The SLA says no liquor license moratorium in Williamsburg, bouncers are taking bribes from underagers in the LES, there could be trouble at Kenmare, Beer Table is heading to Grand Central, Rockography is getting mixed reviews, BKLYN Yard will be back this summer, and more. Today's nightlife roundup is moving and shaking.
1. New Bars Will Continue To Open In Wburg! [WSJ]
The Community Board has been trying to keep the hipsters down by fighting for a moratorium on all new liquor licenses in Williamsburg. Luckily, that's not going to happen. Victory!
"We can't do a moratorium, we don't think we can legally do them," SLA Spokeperson William Crowley says. "The courts have told us we can't just do a blanket denial for a whole class of licenses whether it be an area or a specific type of license."
Bouncers on the Lower East Side are taking cash to allow minors into the neighborhood's countless bars and clubs, police said. The reaction from underagers to this news is no doubt, "Awesome dude!!!!!."
Gallery Bar, which was recently shuttered for underage drinking, says that it wasn't their fault. Owner owner Darin Rubell has accused a bouncer of accepting a cash bribe and stated that he is defenseless against the practice, given that he can't monitor his security guards' every move.
"It's not my goal to sit here and serve underages. My goal is to make money as a business," he said, equating the police's tactic of using undercover agents to bust bars to "entrapment." Anyone running a business under a microscope, you'll see the flaws.You're going to make mistakes, it happens."
He now has to hire bouncers through an outside security company at a cost that comes out to more than his rent and believes cops should have more open communication with venues. "I don't believe underage drinking is some monster problem," he said. "If [police] believe it is, they should work with the venues to address this."
For real. The LES has nothing on Applebee's, Chili's, and Olive Garden.
3. Trouble at Kenmare? [Via Eater]
"Chef’s out, gone, bounced, tossed, has exited stage left. A bill for his services rendered and others, say from Pat LaFrieda, can be seen. They look daunting—and unpaid at press time—and our heros daunted."
One thing I can say for sure, the basement is still going strong.
4. Chumley's Responds To Neighborhood Distress That It Will Reopen As A Sportsbar [DnaInfo]
Yesterday we told you about the outrage neighbors are having over the rumor Chumley's, which was shuttered three years ago due to structural issues, may reopen as a sportbar. Today, Chumley's fires back:
"We at Chumley's have absolutely no intention of trying to become a sports bar or anything of the like," fumed Jim Miller in an email Monday night. "I don't know how such a rumor got started. That would really make no sense. We are in the process of restoring one of the city's oldest and most beloved speakeasies. A place that people from all over this city, this country, and other parts of the world come to visit and enjoy. Why would we ever tamper with that?"
Park Slope's Beer Table has signed a seven-year lease for roughly 300 square feet in the Graybar Passage running from Lexington Avenue to the great hall.
6. Rockography Is Awesome, Or It Sucks! [Eater]
Eater has a nice roundup of conflicting reviews of the new Hard Rock Cafe-ish Rockography. They are mixed, to say the least.
7. BKLYN Yard Re-Opening, Sunday Best Back On [BrooklynVegan]
BKLYN Yard closed last year due to dispute between the landlord and is reopening next month under a new name: Gowanus Grove. Whoo hoo! So far, the only event lined up is the return of the Sunday Best dance party, now called Mister Sunday. What can you expect? Music and...
"Second, superb food – we’re teaming up with Brooklyn Flea to install a small but ace team of food vendors. Right now, we’ve confirmed Mile End, who will be serving a bunch of stuff you can’t get at the storefront in Boerum Hill, and we’re soon to confirm at least one more. Third, our friends from Botanica, the best little bar in the five boroughs, are taking care of the booze."
8. Meet Richard Wheeler, The Door Man At Lavo [Artists Intel]
Artist Intel has an interview with Richard Wheeler, the man who guards the velvet ropes at Lavo, as well as runs his own tee shirt line "The Emperor's New Clothes." Some interesting tidbits:
Q. Being a doorman and a designer, how much does appearance matter when someone approaches your door?
A. Appearance is important. To a degree, what you wear is a reflection of yourself. As a doorman I need to make fast decisions to make sure I have a room of people that will enjoy each others company and fit the vibe of the venue I am working for.
Q. What was the worst thing you’ve seen someone wearing when they came to a club you was working at?
A. I could make a top 100 list for you if only I had time! I’ve seen it ALL. Let your imagination flow, I probably have seen what ever you think.
My personal dislikes are: Excessive use of hair gel, vulgar gold chains and Branded tops that feel the need to place their logo intrusively large as to disrupt my evening
9. RIP Gatsby House [CBS]
While the popularity of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby will live on, the house will not. Yesterday, the home where "the lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile jumping over sundials and brick walks and burning gardens," on the North Shore of Long Island was demolished.
Real estate developer Bert Brodsky and his son, David, bought the property seven years ago, but the upkeep on the $18 million house proved too costly. It was completely condemned and torn down despite attempts by local historical societies protest.
While the house is gone, some of the essence hopefully remains. "The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside until the air is alive with chatter, and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot."
10. The Saga Of "The Hot Chicks Room" Sign, And The Meaning Behind It [NYT]
Amy Poehler and a founding member of the U.C.B. comedy troupe, presented Marisa DeDominicis and Charlie Bayrer, founding directors of the nonprofit group Earth Matter, with "The Hot Chicks Room," sign that was causing so much commotion in the neighborhood.
The story behind it is actually pretty adorable. Amy once did a skit where she was thinking of buying a house that had a room where attractive women partied 24-7.
"Ms. Poehler said Upright Citizens Brigade had a tradition of writing the phrase “Hot Chicks Room” on unappealing spaces in the theaters it operates — usually in black permanent marker and usually to indicate rooms where the beer supply is kept."
11. Ping Pong: Still Trendy [NYP]
New Yorkers love for ping pong is going strong. Jonathan Bricklin, co-owner of SPiN NY and rumored boyfriend to co-owner Susan Sarrandon, tells the NY Post:
Pingpong “is perfect for Manhattanites because it’s stress-relieving, and it’s more affordable than racquetball or tennis,
He forgot to mention, though the photo subtly, ahem, implies it, that you can be drunk while playing and have no fear of being seriously injured. Other places to get your pong on are Fat Cat, The Standard Biergarten, Slate and a few public parks.
12. Ryan McGinness: A Profile [BlackBook]
It's been a while since anyone profile art phenom Ryan McGinness. BlackBook takes a look inside his Soho studio where he not only works but held 50 ragers with themes like “Fight Club,” “C.H.U.G.,” and “Sex Party," over 50 consecutive weeks.
Friday, May 24
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.