A New York City judge has ordered the eviction of the Bottom Line from the East Village location where the popular club has hosted live music for nearly three decades.
Manhattan Civil Court Judge Donna Recant ruled in favor of the location's landlord, New York University, which started eviction proceedings earlier this year after the club fell almost $200,000 in arrears on back rent. According to the ruling, the club must vacate the 15 West 4th Street location, which the University has said will be turned into classrooms. The eviction comes on the eve of a prominent birthday for the Bottom Line: The club would celebrate its thirtieth anniversary in February.
"Today is a dark day for the arts in the city of New York," a club statement read. "As a result of NYU's action, the music that has played for nearly thirty years at 15 West 4th Street will soon be silenced."
The club had been trying to reach a new agreement with the university over the past two months to no avail. A number of backers, including Sirius Satellite Radio and Bruce Springsteen (who played a legendary five-night stand at the club in 1975) offered financial support to the club that would have more than covered the cost of the back rent. Club owners Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky were seeking a long-term lease from the University, but the sides couldn't agree on numbers. NYU demanded renovations and thought the club's current $11,000 per month rent was half of the market rate, a figure the club disputed.
Despite the judge's ruling, the Bottom Line is still holding out hope that the university will reverse its decision. "NYU can still be the good guy here," a club spokesperson says. "They really have more power than the judge."