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Living Room Moving From 154 Ludlow; Piano’s Looks to Take Over Space (Updated 5 p.m.)

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Image via Piano’s web site.

Along Ludlow Street’s music club row, Piano’s is already the biggest player, and now it looks like their empire is growing.  Documents filed with Community Board 3 show the owners are planning to take over the Living Room space next door at 154 Ludlow Street.

Jennifer Gilson and Steve Rosenthal opened the Living Room more than a decade ago.  Last month Gilson was interviewed for a Columbia University student publication about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, saying that the storm was a big blow.  They lost at least $15,000 and were in the process of applying for a small business grant through the LES Business Improvement District.

The decision to call it quits on Ludlow was likely in the works long before Sandy.  The names listed on the application are Dave Gelbard, Yoav Kipnes and Fumiko Kobayashi.   In addition to Piano’s, the team runs 7A and Virage in the East Village. It doesn’t appear that big changes are planned. “There will be scheduled performances of live/world music similar to the current method of operation,” the applicants note.  They do not intend to bring in outside promoters.

The proposal will be considered by CB3’s SLA Committee January 7 at 6:30 p.m., at the JASA/Green building, 200 East 5th Street.

UPDATED 5 p.m. Here’s an email blast just received from the Living Room:

Hi Friends of The Living Room. After 15 years in business and 10 years in our current space, The Living Room will be closing the doors at 154 Ludlow St at the end of January.  We will relocate to a new space next spring. We have truly loved having you over these last years. You are a huge part of our history and you made our time here special. Though it saddens us to leave, this is not the end of The Living Room. Although the skyrocketing cost of rent has made it impossible for us to keep our current location, we are actively negotiating a new space. We want nothing more than to keep the music going!  The cost of building a club from scratch is considerably higher than it was when we moved from our first space on Stanton St. 10 years ago,  and so we could use your help to fund the move and construction and be a part of the new Living Room. There are some cool items available with more being added weekly.  Thanks, Jennifer and Steve.

If you would like to support the Living Room, here’s the link.


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  1. So for all of my musician peeps who complain that the only thing a venue cares about is how many people you bring in (and I am guilty of this myself) let’s consider that The Living Room is now having to close because of huge overhead costs. Hopefully they will find another place soon but the next time you are asked how many people you can bring, think of it from the perspective of someone paying $50,000 a month rent or whatever. Anyway in meantime they have started a pledge to get in at a new place…here is the link…http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/livingroom

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