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Williamsburg Loses Another Venue, as The Grand Victory Turns Out the Lights

(Photo: Nick McManus)

The band STALKERS, Grand Victory general manager Sean Dougherty and friends on the venue’s last night. (Photo: Nick McManus)

After just four and a half years on Grand Street, Williamburg venue the Grand Victory closed its doors last night, finishing things out with a hardcore matinee during the day and a nighttime show to say “Bon Voyage” to the space. The first show was headlined by local punks Subzero, after which several DJs and surprise guests played one last show that lasted into the first couple hours of Monday. That last show was closed out by Andy Animal and his band STALKERS, who were also playing their final show as a band.

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After 17 Years, Ludlow Guitars Says Goodbye To Ludlow Street

 Ludlow Guitars owner Kaan Howell and employee Garret Lovell (first and second from left) along with members of nearby Con Artist Collective pose for a final photo at Ludlow Guitar's 172 Ludlow Street location. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Ludlow Guitars owner Kaan Howell and employee Garret Lovell (first and second from left) along with members of nearby Con Artist Collective pose for a final photo at Ludlow Guitar’s 172 Ludlow Street location. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Lower East Side music shop Ludlow Guitars had its last day earlier this week, ending its 17-year run on the street that gave it its name. As the shop’s owner, Kaan Howell, busily packed the place up in preparation for its decamp to Brooklyn, he took some time to get a couple final polaroids in the old shop—presumably the last before it inevitably turns into a fusion restaurant/hotel/dog therapist. 

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Secret Project Robot Says Goodbye Cruel World With ‘Rainbow Hugs and Kisses’

(Image via Secret Project Robot)

(Image via Secret Project Robot)

The name says it all– at Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, Secret Project Robot will start saying their goodbyes to the neighborhood they’ve called home for the last five years. On Wednesday, July 13 (7 pm to 10 pm) the DIY venue will open the final art show at its current location with festivities and hopefully some booty-shaking to coronate what the SPR community’s calling a “magical realm.”

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Summer Spells ‘Doomsday’ at Secret Project Robot’s Last Hurrah

The saddest rainbows in the world (Photo via Secret Project Robot)

The saddest rainbows in the world (Photo via Secret Project Robot)

In less than two weeks, Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, the final closing ceremony/bye-bye art show at Secret Project Robot, will open as a “greatest hits” celebration of the last five years at their current space, 389 Melrose Street in Bushwick. Rachel Nelson, who co-directs the long-running DIY art and music venue with her partner Erik Zajaceskowski are moving on to their fourth (to be determined) location since the couple started an underground party place in Williamsburg known as Mighty Robot way, way back in 1998.

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The Acheron is Drying Up, Returning to the Darkness Whence It Came

Negative Approach at the Acheron (Via Acheron Instagram)

Negative Approach at the Acheron (Via Acheron Instagram)

Before the Acheron opened on a quiet block in heavily-industrial East Williamsburg back in 2010, the building was little more than a “black box” housing a barebones ska venue, as owner Bill Dozer remembers it. Within two weeks of signing the lease and taking over the place, it was transformed into a punk and metal show space, a speakeasy-style DIY operation with cheap cans of beer, the occasional “plastic handle of liquor,” and a remarkable sound system with a bar next door. “We were able to get off the ground with basically nothing— just a bunch of sweat and, like, four people working there,” Dozer recalled.

Over the years, the Acheron has grown into the de facto homebase of Brooklyn punk, which has made something of a comeback itself as the venue expanded and went legit, welcoming in local acts and touring bands from across the country to play everything from straightedge punk to psych metal. But as of July 9, the East Williamsburg venue is putting all that to rest when they close their doors for good.

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Lakeside Lounge Owner Releases a Musical Homage to His Old Dive

Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (Photo: Courtesy of Johan Vipper)

Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Photo: Courtesy of Johan Vipper)

When the Lakeside Lounge closed in April 2012, East Villagers mourned the loss of another quintessential dive bar in the rapidly changing neighborhood. For Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, a musician, producer, and the former owner of the Alphabet City bar, the venue’s departure from NYC’s live music scene was a symptom of the greater economic forces at play in redefining the character of the city’s neighborhoods, and served as an inspiration for his newly released solo album, Lakeside, which takes its spirit from Ambel’s bar-owning days. With Ambel playing a live show of his record at Hill Country Brooklyn on June 25, Bedford + Bowery caught up with him to chat about Lakeside Lounge and live music in New York.

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Secret Project Robot Is Closing But ‘Not Giving Up,’ Co-Founder Says

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

The secret is out: beloved Bushwick art/party space Secret Project Robot, which has featured tons of art and hosted dozens of good shows and parties, will be closing its doors at the end of the summer. Although the news was posted just a week and a half ago, co-director Rachel Nelson doesn’t seem too broken up about it.

“The thing is we just can’t afford to stay there,” Nelson said. “That’s it.”

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Barbone Evicted After 10 Years, and the East Village Loses a Hidden Garden

(Photo: Gavin Thomas for NY Mag)

(Photo: Gavin Thomas for NY Mag)

The East Village has lost one of its enchanting al fresco dining spots, as Barbone has been evicted after a decade on Avenue B. The Italian restaurant was opened in 2006 by Alberto Ibrahimi, who prided himself on his fresh ingredients and handmade pasta, and served as a congenial host. My old Grub Street colleague Josh Ozersky, “King of Avenue C,” wrote that the “underpriced, ambitious East Village trattoria has some of the best pasta and wine values in town.” He paid the enoteca a memorable visit in a video for Vice’s Munchies.

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There Was Bubbly and Braiding as Northeast Kingdom Ended Its 10-Year Run

Staff and friends of Bushwick's Northeast Kingdom during their closing party, May 29 at 1am. Co-owner Paris Smeraldo is dead center behind the bar in the blue button-down shirt and his partner Meg is next to him at his left. (Photo: Nick McManus.)

Staff and friends of Bushwick’s Northeast Kingdom during their closing party, May 29 at 1am. Co-owner Paris Smeraldo is dead center behind the bar in the blue button-down shirt and his partner Meg is next to him at his left. (Photo: Nick McManus.)

Bushwick lost one of its pioneering restaurants over the weekend when Northeast Kingdom closed after more than 10 years off of the Jefferson stop. (Yes, Virginia, it opened way before there was a “Jefftown.”) In a goodbye message, owners Paris Smeraldo and Meg Lipke explained that they hoped to devote more time and energy to their children and their upstate farm and home (Lipke, a visual artist, will continue working from her Bushwick studio).

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‘Say It Ain’t So’: New Yorkers React to Other Music’s Closing

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

By now you’re probably past the denial stage of grief and it has started to sink in that Other Music is closing at the end of June. New Yorkers began posting teary-eyed tributes to the beloved East Village record shop as soon as it announced yesterday that it was shuttering after two decades in business. 

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Pour Out a Pint For Dempsey’s Pub, Leaving the East Village After 24 Years

(Photo: Courtesy of Dempsey's Pub)

(Photo: Courtesy of Dempsey’s Pub)

Irish eyes ain’t smiling. First Puck Fair, and now this.

The next three days are your last chance to grab a pint at East Village fixture Dempsey’s Pub, before its doors close for good this Sunday, April 17. According to owner Tom O’Byrne, the pub and restaurant will close so he can focus to his other establishments.

“Dempsey’s Pub has been blessed to have had an amazing run in the East Village for the past 24 years. Like a lot of good things, however, it’s reached the end of its cycle and on Sunday night after service Dempsey’s Pub will close for good,” O’Byrne explained. He also added that the changing nature of the neighborhood had played a part in his decision to close up shop. “Obviously part of it is related to costs, and the demand for the type of place like Dempsey’s is not there anymore in the way it was before.”

In the spirit of giving the place a proper send-off, Dempsey’s Pub will feature all-day happy hour specials starting today until Sunday, which includes $5 beer, wine, and well drinks, as well as offering canned and bottled beer specials all night on Sunday.

Dempsey’s Pub, which has been around in some form since 1992, was acquired by O’Byrne in 1998 and has developed into an East Village staple particularly popular among the NYU crowd.

The establishment’s regular programming, such as Wednesday night trivia and traditional Irish music on Tuesdays, will be moved to sister pub Slainte, at 304 Bowery.

O’Byrne, who also owns Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen on Second Avenue, expressed excitement for “other new beginnings in the neighborhood,” which may hint at further projects in the East Village down the road.

Dempsey’s Pub, 61 2nd Ave at 4th Street. 212-388-0662.