A little over a week ago I reported that the Lenox Lounge was closing on New Year's Eve 2012. The old space is being taken over by Richard Notar one of the owners of the popular Japanese fusion spot Nobu in Tribeca (Robert Deniro is a co-owner). Well it has just been announced that the Original Lenox Lounge will re-open at 333 Lenox Avenue and 126th-127th streets.
The owner of the Lenox Lounge, Mr. Reed saw a doubling of his rent last year from $10,000 to $20,000 a month. That forced the beloved lounge which has been there since 1939 and saw the beginnings of such careers as Biilly Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane among many others and several movies like the remake of Shaft, American Gangster and a pilot for the show Mad Men have all shot there.
As the Lenox Lounge was on its last moments at its former location Halstead Property brokered a deal with the lawyers Tyreta Foster and Angelica Thomas (thanks for the Press release ladies) to bring the lounge to its new location at 388 Lenox Avenue, literally just a few street away on Lenox Avenue very close to the Corner Social and Cove Lounge. A lot of the original decor from the Lenox Lounge will also be moving with it to the new location.
Mr. Reed remarks from the press release best summarizes the negotiations and the opening of a new era in the Lounge, "Of course the famed Zebra Room will get a second act,” Reed continued. “Lenox Lounge has always been a spot where everyone--- from Harlemites to foreign tourists—could hang out and listen to great music. Lenox Lounge has always been and will continue to be less commercial and more authentic.”
That's a nice note to a great lounge. The new location will be on 2 floors with an option for a 3rd floor and the lease has been signed for 15 years so the Lenox Lounge should be around for a while.
The former location of the Lenox Lounge will be restored and renamed Notar Jazz Club. It will be interesting to see how both places will fare this coming summer, my hypothesis is that both will thrive and remain strong. Its great to see Harlem retain one of its original great nighclubs and also gain another good one.