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Want to Be the Owner of Life Cafe?

IMG_2761Daniel Maurer

It may be too late to buy the CBGB name, but you can now snag Life Cafe’s. A few weeks after the failure of negotiations to bring the legendary corner spot back from the brink, its trademark is now up for grabs.

A Craigslist posting offers up the right to use the name of the cafe – “immortalized in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical ‘Rent’” – for restaurants, t-shirts, cups, and marketing material.

To sweeten the deal, the ad says the “current East Village liquor license may be available” and offers up the services of John Sunderland, the artist responsible for much of Life’s branding and its fanciful chalkboard menus.

Hey, if you want to own a piece of East Village restaurant history, it’s either this or those Ratner’s buttons.

Kristal Family Sells CBGB, New Owner Speaks

Joey Ramone May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001Francisco Daum Flowers outside of CBGB in 2001, after Joey Ramone died of lymphatic cancer.

The CBGB brand — and the merchandising empire that comes with it — changed hands three months ago, a representative of the new owners told The Local.

“We bought the entire estate, the physical assets of the former club. They dissembled it as a theatrical unit so in theory they could put it back together — say, 80 percent they salvaged,” said the spokesman for the new owners, who wished to remain anonymous in anticipation of an announcement in the coming weeks regarding the return of the legendary club. “There are all kinds of tapes, photos, and the global trademarks and licensing.”

The spokesman added that his group bought the CBGB estate from Lisa Kristal, the daughter of the founder of the club, Hilly Kristal. A man who answered the phone at Ms. Kristal’s number had no comment regarding the transaction.

“In negotiating the sale, Lisa Kristal was motivated much more by preserving the legacy of CBGB than she was by money,” said the spokesman in an e-mail. “We had to court her for seven months, proving to her that we would be the best guardians of the name. She wanted to know our plans. I would stay up until two in the morning, night after night listening to her wonderful stories and telling her about the ways in which we were going to keep CBGB alive through loud music and by supporting new bands.”
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