If anyone thinks there is a grain of hope left for Lenox Lounge in Harlem, forget about it! Read the latest article from The NY Daily News. Richie Notar is now publicly speaking about his plans for the vintage Harlem establishment. Notar told Community Board 10 “he does not want to change much.” However, Notar confirms he will change the name to Notar Jazz Club.
By the way, Notar and Alvin Reed crossed paths for the first time according to the article. That had to be interesting.
After reading the article, all I could think about is “what a pity that Notar does not see any value in saving the Lenox Lounge brand?” There are plenty of smart business people who have taken on well-known brands and successfully lifted those brands higher. Say Fiat? Say Izod? How about Puma? Guess Richie Notar is a play-it-safe-kind-of-a-businessman?
The good things coming out of this story is that Notar plans to hire Franco the Great to do a mural and Harlemites will continue to have a jazz club to patron, which won’t be the same only the structure will exist. Buh-humbug.
The new owner does not have the rights to the name so he has no choice but to change it:
“A new owner could not call the place the Lenox Lounge; Reed has said he owns the rights to the famous name, and he’s taking it with him.”
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/harlem-jazz-landmark-lenox-lounge-close-article-1.1215150
Thanks for commenting. Yes, I do know that Reed owns the name. The question is about saving Lenox Lounge? Why won’t Reed sell it to Notar? Why won’t Notar make him an offer he can’t refuse? Reed can’t pay the rent but he could sell the name too if he would really like the place to live on. There are options. It’s just those on opposing sides don’t want to budge and we as a community loose an iconic place.
Why should Reed sell his business when the primary reason that he has to shut his doors is that he cannot afford to pay the outrageous rent. No New York city neighborhood is immune to gentrification but what’s happening in Harlem is particularly offensive. There is to say this attitude that there is a great “revival” underway , that Harlem only now is “becoming the place to be” – how ridiculous not to mention incrediably arrogant.. Harlem has always been regenerating and finding ways to move forward whilst maintaing a sense of place and history. Adding something like Whole Foods to the neighborhood although convenient is hardly an accomplishment. The “boom” that many are claiming is underway is basically an explosion of consumptive not cultural activity. The demise of the Lenox Lounge being very much a case in point.
Rather sad and misguided if you ask me.
Sad, but it seems that Reed is not interested in selling in what I’ve read…at least they are going to preserve the facade and the ‘jazz’
Reblogged this on Gina Vergel and commented:
I got to have a drink at Lenox Lounge last week.
Glad Reed isnt selling Lenox Lounge brand. Something of iconic Harlem should not be for sale to outsiders who want to capitalize on Black culture. Bravo!
I like the name change! I worked at the Lenox Lounge and due to politics was not invited back to perform because of some stupid racist based and false accusations about me. I wish the new owner much success and a bright future. It would be wonderful to have a chance to work there again regardless of the name. I liked the club very much to perform in, and the piano was a fine instrument to play on. It is truly ashame that they did not appreciate me. The audience, tourists, loved m and enjoyed my performance.
So Alvin Reed commits decades to cultivating a venerable institution as well as neighborhood watering hole only to have Notar in one fell swoop, overtake the entire establishment. Notar contends that he has no intention of changing a thing and yet he does not have the respect to confer with the man who is critical to the house and the legacy that he so boldly claims he will uphold? I’m sorry to say but this is rubbish. Murals by Franco the Great will not redeem the place and money may pay the rent but what you can’t buy is heart, soul or authenticity. It will be a vessel, a physical shell but I am hard pressed to think it will be much else.