Lots of people have been asking me about the Club Cumming situation, and so I thought I’d address it all here…
First of all I want to thank everyone who has reached out to express their support and concern about the bar having to stop DJs and live performance. It has been truly humbling to read how Club Cumming has become such a beloved and needed addition to the East Village - and especially to the queer community - since it opened only 6 months ago.
As I told the New York Post last April, my mission was to create ”a home for everyone of all ages, all genders, all sexualities, who all enjoy letting go and making some mischief. No judgments, no attitude, no rules, except kindness, acceptance and fun.” And I am so proud and happy to say that’s what has happened! I hear it from the people I encounter in the bar and around the East Village where I live, as well from the flood of emails and letters we’ve received since our problems became known.
So what exactly are our problems?
In a nutshell, when Daniel Nardicio and I became partners with the former Eastern Bloc owners Darren Dryden and Benjamin Maisani and opened Club Cumming, we had no idea that our liquor license did not include live performance or DJs (just background music). Had we known, we would have obviously added those to the license before opening as our whole ethos at Club Cumming is to offer our patrons the chance to hear and see the best in live music, comedy, theatre and everything else we can squeeze into our tiny space!
We became aware of the error via a notice from the State Liquor Authority, who in turn had been told of our mistake by our local community board. Immediately we consulted our lawyer and began the process of righting this wrong. Ultimately, he advised that we should stop all DJs and live performances to show the SLA and the Community Board we were complying and trying to make amends for our oversight.
We are very grateful that our case will be heard at the Community Board 3 meeting at 6:30 pm, on Monday, April 9, 2018 at Perseverance House Community Room, 535 East 5th Street (btwn Aves A & B). We will be pleading our case for the right to return live performance to our bar and allow once more our Club Cumming community to thrive. Please come along and support us, especially if you are a resident of the East Village or a close neighbor. Or you can send a message of support to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, the bar is open for fun and frolics, but we miss all our performers and DJs, as I’m sure they miss both the chance to express themselves and the income they are missing when we are on this hiatus. Hopefully we can welcome them, and all members of Club Cumming old and new, back soon! Thanks, Alan x
‘Club Cumming is the neighborhood’s best new addition in years. I beseech the SLA to give Club Cumming the permission it needs. It would be heartbreaking if the bar could not continue with its hugely successful and valuable mission: providing employment to myriad performers, showcasing exciting new work and infusing cultural lifeblood into the East Village’
Adam Feldman, theater critic, Time Out
‘It’s a place to gather with old friends and make new ones, and it upholds the best of the East Village’s legacy as a breeding ground for performance, inclusiveness, and style. It also provides work for a lot of talented people’.
Michael Schulman New York Times/The New Yorker