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East Village’s Lakeside Lounge to Shutter After 16 Years

Monday, April 23, 2012

WNYC

An East Village bar known for its live music, vintage jukebox and $3 dollar beers is closing for good next Monday.

The Lakeside Lounge on Avenue B will join the growing list of other recently shuttered neighborhood nightspots, like the Mars Bar and Banjo Jim's.

One of the owners, James Marshall (a.k.a. The Hound), said the decision to close and sell the bar happened after the rent neared $9,000 dollars a month. He believes the creative soul of the city is at risk when rents and gentrification win out.

“You know everything great that happened in this city culturally came out of bars. What brought New York City back wasn't Wall Street, it wasn't killing the crime or Giuliani, it was the arts,” he argued, noting that the outsiders that helped make the city distinctive have been driven out. “You just don’t get characters like that anymore — what you get is some kid with his nose buried in an iPhone.”

Veteran music booker and owner of Maxwell's in Hoboken, Todd Abramson thinks when venues like Lakeside close, it’s often because they are victims of their own success.

“Places, you know, like the Mars Bar, Lakeside, they're the pioneers in getting people to come to these areas and, as it often happens, it's like they wind up pricing themselves out," he explained.

The city is constantly remaking itself, in part due to rents and the changing tastes of what residents and visitors want to spend their money on.

But the East Village blogger known as “EV Grieve” doesn’t think the city is necessarily changing for the better.  “I don’t want an $18 cocktail made with a blow-torch. I appreciated the Lakeside because you could go there and see a band like the Alabama Shakes before they blow up, or Elvis Costello might drop by. And, aside from live music, it was a low-key place you could and order an inexpensive drink”

The Lakeside Lounge is booked with live music acts throughout the week and will close on April 30. The spot is expected to become an upscale Whiskey bar when it re-opens.

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Comments [5]

Rich from Westfield, NJ

The Lakeside joins the list of venues where the owner of the venue did not own the building. I have always applauded Todd Abramson for putting his money behind his passion. I love mind heading to Williamsburg for great music, and look forward to the day when some of the "hedge fund babbies" decide to create their own community with some timely real estate investments!

Baltimore is a great music and bar town, by the way.

Apr. 25 2012 03:49 PM
Sylvia

This is what happens in dictatorships. The "degenerates", who happen to be the creative and critical thinkers, are ostracized and economically assaulted. Independent arts businesses haven't "priced themselves out" they've become victims of a calculated, methodical market manipulation designed to eradicate them. NYC has become a paradigm of mediocrity for the rest of the country to emulate.

Apr. 24 2012 01:26 PM
Gamal Hennessy

The closing of Lakeside is just a continuation of the pattern that happened to the Meatpacking District, Harlem and Chelsea. It's happening to the Lower East Side and its going to happen to Williamsburg eventually if it hasn't started already. The only venues that survive need to balance artistic creativity and profit. There are still a lot of examples in New York; Blue Note, Cielo, Sutra are just a few examples. Nightlife survivors of gentrification are out there if you look for them.

Apr. 23 2012 04:35 PM
Kry from Queens

"...they're the pioneers in getting people to come to these areas and, as it often happens, it's like they wind up pricing themselves out"

What disgustingly deceptive rhetoric, making it sound like they're to blame for the city's lack of commitment to economic diversity and non-corporate arts culture. Bloomberg Inc is creating New Monaco, and the new arrivals could care less.

Where to now? Baltimore?

Apr. 23 2012 09:45 AM
John from NYC

The quote in this article does not seem to be the complete quote that was played on the radio. It looks like the part where Marshall lauds the contributions of "drunks and drug addicts" has been sanitized to "outsiders." I guess WNYC has fully internalized the values of Giuliani/Bloomberg gentrification.

Apr. 23 2012 07:21 AM

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