block of Avenue A, after 8 p.m., Nov. 19

Walking on Avenue A between 12th Street and 14th Street last night around 8:15, noticed modest crowds at Drop-Off Service, Common Ground and Destination (below)...

...and at Superdive...