Arlo&Esme Goes Kaput: The Schizophrenia Of A Coffee Shop Club

by Ross Kenneth Urken · January 3, 2011

The hip East Village nightclub-cafe hybrid unexpectedly announced its closing last week, having survived since its spring 2008 emergence. Is the location cursed?

Hardly. The demise stems, it seems, from the Janus-faced nature of the joint's character.

As the Feast smartly analyzes, the split personality of the club--which catered to a newspaper-reading weekend coffee crowd and light-night scenesters alike--may have been its undoing. The East Village Yacht Club, the space's predecessor, had a similarly bifurcated billings, as a grungy yet preppy joint.

Owners Harry Joannides and Gage Pray (who also manage Bar Six) tried to carve out a specialized niche, brewing delicious Kobricks coffee, a Hoboken delicacy, and also had a strong start by once hosting the Black Kids, once a hip band.

Ultimately, the undefined nature prevented A&E from maintaining its momentum into the new year.

[Image via The Feast]