Nine lives, indeed! The legendary Pussycat Lounge has quietly reopened after six years of uncertainty.
I haven’t yet read Meet Me in the Bathroom, the oral history of the aughts rock scene that got James Murphy and Nick Zinner reminiscing, but I’d be surprised if the Pussycat Lounge wasn’t mentioned. After all, it’s where Taavo Somer and Carlos Quirarte threw parties before they went on to open downtown hotspots Freemans and The Smile, respectively. At one point, the place was so cool that it appeared in a Times trend piece about the death of the trucker hat. And then, in 2011, the 41-year-old dive was suddenly closed by the city, after its building was deemed unsafe.
Believe it or not, it’s been nearly three years since we broke news that legendary dive Lit Lounge would make a comeback, of sorts, underneath the McKibbin Lofts in East Williamsburg. A lot has happened since then (for one thing, Lit’s old home in the East Village is now The Cock) but it looks like it’s actually, finally happening. The new place hosts its grand-opening party this Friday. It doesn’t have the same name, but it is called Tilt, which is how you’d spell Lit after a long night at Lit.
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. More →
The Cock has moved its trademark neon rooster up a few blocks and it’s now glowing/crowing atop the former home of Lit Lounge. After going tworounds in what might be called a cockfight with Community Board 3, it looks like the gay bar and East Village institution has emerged with its feathers unruffled. Last night, the Oh, Fuck You Honey party was in full swing in the basement, which looks pretty much exactly like it did before Lit closed in July, with the notable addition of some gogo dancers, a shirtless bartender, and some red light bulbs strung up on the ceiling.
Sometime around 1977, Father Time ducked into the Blarney Cove on East 14th Street and never bothered to start the clock back up when he left. A gnarled shillelagh, or “Irish whuppin’ stick,” hangs on the wall beneath the television, which is typically tuned to baseball or horse races. There’s a working payphone and a video poker game by the tables in the rear. A faint odor of stale beer floats around.
Sadly, there are just a scant few days left to grab a cheap domestic draft at this sliver of old New York. The Cove will close its doors for good at the end of this month. It’s “going the way of Mars Bar and CBGB,” says bartender Lisa Ramsay. More →