By this time next year, CBGB — the iconic hub of American punk-rock — will cease to be on the Bowery. Through an agreement reached between the club's owner, Hilly Kristal, and his landlord, the Bowery Residents' Committee, CBGB will continue to operate in the same space it has occupied for more than three decades until October 31, 2006. Kristal has agreed to leave after that.
This week, Kristal told MTV News he was looking into a number of commercial spaces throughout Manhattan (including locations in and around Times Square and other lower Manhattan spots) where he'd move CBGB (see "Judge Suggests Solution To CBGB Lease Drama; Club's Owner Looking For New Space"). He's also considering switching coasts and relocating to Las Vegas should he have no luck in the Big Apple.
The agreement between Kristal and the BRC — a nonprofit that funds programs for New York's homeless — was helped along by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office, according to a press release issued Wednesday that announced the new deal. CBGB has been operating as normal since its lease expired on August 31. Kristal has agreed to pay near-market rent of $35,000 per month, an increase of $16,000 over what he was paying before the lease ran out, according to Newsday.
"We are happy that we could come to an amicable resolution with BRC and look forward to our final year on the Bowery," Kristal said in a press statement. "CBGB will expand and continue to provide great new music for our fans and be a developing ground for new artists, as we've done for over 30 years." Even if Kristal finds an adequate space for the club in New York, he is considering opening a second CBGB in Vegas.
Muzzy Rosenblatt, the BRC's executive director and Kristal's nemesis throughout the entire lease dispute, said in his statement that the "BRC is pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and can now concentrate on helping the needy and homeless of New York City."