CBGB may move west, really west, as in Vegas, after a year
By Ronda Kaysen
CBGB, the iconic Bowery music club, wont be in the Bowery much longer. The clubs owner is hashing out a deal with his landlord to part ways and move his 32-year-old establishment to another locale in the city or as far away as Las Vegas.
Club owner Hilly Kristal has been mired in a bitter dispute with his landlord, Bowery Residents Committee, over his lease, which was not renewed in September. The dispute, which included a lawsuit on which the judge ruled in the clubs favor regarding unpaid rent, has reached the mayors office.
We can fight and fight and unless you convict them of a crime, what can you do? Theres not much you can do. Thats the law, said Kristal of fighting the eviction notice.
Now Kristal is hoping to negotiate an extension through the end of October 2006. After that, CBGB would find a new home. One possibility is an empty building on the Lower East Side on Delancey St., but it is in need of a $2.5 million renovation. He is also eyeing the far West Side of Manhattan where the city entertained the idea of building a Jets football stadium.
Kristal says he might hand over $90,000 in disputed rent he has stored away in an escrow account so he could stay another year and avoid an appeal for the disputed rent. After the year is up, he is ready to move on. I dont have a taste for being here. They didnt even want me to fix my lights upstairs
You cant get along with people like that, he said.
If Manhattan doesnt work out, Kristal might head westward for Las Vegas. Its not going to be glitzy. Inside, its going to be CBGB, he promised of a Sin City move.
Muzzy Rosenblatt, executive director of Bowery Residents Committee, did not return calls for comment for this story.