Showing posts with label John Varvatos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Varvatos. Show all posts

Monday, August 24, 2020

Speculating about the future of John Varvatos in the former home of CBGB on the Bowery

The gate remains down at the John Varvatos outpost at 315 Bowery. The shop between First Street and Second Street has been locked up for the past few weeks.

Bowery watchers are speculating about what might be happening with the address, considered hallowed ground by some for being the home of CBGB from 1973 to 2006.

First, some background on what has been happening with JV, the menswear designer. According to the retailer's website, all of the brand's locations are currently closed. (The Bowery shop returned on July 2, and stayed opened for several weeks.)

As The Wall Street Journal reported on July 24, John Varvatos was in financial trouble long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The business filed for bankruptcy protection on May 6, with a buyout offer from an affiliate of Lion Capital of London and Los Angeles.

(The Journal article also outlines an Equal Pay Act class-action lawsuit that began in 2017 by female sales associates at the retailer. Earlier this year, the sales associates won a jury verdict in an Equal Pay Act class-action lawsuit. "Varvatos denied discrimination. The jury ruled against the retailer, awarding $1.7 million in legal fees, as well as the $3.5 million in damages.")

In late July, WWD reported that a Lion Capital subsidiary was expected to acquire the bankrupt brand and merge it into the AllSaints portfolio. (AllSaints the British fashion retailer, sells menswear, womenswear apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 230 stores.) Varvatos was also rumored to be leaving the company.

John Varvatos opened here in April 2008... the first tenant since the storied music club shut down on Oct. 15, 2006, after a losing a deal to renew the lease with their landlord, the Bowery Residents' Committee.

JV preserved part of the former CBGB space, keeping parts of the wall with sticker and flyers intact and preserved behind glass inside the shop.


At the time, there was debate about all this. Some were in the "it's-better-than-a-bank-or-a Fuddruckers camp." Others preferred that the old space was gutted rather than turned into a museum alongside $300 Cheap Trick t-shirts. (In 2008, Arturo Vega, creative director for the Ramones, told the Post: "I like it. I'm relieved. We were expecting a drug store in the space. So when I found out it was Varvatos moving in, it was a relief.")

For now, the speculation is on whether JV will ever reopen, and if not, will a AllSaints outpost open in the space, perhaps keeping the CBGB memory alive on the walls?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rock is Dead? at John Varvatos

EVG reader Cheap Trick took this photo outside the John Varvatos storefront at 315 Bowery this morning... per Cheap Trick: "The windows are boarded up. Is it closing?"

There's nothing on JV's social media accounts noting a closure... or any kind of special in-store concert event, as they've had in the past with their Bowery Live series... The Rock is Dead? signage suggests some kind of concert. (Iggy Pop-Josh Homme is the rumor.)

The storefront opened at the site of the former CBGB here in April 2008.

Updated 5:20 p.m.

Here's another look via EVG reader Margarita...

Updated 2/1

An EVG reader shared this invite for Wednesday evening...

Saturday, January 4, 2014


This was lying on the sidewalk outside the John Varvatos store on the Bowery this morning… Speaking of CBGB … the CBGB movie came out on DVD/Blu-ray this past Tuesday. Soundtrack aside, I still haven't talked with anyone who liked the film…

Sunday, April 28, 2013

C'mon, C'mon

EVG regular Stephen Popkin shares these photos from earlier this evening... where Cheap Trick is ready to play the John Varvatos store on the Bowery... where the band is celebrating the 35th anniversary of "At Budokan" ...

Live stream is here.


Prepping for Cheap Trick on the Bowery

This morning around 9, the first truck rolled up to the John Varvatos store on the Bowery... to start preparing for tonight's Cheap Trick show ... where the band is celebrating the 35th anniversary of "At Budokan."

This area promises to get a lot more active as the day progresses... the NYPD already posted No Parking signs... so move that cart.

Deluxe boxset tickets were going for $500 tonight.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cheap Trick celebrating 35 years of 'Budokan' at John Varvatos on the Bowery

Cheap Trick is celebrating the 35th anniversary of "At Budokan" with a show April 28 at the John Varvatos boutique on the Bowery, Brooklyn Vegan first reported today.

There are, apparently, a super limited number of VIP tickets available for the show at the former CBGB. The tix are part of an anniversary boxset deal that costs... $500. (Ain't that a shame?) Find ticket info here. You will also be able to watch the show live via

And does anyone know if Bun E. Carlos will be playing with the band?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Billie Joe has a boner

Also today today in important news items... it was inevitable that someone would deface the John Varvatos/Green Day ad on the old CBGB Gallery space ...

And, sure enough, a Penistrator imitator doodled on Billie Joe Armstrong...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

[Updated] John Varvatos expanding on the Bowery?

Varvatos signage now covers the departed Riff pop-up shop next door at 317 Bowery... a tipster thought that this was only providing coverage for tonight's Paul Weller VIP show at the Varvatos shop.

Earlier! Bobby Williams passes along this photo of workers Varvatosizing the storefront.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Penistrator (or a clever imitator!) has a message for John Varvatos

Our friend Roger_Paw sent along this photo from yesterday... a message for John Varvatos on Allen Street between Stanton and Houston ...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rumors: John Varvatos is reportedly looking for a buyer

Thanks to a reader for passing along this item from The Wall Street Journal's Bankruptcy Beat blog titled Kristal Estate Open to Selling CBGB Name. The last two paragraphs are particularly interesting:

Meanwhile, there’s buzz surrounding the club’s old digs at 315 Bowery in Manhattan’s East Village, which wasn’t among the assets sold to CBGB Holdings. Men’s fashion designer John Varvatos set up shop there in 2008.

The New York Post reported this week that Varvatos, whose rock ‘n’ roll-worthy designs have been worn by Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper, is seeking a buyer to help him get out from under a heavy debt burden. The designer’s current owner, VF Corp., (which owns Lee, Wrangler, Nautica and The North Face) declined to comment on “rumors and speculation.”

[Photo via]

Saturday, September 11, 2010

John Varvatos crew prepping for John Varvatos 10th anniversary party

Big VIP bash going on tonight here at 315 Bowery.... in preparation, porta-potties have been put into place...

...and the sign is up with all your favorite rock stars... Iggy, David Johanson, etc.

And Extra Place is full of trucks prepping the stage....

The concert will include... Cherie Currie, Ian Hunter, Alejandro Escovedo, Jesse Malin, Jane's Addiction, Wayne Kramer, Alice Cooper, ZZ Top, among many others....

If you go, then be sure to wear the John Varvatos 10th anniversary cologne.

Friday, September 18, 2009

At this point, I'm not even trying anymore

FANCY portapoopers were brought in for the overflow crowd at the Spin/ John Varvatos bash the other evening on the Bowery. So much for just peeing in Extra Place.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Who will be the next tenant for the former CBGB Gallery?

As Racked reported, the Morrison Hotel on the Bowery -- former site of the CBGB Gallery -- is moving...

...and the "for lease" signs are up now...

Have you read the listing for the property?

It's good. Real good.

With 25 feet of frontage and up to 8,800 square feet of retail space available, 313-315 Bowery offers a unique opportunity to be a part of the resurgent development in the Bowery neighborhood. The hotel, residential and retail developments surrounding the old CBGB space provide extraordinary exposure for this opportunity in one of the city’s distinctive cultural landmarks.

• 25 feet of frontage on Bowery
2 blocks away from Manhattan’s largest Whole Foods Market
Former location of the world renowned CBGB
• Adjacent to over 700 new luxury rental units in AvalonBay Development
• Next to highly successful John Varvatos 315 Bowery boutique, opened Spring 2008

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy MC61

MC5 co-founder Wayne Kramer turned 61 yesterday. There was a birthday party for him last night at Manitoba's. It was thrown by John Varvatos.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One year ago today on EV Grieve: John Varvatos, preservationist

From the EV Grieve archives: April 7, 2008:

The New York Post has a piece today on the new John Varvatos boutique, which opened over the weekend at the site of the former CBGB on the Bowery.

According to the Post article, written by Serena French: "[P]unk preservationists will be glad to hear that the Bowery site -- which once hosted such pioneers as the Ramones and Blondie -- hasn't been sanitized beyond recognition.
The stage is gone, replaced by a tailoring shop, but it's encased with gold Alice Cooper records.
And those who remember the walls encrusted with posters and stickers will be relieved to find them intact and preserved behind glass."

Hmm. So Varvatos has reportedly made the shop equal parts museum and retail space. "I wanted to combine music, fashion, memorabilia and really make it like a cultural space," he told The Post. He's planning on holding monthly concerts there too.

What do some old-timers think?

"I like it. I'm relieved," Arturo Vega, creative director for the Ramones, who has lived around the corner from the club since 1973, told the Post. "We were expecting a drug store in the space," he said. "So when I found out it was Varvatos moving in, it was a relief."

Yesterday, in the Post's Page Six Magazine, Dana Kristal, son of CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, was asked whether he thought his father would approve of eight high-profile new ventures on the Bowery. Interestingly enough, he wasn't asked about this shop.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


First Avenue near Sixth Street. The Cemusa ad-rotation thing was stuck. And Perry Farrell lost his head.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nothing's shocking?

The John Varvatos fall 2008 fall campaign finds Perry Farrell on the Bowery. According to the John Varvatos Web site, the ads were shot "on top of and around the landmark 315 Bowery building in NYC's East Village." The "campaign reveals Farrell's enigmatic personality and captures Varvatos' detailed sensibility in their truest forms."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

John Varvatos saw the light

The Post has a special commercial real estate section today. (And it's not online.) The cover story is titled "New Lease of Life," about how landmark buildings require special tenants.

Here's a passage from the article:

Even though CBGBs was not landmarked and he could have ripped it all out, John Varvatos maintained in his shop many of the funky features of the former punk palace.

"John loves music anyway and it was perfect because so much of his business is entertainment related," said his broker, Robert Cohen, executive vice president of Robert K. Futterman & Associates. "We ... had been looking for a second location but uptown, and even if it wasn't CBGB, the Bowery wouldn't have been an option."

Cohen noted that nobody wanted to install a bank or an "ugly" restaurant or anything that would degrade the character and the history of what had taken place in the building.

"John saw the light," Cohen said.

In fact, brokers all said that if a client walks into a historical space and doesn't "get it," the space won't work for them.