Volume 75, Number 17 | September 14 - 20, 2005

CBGB and B.R.C. in court again

Punk music club CBGB will head back to court this week in its ongoing battle to keep its home at 315 Bowery.

CBGB owner Hilly Kristal said he received a notice last week that the punk music club’s lease, which expired on Aug. 31, would not be renewed. The news did not come as a surprise. “I knew it was coming and it came,” he said.

Muzzy Rosenblatt, the executive director of the Bowery Residents’ Committee, which holds a long-term master lease on 315 Bowery, confirmed the news. “We’re starting the process of eviction,” he said.

So on Wednesday, CBGB and B.R.C., a nonprofit homeless services organization, will meet again in court. “It will probably go back and forth and back and forth for a few months,” said Kristal, who wants to renew the club’s 12-year lease. To help pay for legal fees, CBGB will host benefit shows at the club throughout the month of September.

Both organizations have called the Bowery home since the early 1970s — B.R.C. began on the Bowery in 1971, while CBGB first opened in 1973.

But Rosenblatt does not seem open to negotiating with B.R.C.’s longtime neighbor. In a statement dated Aug. 31, he said, “B.R.C. has already been forced to divert precious funds and resources toward a lengthy rent dispute with the club and believes it is in the best interest of our clients — the homeless and neediest New Yorkers — to sever this relationship.”

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