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Last Night at Lodge, Now Closed After 14 Years in Williamsburg

Lodge’s farewell party on Saturday night, 2/24/18. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Williamsburg brunch spot Lodge closed Monday night after over 14 years in the heart of the neighborhood. Co-owned by Dan Cipriani, who also runs nearby Urban Rustic and Bushwick’s Seawolf, Lodge could “no longer compete with the astronomical rent in Williamsburg,” it said on its Instagram. “We’ve been pushed out.”

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Amy Poehler Faced ‘Incredible Amounts of Harassment’ As a Server, Wants Waiters to Get Paid

Amy Poehler with ROC United organizer Michael Kunizaki at the conclusion of the One Fair Wage Event at the Rockefeller Foundation in midtown, 2/20/18 at 1pm. (Photos: Nick McManus)

It’s no laughing matter: Amy Poehler wants New York’s waitresses and waiters to get a higher minimum wage. The actress and comedian appeared at the Rockefeller Foundation yesterday to push for better treatment of tipped workers.

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Forget the Winter Olympics, We’re All About This Extreme Bike-Messenger Race

Monstertrack organizer and Warm-Up race winner Crihs Thorman (right) with runner-up Keeam Mansour (center) and fellow organizers Cooper Ray, Stoned Tone Kyle Thompson (first, second and fourth from left) at the finish line outside Queens Tavern in Ridgewood, 2/17/18 at 9:30pm. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Snowfall didn’t deter ten brave cyclists from competing in Monstertrack XIX’s warm-up race ahead of the main event this Saturday. Crihs Throman, the winner of the messenger-style alleycat took called the conditions “fucking brutal.”

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The Jazz Age Lawn Party Folks Took Over a Chelsea Mansion For Some Valentine’s Decadence

Michael Arenella with his Dreamland Orchestra and audience at the conclusion of his Sweetheart Soiree at the Norwood Club, 2/11/17 at 1am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra shook the historic floor of Chelsea’s Norwood Club during his eighth annual Sweetheart Soiree this past Saturday. After we bid Michael farewell at the close of his Jazz Age Lawn Party last August, he invited us this Valentine’s season to see Norwood Club’s five floors of classic decadence. Many in attendance embraced the soiree’s roaring-twenties mise-en-scene by dressing in gowns and tuxedos.

Norwood Club member William (left) with his guest in the upstairs parlor’s photo booth.

Michael’s orchestra held court against the tall windows of the main parlor at the Norwood, a private club opened in 2007 in what had been the landmarked Norwood House, a fully intact Chelsea mansion. The dancers on the floor had gotten lessons from jazz choreographer Roddy Caravella, whose group The Canarsie Warblers are a Jazz Age Lawn Party highlight.

Guests dancing in the Norwood Club’s main parlour.

As the soiree’s guests went up the townhouse stairs, they found a second floor where winding tables gave couples plenty of places to canoodle. Ascending further to the red-lit third-floor parlor, they were stopped in their tracks by the wrought vocals of Queen Esther.

Queen Esther (second from right) with her trio at the conclusion of their performance, 2/11/17 at 1am.

For those in the mood to toast their valentine with champagne, an intimate room at the top of the mansion served little bottles of bubbly to go along with the soft strings of flamenco guitarist Maria Benjumeda.

Flamenco guitarist Maria Benjumeda in the upstairs parlor’s photo booth.

Michael’s full orchestra won’t be taking the stage again until his first Lawn Party on the weekend of June 16, but in the meantime you can catch his small ensemble every Wednesday night from 8:30pm to 11pm at the Clover Club in Carroll Gardens. During a recent visit, I saw Michael’s friends dancing along the bar. Their footwork was phenomenal considering the quaint space and low light.

Michael Arenella with members of his orchestra during his weekly Wednesday performance at the Clover Club in Carroll Gardens.

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Last Night at Red Hook Bait and Tackle, Now Closed After 14 Years

Red Hook Bait and Tackle owner Barry O’ Meara (center) outside on the bar’s closing day, 1/27/18 at 4pm. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Beloved bar Red Hook Bait and Tackle said farewell to its tight-knit family with a party that raged well after the cops came, as advertised. Owner Barry O’Meara, who’s closing the bar after 14 years due to the neighborhood’s “different financial demographics,” hosted an all-day affair that started with a chili cook-off, continued with a full concert and ended with a dance party where locals mixed their sweat and tears till the doors finally shut for good at 6am.

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Bizarre Bushwick Celebrated 5 Years of ‘Madness and the Unexpected’

The finale of Bizarre Bushwick’s Fifth Year Anniversary, 1/21/18 at 3:30am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Bizarre Bushwick celebrated its fifth anniversary last Saturday with an eight-hour performance marathon that spanned its entire repertoire. Venue co-owners Jean-Stephane Sauvaire and Greg Baubeau welcomed longtime performers Madam Vivian VLee ValoneDarlinda Just Darlinda and countless others for a night that literally went out in a ball of flames. The thrills were true to Bizarre Bushwick’s motto of “assorted madness and the unexpected.”

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Last Night at Bar Matchless, Now Closed After 15 Years

Patrons dancing on the bar, 1/9/17 at 3am. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Bar Matchless closed last night and it stayed crowded till the very end. All of hipsterdom from the realms of musicians, DJs, artists and those with 9-to-5 jobs came to celebrate what was for many the Ellis Island of Williamsburg. Owner Erik Green made a last call at 3:30am and it took another hour to empty the place out.

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Parting Shots: The Last, Beer-Soaked Days of Grassroots Tavern

Old-timers having a reunion by Grassroots Tavern’s dartboards, 12/20/17. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Barflies of every drinking age said their goodbyes to Grassroots Tavern last month and kept the East Village dive busy right up till its final day on New Year’s Eve. During the time I spent there during its last days, it was never empty. Even in the early afternoon, people just off from work or school, along with curious tourists, finished off pitchers and munched on dollar bowls of popcorn.

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30 Hours of New Year’s Parties, Starting With Farewells to Grassroots and Noho Star

The residents and guests of Rat Trap and 618 Design’s F*** You party in Gowanus, 5am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

This New Year’s Eve/Day, I visited 18 parties, many in venues whose windows had been steamed up by crowds in no hurry to head back home through the cold. The condensation could be seen early on as I visited the farewell parties for downtown’s Noho Star and Grassroots Tavern and continued as Claptone rang in 2018 at Bang On! NYC’s Time and Space warehouse party.

Here’s how it all went, hour by hour. If you’re looking for signs of unity as we turn the page on 2017, you may find them in these group portraits.

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International Bar Leaves Its Longtime East Village Home, Moves Down the Block

International bar regular Bex Blakely with bartender Tyler (first and second from left) and artist Russell Murphy (right) during International Bar’s closing night at 120 1/2 First Ave., 11/22/17. (Photos: Nick McManus)

International Bar’s final night at its longtime East Village location was as loud, crowded, but also as intimate as you’d expect. The bar, which originated on St. Marks Place and has been on First Avenue since the ’80s, was filled with regulars who waited till the wee hours for co-owner Molly Fitch to arrive and make a rousing speech.

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