Superstunner: Superdive Space to Become Animal Hospital


Superdive’s infamous Mad Dog Room has really gone to the dogs.

ABC Animal Hospital is leaving East 14th Street and aims to open at 200 Avenue A at the end of next month, said Shirley Yeo, the hospital’s marketing director.

That’s right: after three and a half years of outcry from neighbors, the former home of Superdive has gone superdry.

The animal hospital has been at 532 East 14th Street for about five of the 14-plus years it has been in the East Village, said Ms. Yeo. Its owners had hoped to stay longer, but the building was sold last year.

Ms. Yeo said it would “cost a lot to rebuild the place” at 200 Avenue A, but hoped it would be worth it. “The new space is larger so we’re hoping that will help us do more business,” she said, floating the idea of installing a coffee station, a more accessible pharmacy area and maybe even bookshelves.

It wouldn’t be the first time the storefront held coffee and books: from 2006 to 2008, the onetime Korova Milk Bar space held Rapture Cafe & Books. It was, of course, replaced by Superdive, a rowdy bar that incensed neighbors with its keg service, bottomless drink specials, and a Mad Dog Room that ran afoul of the Department of Buildings. The community board accused the bar’s owners of exploiting Rapture’s liquor license, which had been granted on the condition that it be used only for a bookstore and cafe.

photo(89)Daniel MaurerABC Animal Hospital

The space remained controversial even after Superdive closed in 2010. Plans for an art gallery with a bar were protested by neighbors and elected officials who feared the gallery was just a ruse for more of the same. Community Board 3’s liquor license committee twice declined to support the application. “C.B. 3 is already over-saturated with bars,” City Council member Rosie Mendez wrote in a letter to the State Liquor Authority.

Curiously, Superdive is one of two controversial bars on Avenue A that were eventually replaced by pet-care businesses. The space that housed Aces & Eights is now home to Ruff Club, a doggie daycare center.