Showing posts sorted by relevance for query aces and eights. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query aces and eights. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

EV Grieve readers inspire Aces and Eights to do something worthwhile with the bar's upstairs space

As you may recall from last August, we had several posts on Avenue A's Aces & Eights and the bar's general manager, Tom Michaelsen... (You may refresh your memory here.)

While, for instance, Aces & Eights LES helped raise $1,200 for UNH (United Neighborhood Houses)... they were still serving up the beer pong, as Michaelsen said, "that much maligned representation of jockdom and fratholiness you all despise (possibly because you didn’t make the Varsity team in high school? Don't worry, neither did I.)"

Later, he wrote: "I'd love to get ideas from the community as to how we could improve your quality of life. If anybody has anything constructive to say, I would love to hear it."

And now, starting Thursday...

Well, let's go right to the news release that Michaelsen sent me:

Aces & Eights at 34 Avenue A, brings back the glory days of East Village art with a fun exhibition of evocative, post-pop photographs by Curt Hoppe in a lively, lounge setting. Who could be more perfect for the bar’s first foray into serious art than the legendary Hoppe, who as a young artist was one of the most talked about stars of the notorious “New York / New Wave” show at PS1 which helped launch the careers of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe and others, back in 1981.

For most of the last twenty years, Hoppe has keapt a relatively low profile steering clear of downtown shenanigans for a lucrative career making exquisite photo-realist paintings of scenes in the Hamptons. Hoppe has always used his own photographs for his paintings. Recently turning his camera on city scenes, he has accumulated a profusion of exciting new images, and began thinking about exhibiting the photographs themselves. When Aces and Eights called, it seemed the perfect opportunity to give the new work its first public test.

Aces & Eights’ decision to show art was an outgrowth of the spirited exchanges on EV Grieve’s neighborhood blog between then general manager Tom Michaelsen and East Village residents concerned about the bar’s Upper-East-Side, preppy reputation. “Our style is sometimes a little different,” says Michaelsen, “but there is much about East Village culture that we share and we’re proud to be part of the community and its history.”

OK. I love Hoppe's work... and I see this as a positive step for the bar...I'm curious what other people think...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aces and Eights still closed; new bar looking to rebrand and change image

One week after the DOH shuttered Aces & Eights on Avenue A... the bar remains closed...

...groups with events planned for the bar have had to go elsewhere....

On our previous post, Jamie-Lynn Argenta, the new general manager of Aces & Eights LES, left this comment:

Aces & Eights Saloon LES has been closed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene due to paperwork and permit issues. We will be open Monday. I am currently General Manager of the bar; my name is Jamie-Lynn Argenta. I understand that our image has been tarnished because of prior wrongs, however I hope we can look towards building a more cooperative and cohesive bond with the community in the future.

We strive to be a positive, successful force in this community. As the former GM Tom Michaelsen pointed out last year on EV Grieve , Aces & Eights LES has made many charitable contributions. We have also supported our customers’ efforts to give back by hosting numerous fundraisers for a wide array of charitable causes, and we will continue to do so when we reopen. This bar strives to be viewed as a professional and respectful establishment within this community. And I would like to encourage people to give us feedback and help us foster our growth with the community.

As EV Grieve posted, we will be changing the name of the bar. Aces & Eights LES will be holding a naming contest when we reopen and I am hoping to get input and support from not only our staff and customers, but also from residents in East Village and Lower East Side . It will give people a chance to help us rebrand and change our image; it will give residents an opportunity to help shape what kind of establishment we will become. We look forward to serving you again.

Monday may have been a little optimistic ... in any event, are you willing to give the bar a second chance?

Report: SLA yanks Aces and Eights' liquor license

The Lo-Down has been following the Aces & Eights saga. And as they report today:

One of the reasons Aces and Eights succeeded in conducting business without a basic operating permit from the city’s health department was that the previous tenant of 34 Avenue A, Mo Pitkin’s, had possessed a permanent liquor license. That allowed the Aces and Eights management to secure a temporary liquor license and to open its doors (in April 2009) without having to produce any city permits — while its own application for a permanent license was pending. The city shuttered the bar Sept. 14, after finally catching up with the paperwork loophole.

Late last week, the NY State Liquor Authority followed suit, yanking Aces and Eights’ right to serve alcohol.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New owner of the former Aces and Eights space speaks out; "the beer pong is gone"

There's an excellent piece this afternoon on The Lo-Down by Jennifer Strom that delves into the behind-the-scenes legal wrangling that eventually shuttered Aces and Eights at 34 Avenue A.

Here are two excerpts with her interview with owner Jevan Damadian:

After a career in his family’s successful chain of MRI centers, where he remains a regional director, Damadian came into some cash when the family sold its centers to a large health corporation. Seeing the stock market falling, he looked around for alternative investment opportunities. He lives on the Upper East Side, upstairs from the original Aces and Eights at First Avenue and East 87th Street, and had watched it grow into a successful bar under the leadership of owner Solomon Eljashev. The two men had become friendly, and eventually struck a deal for Eljashev to open the East Village branch with Damadian’s money.


If he is able to reopen the bar, Damadian says, he would like to establish an upscale tapas lounge in the upstairs space, where business people can meet quietly. The downstairs space, which garnered a reputation as a rambunctious “frathole” during its tenure, is still home to a pool table, but Damadian would like the bar’s critics to know one thing: “The beer pong is gone,” he says.

Read the whole post here.

You can meet Jevan yourself on Wednesday night.

[Photo via The Lo-Down]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

March Madness! Takers for the former Kurve, Tonda and Aces and Eights spaces; music returning to old Mo Pitkin's?

Here we go with the docket for the SLA & DCA Licensing Committee, Monday, March 14 at 6:30 pm — JASA/Green Residence - 200 East 5th Street at Bowery

And here are some items of interest from the agenda (the whole shebang is here):

• Review of 2010 goals and accomplishments/committee goals for 2011

• Resolution to SLA regarding undue burden on Community Boards of waivers for 30-renewal notices, and undue burden to businesses of penalty of closing businesses if renewal is late.

Applications within Resolution Areas

• Table 12 (188 Ave A Take Out Food Corp), 188 Ave A (wb)

Oh boy ... this didn't go so well last time... in September...

• Coyi Café, 42 Ave B (wb)

• 34 Avenue A, corp to be formed, (Aces & Eights) (op)

CB3 said No to Jevan Damadian, the owner of the former Aces and Eights space, during the November meeting. He was looking to open a tapas bar ... with no beer pong. The rumors have a former associate of Phil Hartman's at the Two Boots empire opening a music venue here. A return to its previous Mo Pitkin's roots?

Sidewalk Café Applications

• Café Cortadito (Café Cortadito LLC), 210 E 3rd St

The Cuban eatery near Avenue B is looking for some sidewalk tables...

• A&D Wine Corp, (Wine Bar), 65 2nd Ave (alt/increase number of tables and chairs from 6 tables and 12 chairs to 10 tables and 22 chairs)

• 157 Brick Oven LLC (Plum Pizzeria), 157 2nd Ave


• 4AB LLC (Tonda), 235 E 4th St (tran/op)

A-ha! All this explains the crazy non-hours of operation of late.

• Le Cave LLC, 64 E 1st St (alt/op/correction of original application)

Hey now! During January's meeting, one of the owners of LaVie, the hookah-flavored club at 64 E. First St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue, called Susan Stetzer a "racist." How can they top that?

• Woody's (Prince 28 LLC), 31 2nd Ave (alt/op/adding second bar upstairs and other work)

• Sa Aming Nayon LLC, (Wai Café) 201 1st Ave (wb)

Something amiss with the Wai? Cafe?

• 133 Essex Restaurant LLC, (Mason Dixon) 133 Essex St (op)

Maybe they're just moving their mechanical bull?

New Liquor License Applications

• Lucky's Famous Burgers (Lucky Burger Houston LLC), 147 E Houston St (b)

BoweryBoogie has been covering the return of Lucky Burger to the East Village.

• Corp to be formed, (Kurve) 87 2nd Ave (op)

Corpse to be formed? We're curious to see what happens with the old Kurve/Rhong-Tiam space.

• Aegis Atlantic LLC (Peet’s Coffee/Preserve 24), 175 E. Houston St.(op)

Interesting... A Peet's Coffee & Tea shop is slated to take over this space on Houston at Allen ... this space that includes the Foam & Futon Center has been on the market ... And maybe Peet's will change the name from coffee and tea to beer and whiskey... ?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rumors: Aces and Eights will now be called 34A

Per the Avenue A rumor mill... 34 is the address of the bar formerly known as Aces and Eights ... so that name makes sense... I like it, though as EV Grieve reader RyanAvenueA noted in the comments: "So between 2A and 7A, there will be 34A."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Renaming Aces and Eights: See you at Drink 'til U Stink!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Waiting for the new Aces and Eights sign, bar name

A tipster noted that the Aces and Eights sign has been removed on Avenue A...



As we reported, the bar is/was holding a contest to rename the joint under its new ownership... I asked Jamie-Lynn Argenta, the general manager, if I name had been selected... Haven't heard back after a few days....

Previously on EV Grieve:
Renaming Aces and Eights: See you at Drink 'til U Stink!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the November SLA/CB3 docket: A rebranded Aces and Eights, another Taqueria and, of course, Superdive

As you may have seen yesterday at Eater or The-Lo-Down, the CB3-SLA docket for November is now online.

A few items of interest:

Renewal with Complaint History

• Odessa, 117 Ave A (op)

Review of Stipulations
• Diablo Royale — home of the Hopsicle! (East Village Café & Restaurant LLC), 167 Ave A (op)

Three words for you: Boats 'N Hoes! (Or is that two words?)

Applications within Resolution Areas

• Corp to be Formed, 200 Ave A (op) (Superdive)

Heh heh.

• 34A Restaurant Corp, 34 Ave A (op) (Aces & Eights)

Well, we were told the former Aces and Eights, now closed, would rebrand itself as 34A...

• Empellon, 105 1st Ave (trans/op) (Counter)

The end for the veggie bistro?

• Tozzer Ltd, 112 Ave A (alt/op)

Interesting... this is the address of Niagara... curious to learn more hat this is about...

• Henry's Hat (Henry's Hat New York LLC), 90 3rd Ave (trans/op)

At the location of Montien Thai Cuisine, which has been on the block.

New Liquor License Applications

• Corp to be Formed, 101 3rd Ave (op)

This is the former Cosmic Cantina space.

• Taqueria East Village (Azpeitia Barraza & Rivas Cuellar Inc), 107 1st Ave (op) (Bon Joo)

Bonjoo, the Korean restaurant on First Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street, closed earlier this year... and it looks as if First Avenue is getting another Taqueria.... like the one below...

• Sabora Mexico Taqueria (Jarlene Corp), 160 1st Ave (wb)

This is the new Mexican place in the former Western Union space.

Monday, November 15 at 6:30pm — JASA/Green Residence, 200 East 5th Street at Bowery

Thursday, September 16, 2010

[Updated] Aces and Eights temporarily shuttered on Avenue A

Thanks to an EV Grieve reader for this shot... apparently Aces & Eights on Avenue A was shut down yesterday by the Health Department... One source said the bar was cited by the DOH last night for not having the proper paperwork... and that Aces & Eights would reopen next week.... Meanwhile, the source noted that the ownership has changed hands.... the people behind the Aces & Eights uptown are no longer involved here... which means that you can expect a name change one of these days ...

[Updated] The Lo-Down has more on the shuttered Aces & Eights:

[T]he bar never obtained permission to open its doors, according to city officials.

On Tuesday, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shuttered the 18-month old watering hole for lack of a valid operating permit. It had been cited for the same violation in April 2010, and ordered not to reopen until the permit was issued, according to the health department’s public affairs office.

Uh, oops?

Previously on EV Grieve:
Aces & Eight GM offers some clarification on previous posts, comments

Friday, March 4, 2011

Phil Hartman bringing a 'performance venue' back to former Mo Pitkin's space

This (kind of!) confirms the rumors that we had been hearing... and mentioned back on Feb. 23: Phil Hartman is going to make another go at 34 Avenue A, which was most recently Aces and Eights.

Hartman and his brother Jesse opened Mo Pitkin’s House of Satisfaction — the two-level restaurant/bar/performance space — in 2005.

It closed two years later. As New York put it: "[Mo Pitkin's] was the promised land for the busty neo-burlesque stars, pseudo-sane performance artists, and guitar-playing trapeze acrobats rendered homeless by the closing of Fez (and Surf Reality and Collective Unconscious and every other small, anything-goes downtown venue)."

The landlord sold the building a year later, Aces and Eights arrived in March 2009 ... So enough history...

Phil Hartman's name is listed as the contact on the just-posted CB3 flyer outside 34 Avenue A...

We reached out to Hartman last night to learn more about his plans. We haven't heard back yet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Aces & Eights GM: "I understand that drunkards make your life miserable"

So, where were we? Tom Michaelsen, the general manager of Aces & Eights on Avenue A, is interested in engaging readers/the neighborhood. As he wrote yesterday:

I'd love to get ideas from the community as to how we could improve your quality of life. If anybody has anything constructive to say, I would love to hear it.

Someone suggested playing NYC classics such as "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Taxi Driver" on a designated movie night. And Marnie, a mother of two, had this to say:

My concerns about Aces & Eights LES are really, to be honest, not something that I think you alone can address. I appreciate your contributions to charities bringing potable water in places like India. I wonder, however, if your charitable contributions might not win you more respect if they were spent here in the neighborhood.

This neighborhood has many public schools which do not receive adequate funding, and therefore rely on the contributions of parents and local businesses.

Another thing we, as parents, need to deal with on a regular basis is not only the noise from local bars (which frankly, my children have learned to sleep through since birth) but the aftermath. The people urinating in doorways, the vomit on sidewalks, the garbage, the stench in the summertime.

I think if you could find a way to direct your efforts towards making real changes to the daily life of local residents we would all be a lot more tolerant of the noise and the general image of the bar itself.

Thank you for listening to those whose lives are impacted by your livelihood.

To which Tom responded,

We have actually already partnered with United Neighborhood House Junior Board, which support local settlement houses like Third Street Music School, University Settlement Society and Henry Street Settlement.

The event was quite a success and I am fully open to working with them or any other charities which benefit the community again.

Community consciousness is something I take very seriously. I understand that drunkards make your life miserable and I will do what I can to stem the tide of urine and vomit from our neighbor's doorsteps.

And another commenter found that A&E has already been a good neighbor:

I live around the corner from Aces & Eights, and when it first opened there was an issue with really loud HVAC equipment up on your roof. One of our residents was brave enough to march right in to your club and tell you about it. And you know what? The issue was taken care of, and the noise issue went away. I give you credit — that's not what we all expected to happen. thanks for being a good neighbor.

Meanwhile, there's another comment thread going here.

So, what else? Here's your chance. (And I think we have the cargo shorts/douche/frathole angle already covered.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New owner of the Aces and Eights space wants to "meet the approval of the community"

The former Aces and Eights is on the CB3/SLA docket for November's meeting...

And the new owner of the space, Jevan Damadian, is hoping to reach out to the neighborhood... You can meet with him at 34 Avenue A next Wednesday evening...

He's off to a promising start by seeking feedback from neighbors...

[Thanks to EV Grieve reader RyanAvenueA for the photo]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reminders tonight: Meet the owner of 34 Avenue A

As reported, Jevan Damadian wants to meet neighbors tonight to discuss his plans for 34 Avenue A. Thanks to the EV Grieve reader for snapping the new signage in the window...

Previously on EV Grieve:
New owner of the former Aces and Eights space speaks out; "the beer pong is gone"

New owner of the Aces and Eights space wants to "meet the approval of the community"

And be sure to read The Lo-Down's interview with Jevan for the background on how he got where he is today....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CB3 deadlocked over new "fast-food Italian" at former Graceland space; 7-Eleven next?

Last night, Frank Prisinzano, who owns EV Italian empire Frank, Lil' Frankie's and Supper, came before the CB3/SLA committee with his plans to turn the former Graceland grocery at Second Street and Avenue A into what he described as fast-food Italian.

Nearly 75 minutes of serious high drama later, the committee was deadlocked in its decision to grant Prisinzano a beer and wine license.

Prisinzano started with his concept. He called it "a simple Italian cafeteria" and "quick, easy volume." Menu items would range from $5.95 to $10.95... most food would be prepped to serve in a hurry, with no more than a five or 10-minute wait. People could be in and out for a meal in 45 minutes or less.

And there would be a separate to-go kitchen. And it would be all eco-friendly. With plenty of soundproofing, per the lease, which he has yet to sign. "I want to give the community inexpensive Italian," he said. "I'm hoping this becomes a neighborhood staple like my other places." And! "This is not a nightclub. This is not a bar."

In total, the new eatery would accommodate 190 people, including 75 seats in a sidewalk cafe along the 50-plus feet of Avenue A storefront. This space is currently twice the size of any one of his other eateries.

And he had two last things to say (for now)... "We need help with our fast food in this country. This is my attempt at it."

Then he went in for the kill. Prisinzano said the landlord is currently weighing three other offers: A bank, a 7-Eleven and a bank.


Then some residents spoke. A common theme emerged: Hell. One longtime resident said Avenue A between Third Street and Houston is hell Thursday through Saturday nights. "We hear people vomit," the resident said. "It's a little row of hell." Most residents who spoke mentioned Aces & Eights as the main culprit.

The resident said that she and some of her neighbors have all learned a dance "where we pray for rain [on weekends] to douse the crowds."

It was also mentioned that Supper has had issues with crowd control on Second Street in the past. Prisinzano said that he is getting more "militant" about crowd control. For instance, he has installed video cameras outside all three of his restaurants so that he can monitor the situation from his computer. He said that he can discipline the host or hostess if he or she doesn't help keep the crowds in check. "Now I have accountability," he said. "Big Brother is in the sky."

Susan Stetzer, district manager of CB3 and a nearby resident, also spoke out against the planned restaurant.

"It will just be hell," she said. "I don't see the benefit" for the community. There was some back and forth. She kept with the hell theme. "We just cannot take more people on that street. It's hell." And! "We're begging you not to have another [bar] on this block. It's just hell."

Prisinzano reiterated that this space won't be a bar; that he will serve inexpensive food and will be a good neighborhood. As for this stretch of Avenue A, he said "that block is full of shitty bars." (Perhaps he didn't realize that committee member David McWater, who was sitting a few feet from him, owns several bars on that block.)

So, he was pretty much approve this or, "otherwise you're going to get a bank or a 7-Eleven. Your choice."

Stetzer said that she was tired of people telling her and other residents what will be good for the neighborhood.

At some point Prisinzano said, "I'm not Aces & Eights."

Eventually committee chair Alexandra Militano threatened to make Prisinzano and Stetzer leave the meeting if they spoke up one more time.

There was more debate among the committee members. Militano said that she hasn't heard the end of it from residents ever since the committee approved the transfer of Aces & Eights from Mo Pitkins. There was an argument about motions to pass along to the State Liquor Authority between Militano and McWater, who told her, "I was dealing with the SLA while you were still in law school."

In the end, 75 minutes later, the committee was deadlocked in their vote. Prisinzano looked incredulous. The whole thing will be kicked to the full CB3 meeting on June 22

Previously on EV Grieve:
"All uses considered" at former Graceland

Owners of Frank-Lil' Frankie's-Supper taking over the former Graceland space

More here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Renaming Aces and Eights: See you at Drink 'til U Stink!

As the new Aces & Eights GM mentioned the other day, the bar will rebrand itself whenever they reopen. To that end, "Aces & Eights LES will be holding a naming contest when we reopen and I am hoping to get input and support from not only our staff and customers, but also from residents in East Village and Lower East Side."

I'm all for second chances and certainly think the bar deserves one.... though I'm not so keen on contests. As our friend Billy Gray noted over at Guest of a Guest: "A noble gesture, maybe, but put on your snark-retardant suit." Indeed! Read on...

Although the contest rules and what not have yet to be announced, a few helpful EV Grieve readers jumped in with suggestions for a new name:

How about simply calling it "WOOOO!" — apt and succinct.

Bowery Boy:
Sleepy Neighbors Club
Silent but Deadly Bar & Grill
Up All Night Restaurant
Block the Sidewalk Bar
Old Neighborhood Bedtime Story
F the Sleepy Locals Lounge
Our Music is Your Music Bar
Baseline Vibrations... In Your Child's Bedroom Bar & Lounge

Puke Bar & Grill
There Goes the Neighborhood (Again)

Lux Living:
Chug 'n Chunder Grill
Beer, Bitches, & Burritos
Drink 'til U Stink

Monday, November 15, 2010

Diablo Royale Este owner blasts the 'blasphemous lies' of residents, invites the State Liquor Authority to investigate

A discussion of Diablo Royale Este prompted a heated exchange during tonight's CB3/SLA subcommittee meeting between owner Jason Hennings and Avenue A residents.

Hennings and his attorney were present to discuss a review of the stipulations that the bi-level Mexican-themed bar and eatery at 169 Avenue A agreed to upon being approved for a liquor license. The restaurant opened in May. Among other things, it is stated the bar must closes its 18x20 backyard space by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.

Several Avenue A residents were on hand (many carrying signs reading "Northern Avenue A says No More") to discuss ongoing issues with the bar, including noise and overcrowding. (And several people brought up the Sept. 5 Boats 'N Hoes bash!) Residents also claim that the backyard stays open beyond its stated hours.

Several residents spoke in front of the committee about the crowds on the sidewalk. Avenue A resident Shawn Chittle recounted how he had to walk on Avenue A to catch the 14A because the sidewalks were so full. When he turned to look, the bus' rearview mirror clipped him in the forehead, causing a deep gash. Upon hearing this, Hennings was seen smiling, laughing and shaking his head, which prompted an angry reaction from Chittle.

Avenue A resident Andrew Coamey said that during the bar's Halloween party, Hennings allegedly approached him on the sidewalk ... that he would see him in 10 years and Coamey "would still be complaining about gentrification." At the time of the confrontation, Hennings was dressed as a gladiator.

After hearing a handful of residents speak out, Hennings called their claims "blasphemous lies." He apologized to the committee for being so upset, but that sitting there and hearing the residents was "angst provoking."

"I'm laughing at some of the stories that I hear." He said that not only does he own Diablo Royale Este, but he also manages the space. He estimates he's there 100 hours a week.

Hennings said that he has only ever received one complaint from residents. He said the Boats N' Hoes bash wasn't their party; that an NYU student had rented out the space and misled the bar on his intentions.

Hennings later singled out Coamey, who he described as a "full-time activist." Coamey quickly stood up and noted that the is the senior vice president for housing and chief financial officer of Housing Works Inc., overseeing 600 employees and a $50 million budget.

Acting committee chair Herman F. Hewitt asked Hennings if Diablo Royale Este operates as a restaurant. He said that they did, and he had his executive chef on hand as well. Hennings estimates that he spends 20 hours a week working on new recipes for the restaurant with his chef.

The committee decided to recommend sending a letter to the State Liquor Authority to investigate Diablo Royale's various stipulations and claims. Committee member David McWater asked Hennings if he would voluntarily agree to stop using the backyard. If he did so, then the committee wouldn't send a letter to the SLA.

"I'm happy to be investigated," Hennings said. He wanted the fact that he welcomed the investigation to be noted in the letter. Several times Hennings mentioned that he had surveillance cameras in the backyard, and that the committee could review the video.

Also on the docket: The committee voted down Jevan Damadian's plans to reopen 34 Avenue A, the onetime home of Aces and Eights....ditto for the "restaurant for the senses" planned in the old Superdive space.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Diablo Royale Este opens today: features two bars, one screening room and spit-roast pigs in the backyard

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Aces & Eight GM offers some clarification on previous posts, comments

Tom Michaelsen, the general manager of Aces & Eights on Avenue A, responded to our post from yesterday:

I find the entries and comments on this site to be one-sided and offensive. As an Aces & Eights employee I have a few things to clarify:

-Serving food has ALWAYS been a part of our business plan. Due to certain delays we were unable to for quite some time. As the entry above discloses, we are now. The issue should be moot.

-The average age of our clientele is between 25-30 – older than the "frathole" demographic. Also older than the NYU crowd your commentator blames. Frankly, it makes you look prejudiced, judgmental and rude to speak that way about our establishment and our clientele.

- The stipulation in our license regards having no more than two TVs over the bar. The 12 TVs you're referring to are NOT over the bar. There is actually only one TV over the bar. I am not quite sure why televisions offend CB3 so much. According to Nielsen the average American watches 151 hours of television a month. It’s a preposterous figure but I really don’t think watching a baseball game in a bar is that big of a deal.

-Regarding beer pong, it is actually one pitcher (60ounces, three pints) divided into 20 cups played by two teams of two. The average game takes approximately 20 minutes. That means four people split three pints over 20 minutes. In my experience in this industry people drink more, faster when they’re not playing.

-As far as noise is concerned, there is not one subwoofer on the premises and there has never been one. We currently function at a fairly low decibel output. In the East Village street traffic is the nature of the beast. The other evening a man in a spray-painted jalopy drove up and down Avenue A blasting CSNY's "Teach Your Children Well" on a PA system mounted on the roof of his car. I've seen gangs of motorcycles roaring up 1st Avenue. Troops of partygoers and bar patrons have been streaming up and down the streets for years. Our bar is not the predominant noise polluter in the neighborhood nor is it even a significant factor.

I know blogs don't have the same journalistic requirements that standard news media insist upon, but no one has ever come to us to talk or ask questions. No one wants our side of the story. If you'd like to do so now, perhaps to clarify some things, perhaps to see that we run a clean, friendly and accommodating operation. I would be happy to oblige.

Yours Truly,

Tom Michaelsen
General Manager
Aces & Eights LES

Monday, March 7, 2011

[Updated] Bringing 'the tradition of the old Knitting Factory and Tonic' to 34 Avenue A

Last Friday, we reported that Two Boots founder Phil Hartman's name is attached to the new venue proposed for 34 Avenue A, the space that was most recently Aces and Eights ... and Mo Pitkin's before that ....

Hartman sent us a note during the weekend with a few more details on the space:

I've been approached by a local music booker/promoter about helping get the old Mo's space re-opened as a music venue. His vision is to carry on the tradition of the old Knitting Factory and Tonic, and I love the idea of seeing the space revived for the use for which it was created, and to wipe out the stain that was Aces & Eights. There would also be a restaurant component on the ground floor.

My role is as an advisor and a cheerleader — I live and work within a block from there and think it would be great for the neighborhood. So, no, I'm not "re-opening Mo Pitkin's" but hopefully the spirit of that place, and of the old East Village, will be revived!

This is one of the items on the docket for the SLA & DCA Licensing Committee next Monday at 6:30 pm — JASA/Green Residence - 200 E. Fifth St. at the Bowery.

Patrick Hedlund at DNAinfo reports this afternoon that concert organizer Todd Patrick, aka Todd P, is also involved in the project. You can read more about Todd Patrick in this Voice profile from 2006.

Friday, June 29, 2012

UPDATED: Expect the howling to continue at former Aces and Eights space

[June 5]

Well, perhaps the looooooooong saga about a new bar-restaurant for 34 Avenue has finally come to a close.

As we've repeatedly cut-n-pasted from past posts, CB3 has rejected all the recent plans for a bar-restaurant-performance space here. Aces & Eights, the last tenant here, closed in October 2010.

Anyway, a tipster hears that a dog-grooming business is opening here. A little fishy seeing as the rent was upwards of $15K for the main floor, but it has been empty for some time...

Last August, Patrick Hedlund at DNAinfo reported: "We don’t think you can get a liquor license at this point because of so much negative history,” said ... a broker for Coldwell Banker, noting her client is growing desperate to bring in a new tenant."

The address showed up three consecutive months on the CB3/SLA docket this year ... and the mystery applicants were a scratch all three months.

The listing at Living New York says that the space has been rented.

And the for rent sign is down...

Updated 11:02 a.m.

We heard from Danny Frost, who confirmed the rumor. He said the space will be home to Ruff Club, "a social club for dogs."

"We think of it as an updated take on 'doggie daycare' with an eye toward the unique tastes and lifestyles of our East Village neighbors," said Frost, an East Village resident. "A major piece of our concept is a dog-and-human-friendly space in our clubhouse where members can socialize, create stuff, or maybe even get a little work done."

Subject to licensing, they do intend to offer grooming (and eventually boarding) services. By the way, they are taking the first floor and basement. The karate kids will stay as the tenants upstairs...

And, for the record (based on those comments to this post!): "We do not intend to offer food or drink."

And they have a website where you can query them for more details.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Q-and-A with Curt Hoppe: Living on the Bowery, finding inspiration and shooting Mr. Softee

Curt Hoppe in 1977.

Starting Thursday, legendary hyper-realist artist Curt Hoppe is showing his latest work, "Photographs For Your Kitchen," at the Aces & Eights lounge, 34 Avenue A near Third Street. I connected with Hoppe via Facebook, and was honored that the Minneapolis native, whose work was shown alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Robert Mapplethorpe in the early 1980s, agreed to answer some questions on the eve of the new exhibit...

What inspired you to move to NYC from Minneapolis in 1976?

Minneapolis, while a great place to grow up in and get an education, was just a starting line. I can't say that I was inspired to move here more like gravitated or pulled. I grew up listening to the likes of Dylan and the Velvets. I followed Warhol and loved the whole POP art movement -- it was just so America.

I had an uncle living here who was an art dealer and I would come to NYC to visit periodically in the mid to late 1960's. He was the director of the Betty Parsons Gallery and he encouraged me to pursue my artistic interests. He introduced me to Max's Kansas City and got me into the Factory where I was actually was given a silver coke bottle. (I lost it). I grew up in the whole "hippie" period but never really related to the earth child "go west with a flower in your hair" stuff. There was always something deeper darker and more alluring about New York that appealed to me.

It was on one of these NY visits that I stumbled on an ad in the Village Voice for a Bowery Loft, so I slapped down some key money and decided to move here in 1975 to pursue my artist career. Finding the space at 98 Bowery was one of the luckiest events of my life. Through the years it has been a home or stopping place for an array of artists in all fields. I quickly fell in with Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma, my upstairs neighbors who at the time were combing the streets and clubs photographing a lot of New York celebs. One of those clubs was CBGBs. I would hang with them on their nights out and that would eventually lead to the three of us collaborating together. One of such collaborations was a portrait of Bettie and the Ramones at CBs. The painting was autographed by the Ramones and exhibited at the Washington Project for the Arts in what was billed at the time "Punk Art"

Where do you find your inspiration today?

Why I paint what I do stems simply from what I am interested in or how I am feeling at any given time. I always say I paint where I am. That includes my thoughts or where my head is at. What's weird is that inspiration usually comes when I feel a total void and a lack of any interest in anything. I can't live with boredom for very long. I am like a child with a new toy when it comes to my work. When I first get it I love it to death but after a few years need a new toy or fix. My attention span is about 5-7 years with any subject. I like to move on when I feel I have covered the subject and I think it has becomes a formula which tends to cheapen it. There is always a new visual adventure out there waiting to be discovered.

We (me and my fellow LES/EV bloggers) spend a lot of time writing about change in the neighborhood. Instead of focusing on what's no longer here... what do you think has remained a constant in the neighborhood through the years? What makes you feel as if it may be the same place as, say, 30 years ago?

For starters, the residents. In a lot of ways the Bowery is pretty much the same. The Bowery is a street. But it’s the gang that lives here that makes it it what it is. You’d be surprised at how many of the stores have not changed or are just updated versions of stores that have always been here. What is happening now is that advertising has begun tapping into the myth of the Bowery.

The Bowery and LES always had bars, on my block alone there were two -- Harry's and Al's. They're gone but have been replaced by newer establishments and different clientele. There were drunks then and there are drunks now. What's changed is that the smokers have to go outside causing noise. I can’t imagine Harry or Al saying to Jimmy and Jerry, "fellas you can't smoke in here," as they drank White Rose or Night Train. CBs is gone but it was never the Bowery it was CBs on the Bowery. CBs became a caricature of itself after 1982. Most of my neighbors still live here and the neighbors are what make the neighborhood.

While some of the artists have left as in my building others have taken their place. Marc and Bettie left a long time ago and Maya Lin moved in and then moved on. Now a couple of talented gals, Brooke Arnao, a filmmaker, and Elisabeth Bernstein, a photographer, are living and working there. Elisabeth is currently exhibiting at The Wild Project on East 3rd Street with a show titled "Scapes." So in many ways the Bowery is the same. Maybe my building is an exception.

The city has become way over priced making it difficult for young artists to move in early in their careers and with rents constantly going up it’s almost impossible to create a lasting community. Thankfully, many of the folks fought the good fight years ago when they converted these illegal spaces to legal living. But artists all over the world will find a skid row to live and work in until it becomes fun and the masses will follow like they always do. It happened in the Village. It happened to St. Marks, Soho and Times Square all living off an old reputation that no longer exists but is kept alive somehow by the hucksters. Now what the developers are doing is a different story one I could rant about for hours.

In "Photographs for Your Kitchen," you focus on Mr. Softee ice cream cones and Happy Face bags. Why did you decide to explore these NYC motifs?

I finished a series of paintings last year, portraits of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby and local Burlesque performers.

And after three years of work on the series combined with the sinking economy and hoopla around the Elections I was exhausted. I was suffering sort of a Postpartum thing. One Sunday last summer when returning from a visit to Coney Island my wife Ruth felt like having a Mr. Softee. Well, BINGO! When that arm appeared out of that truck holding that cone and it's big swirl of cold Ice Cream, descending down to Ruth I saw "The Creation." Yup, the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.

So I decided to start hanging out by the trucks and photographing this everyday summertime event. I discovered a treasure trove of humanity around it. I would watch a grown adult turn into an eager child as they awaited their cone. For a brief time the area around that Softee window turned into heaven on earth. I carry a camera everywhere I go -- like when I’m walking my dog Dorothy.

I started shooting smiley bags. They are sort of local residents too. I discovered that no matter what their circumstances they are always smiling at me wishing me a nice day and saying thank you. Tossed in the garbage, or squashed under a car tire stretched over a bicycle seat they always make the best of a bad situation. They make me laugh and deserve some attention. So I wanted to exhibit something uplifting and fun.

Favorite Ramones story?

My best memory about the Ramones has got to be when they signed the painting Bettie and the Ramones back in 1978. You can’t imagine the thrill of carrying that big 4’ x 6’ painting down the Bowery and getting the Ramones to specially come over to CBs in the afternoon just to sign it. Tommy was still in the group. They all just stood there staring at it. I think Joey was the only one who really got it.

Dee Dee was all hyper and kept asking their manager Danny Fields if it was OK to sign it. Then Johnny asked, "Who's Bettie?" I replied, "She's every Fan." When we carried that autographed painting back to 98, Marc, Bettie and I were just flying. I love the Ramones.

Another one of Hoppe's paintings...

For further reading on EV Grieve:
Life at 98 Bowery: 1969-1989

Revisiting Punk Art