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Gin Lane

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Meatpacking Makeover: Pizza Bar to Go Dry; Gin Lane to Make Way for a Restaurant

We’ve learned from nightlife broker Alex Picken that Pizza Bar has been bought out by its landlord and is likely to be repurposed for dry use. “Meatpacking rents have gone up,” says Picken. “You’ve got guys paying peanuts, and you’ve got fashion stores paying the cheese.” (Landlords are asking as high as $300 a square foot, we hear.) Picken has also heard that the space that recently housed Gin Lane is acquiring a new lease holder who will turn it into more of a restaurant. Picken, a meatpacking expert of sorts, is unfamiliar with the operators, so we probably aren’t talking about Kyky and Unik, who were recently bought out of PM and are experiencing delays with Merkato 55. More meatpacking movement: UrbanDaddy has the scoop on a new French restaurant operated by the owners of new club Kiss & Fly. It’s called Bagatelle — that’s a French word, not a portmanteau meaning “douche-bag clientele.” Related: In the Bag [UrbanDaddy] Meatpacking Rent Party: Lotus and Pizza Bar for Sale Breaking: Avalon Closed 'For Reservations,' Other Clubs Bite the Bullet

Per Se Raises Prices; Shill for Whole Foods, Win Food

You’re going to regret not going to Per Se the last time you had a chunk of change to burn: Thomas Keller’s luxe restaurant has raised prices for both the regular and vegetarian menus to $275 for nine courses. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Violence continues in the Flatiron club district, as two men were arrested for stabbing a patron and a bouncer at Club Spy after a fight erupted in the VIP room. [NYP] As part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Green the Capitol project, the cafeterias are getting a locavore makeover, with the goal to sell as much locally grown, organic food as possible. [WP]

Breaking: Avalon Closed ‘For Renovations,’ Other Clubs Bite the Bullet

When we walked by Avalon on Saturday night, we saw this “important notice” (important to fans of pecsibitionism, anyway) that Hunk-O-Mania is no longer in the house. A call to Hunk-O-Mania reveals that the former Limelight is “closed for renovations,” possibly for a couple of months. The State Liquor Authority’s Website indicates the club’s liquor license expired on January 1 (although it is apparently free to sell booze under a SAPA letter while the authority considers a renewal), but we’ve been told that the closure might have more to do with a possible change in ownership. The club’s financial woes and its landlord’s desire to turn it into a retail space (perhaps with a restaurant) were well documented in a Villager article about a year ago, so this doesn’t come as a huge shock. In fact, if indeed it does get a new owner capable of restoring it to its Limelight-era glory (hey, a clubber can dream), it could be welcome news.

Is Gin Lane on Death's Doorstep, or Will It Soon Be Reborn?

Eater recently "deathwatched" Gin Lane on the basis that the place wasn’t picking up its phone and its OpenTable page was offline. Fair enough — and now we’ve discovered the silence is because the kitchen closed three weeks ago and the dining room isn’t being used. A person involved in the restaurant’s operations says it’s getting a new chef (yet to be determined) and that the place isn’t for sale, but an industry source has heard rumors that the venue is hurting to such a degree that liquor suppliers who would normally give them a credit are delivering bottles COD. We wonder if this might pique the interest of Kyky and Unik, the boys behind PM and the upcoming Merkato 55, who, according to our source, were at one point interested in acquiring the space. Either way, Gin Lane is remaining optimistic — last night a sign outside the bar said “Welcome to Gin Lane. ENOUGH SAID.” Related: Deathwatching: Gin Lane Likely Finished [Eater]

Video Proof: NYC About to Be the City That Has It All

Earlier this week we lamented that you can’t ride a mechanical bull in these parts without first riding the PATH train. That’s fixin’ to change tomorrow, when subterranean Tex-Mex spot Johnny Utah’s opens with a $25,000 mechanical bull front-and-center in a seventeen-foot-diameter ring (the law requires eight feet on each side). The beast, which will have nonfunctional “grazing” and functional “running-of-the-bulls” hours, was custom-built and trucked in from Idaho by a cowboy-writer named Cody, who the owners (also involved in Gin Lane) say is “the bull guy” (visit mechanicalbulls.com if you want your own). “Our mechanical bull is our mascot,” says Bobby Rossi (the mascot, by the way, costs $10,000 per year to insure). “We’re not an adult Chuck E. Cheese.”