Lisa Cooley’s New Space at 107 Norfolk Opens March 16

The former Tonic nightclub at 107 Norfolk St. will be the new home of the Lisa Cooley Gallery.

The transformation of 107 Norfolk is nearly complete. The onetime home of legendary music club “Tonic,” has been undergoing a conversion in the past few months, as Lower East Side gallery Lisa Cooley prepares to take over the space.

This morning, there’s word on the first exhibition at 107 Norfolk, a 4800 square foot building in the shadow of the Blue Building.  There will be an opening reception March 16th from 6-9 p.m. The show is titled, “Today,” (after a Frank O’Hara poem) and will feature works from each of the gallery’s 11 artists.

As we indicated in January, the new space is four times as large as Lisa Cooley’s current home at 34 Orchard.  The Observer noted that the move “is significant for the Lower East Side, which, aside from a handful of large Chelsea-size galleries… has mainly been known for modestly sized spaces and emerging dealers.”


Lisa Cooley Gallery Expanding Into Tonic’s Old Space

The former Tonic nightclub at 107 Norfolk St. will be the new home of the Lisa Cooley Gallery.

In case you haven’t had enough news about Orchard Street in the last week or so, GalleristNY broke the news in a weekend exclusive that the four-year-old Lisa Cooley Gallery will leave its home at 34 Orchard, between Hester and Canal streets.

It’s good news, though: the gallery is relocating a few blocks away to 107 Norfolk St., the former home of Tonic nightclub, which offers four times the room it has now. The former club, which abuts the residential highrise, BLUE, has been the site of several failed proposals, including a “dining in the dark” restaurant.

The new digs will be designed by Reinaldo Leandro, of Ashe + Leandro, and include a separate space for private events and screenings, as well as a basement-level space.

CB3 Panel Rejects Mamajuana Team’s Plans for Old Tonic Space

Last night, the guys behind Mamajuana, who want to open a version of a popular Inwood restaurant in the old “Tonic” space, had a rough time before Community Board 3’s SLA Committee.  The panel voted 5-3 to deny their request for a new liquor license at 107 Norfolk, a building that has been idled since the popular music venue was closed three years ago.

CB3 cited a number of concerns, including reports from Washington Heights about noise complaints at the uptown location. David Cook, a longtime LES resident, said he was worried about crowd control and traffic backups on Norfolk, a narrow street that’s already home to several establishments (Schiller’s, the Back Room, Nurse Betty).

CB3 Wire: Oyster Bar Approved, Orchard St Woes

87 Stanton, the once and future home of the Slipper Room, and a new oyster bar.

Last night’s meeting of Community Board 3’s SLA Committee was mercifully short and uneventful. But a few liquor license applications did catch our eye.  For example, Rob Shamlian (Fat Baby, Mason Dixon, Los Feliz) and Frank Vivolo (Bruschetteria) got the go-ahead for their oyster bar at 87 Stanton. As Bowery Boogie reported recently, they’re taking the ground floor of the Slipper Room’s new building.

CB3′s October Agenda: Dans Le Noir Nixed?

Community Board 3 has posted its October meeting agenda, including an unusually short list of applicants seeking liquor licenses. But, as usual, there are some interesting items warranting further investigation.  Here’s one entry that caught our eye: “Mama Juana Cafe,” applying for a full liquor license at 107 Norfolk Street (pictured). This is the building that used to house Tonic, the popular music club. In August, you may recall, CB3’s SLA Committee signaled its support for another restaurant at this location — blind dining concept franchise “Dans Le Noir.” At the time, the applicants suggested they had not finalized a lease at 107 Norfolk.