The fate of beleaguered boîte 205 was to be decided today by the State Liquor Authority, but as tends to happen, the hearing has been held over till the next meeting. Meanwhile there’s evidence that another protracted case has been resolved: A friend of Grub Street tried to go to Le Souk last night only to find it closed. Her waiter at a nearby Moroccan restaurant (who happened to have worked at Le Souk) told her it has been shuttered for a week but didn’t know anything more. Since last December the place had been operating under a temporary license while it awaited word on the status of its renewal request. Can we take it the SLA has denied it once and for all? We’ve asked the Authority for the official word, but if you have any insight, do leave a comment.
Update: It would seem that Souk gang was merely on suspension after a nasty flame-permit issue — and seven other charges, which have since been dropped.
La Esquina’s basement and the Box are open again, but Serge Becker’s woes may not be over. Alberto Armendarig, a reporter for Mexican newspaper La Reforma tells us that last Saturday at 205 (another joint Becker has his stamp on), he was choked by a bouncer and bodily ejected from the club in such a way that he tried to press assault charges (cops didn’t find any marks on him and told him to brush it off and call it a night). Sounds like any other Saturday to us, but Armendarig says he’s now on a quest to close the club down. As it turns out, he may not have to lift a finger.
205 to be Eighty-Sixed?
Last night 205 and neighbor the Box, which opens in a couple of weeks, had a veritable door-off: A 205 list keeper unsympathetically turned away skater types who came to celebrate Vice's “Girls” issue while a doorman at the Box iced down uptowners trying to huff and puff their way into the Me magazine party (sample bluster: “My sister was a model in this week’s magazine. She must be on the list”). Passing both scenes on our way to admire the taxidermy collection at Home Sweet Home, we snapped a pic of the Boxcar (“The Box, 189 Chrystie St.” a decal on the door reads). Is this the personal pimpmobile of Simon Hammerstein, enfant terrible of the theater-owning Hammerstein family and proprietor of the Box? And is that tear in the side fallout from the Freemans–Box showdown? We’ll say this much: If you pull up in front of the place in this hooptie, at least you’re getting in. Daniel Maurer
205, the de facto after-party spot for downtown's skaters, bar owners, and artists (not to mention Serge Becker's entourage of models), is such a hipster destination that they recently turned away Keanu Reeves (according to the friend who tried to get him in). But the last laugh may ultimately be on the club, as evidenced by a bright-orange restraining order on the door, served in August to the club's previous incarnation, 6's and 8's, after underage drinking and drug-use busts. Having unsuccessfully tried to reach a settlement with the city, 205 owner Guy Jacobson will go to State Supreme Court on Tuesday to fight the possibility of being temporarily closed under the three-strikes-you're-out Nuisance Abatement Law. Jacobson (who also owned 6's and 8's and currently owns Café Deville and Belmont Lounge) says that since the order was issued, police have gone undercover as taxi drivers, asking patrons leaving the club whether they were offered drugs. But he insists the city has 205 unfairly pegged: "Belmont Lounge and Café Deville used to be drug dens before I bought them; I cleaned them out. I have a license to sell one drug; it's the one behind the bar."
— Daniel Maurer