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Lakeside Lounge Partner Taking Over Space, Will Open Blackbird - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Lakeside Lounge Partner Taking Over Space, Will Open Blackbird


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Take Your Own PortraitsJoel Zimmer Lakeside’s photo booth.

When it was reported that Lakeside Lounge would close at the end of April, New York Music Daily wrote, “the bar that defined oldschool East Village cool will be replaced by a gentrifier whiskey joint, no doubt with $19 artisanal cocktails and hedge fund nebbishes trying to pick up on sorostitutes when their boyfriends are puking in the bathroom – or out of it.”

Not so fast?

A liquor license application questionnaire submitted to Community Board 3 indicates that the space on the corner of Avenue B and 10th Street is being taken over by one of Lakeside’s partners, Laura McCarthy, who is also an owner in Bowery Electric, HiFi, and Niagara – all rock’n’roll spots that aren’t exactly known for catering to “hedge-fund nebbishes.” As if that trifecta doesn’t make for enough cred, Ms. McCarthy also opened Brownies, the rock club on Avenue A that was widely mourned when it was transformed into HiFi.

According to the questionnaire, a couple of things will be different at Lakeside’s replacement, described as a tavern aiming to open from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Instead of a jukebox and live bands, the music will come from an iPod as well as the occasional DJ. The bathrooms will be moved, and pub grub will be served at a new food counter. And, of course, no photo booth: that’s now at HiFi.

During a meeting on Monday, a representative of the bar told the SLA licensing committee that it would be called Blackbird, said Susan Stetzer, the district manager of Community Board 3. The applicant was asked to withdraw, said Ms. Stetzer, because the committee hadn’t been informed of the pending corporate change and because neighbors hadn’t been sufficiently informed about the new bar.

Ms. Stetzer said Blackbird was expected to appear in front of the committee again next month.

Ms. McCarthy has not yet returned a message asking for more information, but her partner in HiFi, Mike Stuto (who won’t be involved in Blackbird) said he didn’t understand why there was so much interest in the fate of Lakeside Lounge. “It’s just a bar changing hands,” he said. “Why is this a matter of national interest?”

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: August 9, 2012

An earlier version of this post misidentified the new bar as Blackburn. It is Blackbird.