Fashion designer moves into N.Y. club CBGB's space

Wed Apr 9, 2008 5:20pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The punk spirit of CBGB lives on, but it has cleaned up its act.

Menswear fashion designer John Varvatos has opened his newest boutique in the space that once housed the famed underground music club CBGB, where popular acts such as Blondie, Television, The Ramones and Patti Smith played.

Varvatos has preserved much of CBGB's poster- and graffiti-covered walls and recreated some of its gritty mood with dark wood, Victorian-style crystal chandeliers, velvet curtains and a black ceiling.

The much heralded CBGB, born in 1973, closed its doors in October 2006 after a rent dispute.

CBGB's stage is gone, as is its distinctive original door. But the space still has a slightly cavernous feel, and the decor of guitars, drums, vintage hi-fi equipment and classic album covers evoke its history. Plans call for an in-house disc jockey and concerts by up-and-coming artists.

"We're not trying to reinvent CBGB's," said Varvatos in an interview this week. "We're just trying to respect the past and let people have an opportunity to enjoy what was there.

"It sounds kind of hokey, but the walls kind of talk in that place," he added.

But the floors are no longer sticky, the air is clear and the bathroom is clean.   Continued...

<p>Patrons of the music venue CBGB are seen outside the club in New York City October 14, 2006. CBGB is closing on October 15 after 33 years as a music venue. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>