CBGB Makes it Official: September 30th It Will Close Its Doors and Move To Sin City
By: Spacelab Research Staff
Now it's more official than official — legendary New York punk club CBGB will close its doors at the end of September, a month earlier than planned. There's lot's of news in the works... this is the story that never stops.
First off, in a recent interview with MTV, CBGB owner Hilly Kristal said that he's planning on moving the club out to Las Vegas, and the ball's already rolling on the move. That's right... CBGB in Sin City! It's not exactly a hot bed for the kind music that CBGB has always featured, but Kristal and his business partners are banking on the CBGB name to make it an icon in Vegas.
"We want to take a lot of this stuff with us, and I think we're going to move to Las Vegas. I have some developers who have some really great space in the downtown area. So, I'd say sometime in spring we'll be in Las Vegas. It's a big undertaking, and these developers are putting the money into it, and I want to make sure that, for my benefit and theirs, we make this work," he told MTV. "I'll make it CBGB, and even more so. I think we can do better, starting in a new place, where the city's for it. It's more important to try to keep things going and moving up."
He plans on taking a lot of the stuff from the club's current Bowery location and moving it out to Las Vegas. Maybe it'll be like a Hard Rock Cafe of the punk underground, only cooler than the HRC. He says that he doesn't have any choice, as the rent in New York is so out of hand that he can't afford to move the club anywhere else in the city.
He's also got the back rent issue to deal with, as the reason the club was evicted in the first place was because it owed the building owner, the Bowery Residents Committee, $90,000. There's no word on how the back rent issue was settled, but CBGB did accept a rent increase back in December that raised the rent to $35,000 a month.
Also, Hilly Kristal learned that he had lung cancer, something that seems to have taken over his life for right now. "It's in one spot. They will be able to have great surgeons cut it out — a part of my lung. But I have to tell you, chemotherapy ain't fun. It's going to be corrected, and things will be good."
Then he can focus on the move to Las Vegas. So is this the end of CBGB in New York forever? Maybe not. He'd like to eventually open a new location in New York in a few years, when he's back on his feet financially.