The Coop’s boyfriend is opening a gay bar in Williamsburg

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From The Observer:

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper‘s long-time boyfriend Antoine “Benjamin” Maisani is opening a fourth New York City gay bar, this time in Williamsburg, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Maisani, business partner Pablo Raimondi and Chris Canon are partnering to open the new bar and restaurant at 617 Grand Street near Leonard Street, apparently to cater to the Williamsburg clientele. They took over the space occupied by Ooba restaurant, lounge and bar and the location is currently under construction.

Sources said the lease was for 10 years and the asking rent was approximately $6,500 for about 2,000 square feet on the ground floor and 2,000 feet on the lower level.

Eastern Consolidated‘s James Famularo, who represented Mr. Maisani in the deal, declined to comment. Broker Maria Fernandez of NYCRS represented Ooba. She said the husband-and-wife duo that was operating Ooba grew tired of the nightclub business after about six years.

“It’s going to be a nice gay bar,” Ms. Fernandez said. “It’s going to be great for the neighborhood.”

Greenpoint has a troubling double-standard for its gay & lesbian community

Veronica's People Club, credit: City Room

Veronica’s People Club, credit: City Room

The world Lena Dunham showcases on Girls may seem like a bastion of liberal politics, but many in the neighborhood aren’t too happy about Greenpoint’s increasing gay population. Thankfully, there haven’t been any reports of anti-gay attacks recently, but we’re disturbed by the double-standard imposed on local businesses that have a gay clientele. The latest case in point is Lulu’s — a struggling bar on Franklin Street that wants to “come out” but is prohibited by its lease to operate as a a gay/lesbian club:

Owner John McGillion wants to take advantage of changing demographics in the neighborhood and turn it into a gay and lesbian bar. The only problem? His landlord specifically wrote in his lease that he can’t do that.

According to the clause in his lease: “The leased Premises shall be used by Tenant as a restaurant and bar. It shall not be used for adult entertainment and shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and/or restaurant.”

“I am barely scraping by on the proceeds of the bar…If I am permitted to operate a gay bar at the premises I believe that I will be able to make a considerable profit,” McGillon wrote in the lawsuit he filed against his landlord, Guard General Merchandise Corp., last week. He told the Post he’s been battling with the landlord for the last year to make the change to no avail.

Just a few store fronts away, Veronica’s People’s Club, a popular (and really rather mellow) gay club, was forced to shutdown in 2012 by the local community board. It wasn’t the first. Blackout, a gay club on Manhattan Ave. closed in 2011 in part because of complaints from its neighbors. City Room has more on the Veronica’s closure:

In Veronica’s case, the owners of the building next door charged in a lawsuit filed in December that “unreasonably loud music and noises of all sorts are emitted” from the bar at all hours and that the music sent vibrations through their apartment, causing them “to become nervous, anxious and agitated.”

Next Magazine spoke with promoter Kelly Gorman last year who ran a party at Veronica’s called Kielbasa: [Read more...]

Period-Themed Gay Night At Bushwick’s Bizarre Bar

Via Bushwick Daily

Have you heard of Bizarre, the new absinthe bar located off of the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ stop? Of course you have! It’s the neighborhood’s newest, stylish space complete with huge windows, a projector playing scenes from silent movies, and quaint antique decor. Some might even say it’s the Cat’s Meow. Luckily, the management and hostess Merry Cherrie have noticed the buzz and have begun a new, monthly queerparty named just that.

Cat’s Meow occurs one Saturday a month, and queers and allies from all over Brooklyn can enjoy the beats of DJ David John Sokolowski, the humor and grace of Merrie Cherrie, and performances by performance artists, dancers, and drag queens of all kinds. The debut Cat’s Meow occurred this past Saturday, March 9, 2013, and featured a 1920’s to 1940’s period theme.

More information about Bizarre Bar in our listings.

Veronica Peoples Club Second Greenpoint Gay Club Forced To Close For “Noise” Violations

Say it isn’t so!

Kielbasa has packed its bags and moved into Manhattan. Following a string of noise complaints, Veronica Peoples Club has been forced to close at the end of the month. Following Blackout, VPC will be the second gay bar in Greenpoint to go on the chopping block in the past six months, apparently for noise-related reasons. Sounds a little fishy to me—gay bars seem to be taking alot of heat these days. Some neighbors just don’t get it. Where are we going to dance now?

Seems fishy in light of the demise of BlackOut. Must be the work of those neo-nazis.