315 Bowery
The end of an era arrived October 15, 2006 when CBGB's hosted their last live act. The club was evicted by its greedy landlord and forced to close. With the death of founder Hilly Kristal in August 2007 its fate was sealed: CBGB eventually became the... more
The end of an era arrived October 15, 2006 when CBGB's hosted their last live act. The club was evicted by its greedy landlord and forced to close. With the death of founder Hilly Kristal in August 2007 its fate was sealed: CBGB eventually became the John Varvatos boutique on the Bowery. Where punk made its mark in New York City, you can still buy vintage t-shirts, 33 r.p.m. records (what's a record you ask?) and trendy overpriced accessories. To quote Karl Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

Out on the Bowery, the renamed Joey Ramone corner on the street sign gives you an idea of CBGB's historic impact. Speaking of the Ramones, if you wander to the back door of the store you'll see the exact space where the cover photo for the Ramones' seminal album "Rocket to Russia" was shot.

What does CBGB stand for? You might be surprised to hear it stands for "Country Bluegrass & Blues," which is what the owner and founder of the club, Hilly Kristal, intended CBGB to be known for. As for OMFUG, it stands for "Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers" as in voracious eaters of music.

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East Village Description

CBGB CLOSED is located in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Long before the musical "Rent" brought in legions of pierced, tattooed teenagers from every corner of America (and drove up the rents), the East Village was an eclectic mix of elderly Ukranians and Poles, Dominican and Puerto Rican families, and assorted artists, wanna-be bohemians, punks, their followers, lovers and friends. (Did we leave anyone out?) Largely gone are the heroin dealers, all night parties, punk music extravaganzas and infamous Bagel Tree of the 1980s and early 1990s, but the real landmarks remain, including the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Tompkins Square Park, and Cooper Union. The Public offers some of New York’s finest Off-Broadway Theater as well as Joe’s Pub, with a diverse variety of live shows. Beautiful Tompkins Square Park offers something for everyone, including dog runs, basketball courts, a weekly market, outdoor music events, and occasionally local characters chatting late into the night to infrequent riots. To be fair, few other parks in America have played such an important role in radical or anarchist history.

Many long-time residents complain of the neighborhood’s recent gentrification, and skyrocketing rents forced even legendary punk club CBGB's to exit the neighborhood, replaced by a John Varvatos boutique. And while there are truly many new restaurants and boutiques dotting Avenues A, B and C, lots of the famous watering holes, dives, and other unclassifiably scrappy bars remain. Some of our favorites include Mars on lower First Avenue, Zum Schneider on Avenue C, 2A on the corner of Second Street and Avenue A, and Lit Lounge, with its adjoining Fuse Gallery. Make sure to check out the Polish butcher stores on First Avenue and the nearby Italian pastry shops, walk along the Ukranian strip of Second Avenue, try one of the Japanese restaurants on East Ninth Street, and also walk along St. Marks Place, one of New York’s most eclectic streets.

East 4th Street's Theater Row boasts cultural buildings which house eight theaters and twelve dance companies as well as a couple of community development groups. Among its members are New York Theater Workshop, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, Rod Rodgers Dance Co., WOW Cafe Theatre, Millennium Film Workshop, Duo Multicultural Arts Center, Teatro Circulo, Downtown Art, Alpha Omega Dance Co., Choices Theater, Teatro IATI, Cooper Square Committee and Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association.

The Nuyorican Poets Café is still going strong on East Third Street between Avenues B and C. Since 1973 its mission has been to create a multi-cultural venue that provides a stage for artists traditionally underrepresented in the mainstream media and culture. Poetry slams, theater performances, open jam sessions for hip-hop, poetry and jazz, as well as unique screenplay readings all take place on a weekly basis in this intimate cultural setting.

For film buffs, we would be remiss not to mention the Anthology Film Archives on East 2nd Street, a local theater best known for consistently showing the finest in avant-garde and experimental cinema. We also recommend the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street, home away from home for those who enjoy great acoustics and the company of die hard independent film fans.

The East Village is also home to the trendy Cooper Square Hotel as well as the charming Gem Hotel, making it a great neighborhood to enjoy your stay in New York.


315 Bowery
New York, NY 10003

Editorial Rating

Admission And Hours


Nearby Subway

  • to Astor Place
  • to 8th St/New York Univ -- 0.2

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