Boo!

Halloween triggers another hellish series of misfortunes for New York nightlife

Mercado agrees: "It's just like they are saying, 'Nightclubs—get the fuck out of New York City.'"

Bartsch—like another promoter, John Blair—got hit with a double whammy: Her party at Happy Valley is over now too. Blair, in the oddest and cruelest sequence of events, recently moved his Sunday-night gay bash from Spirit (closed under the Nuisance Abatement law) to Avalon (temporarily shuttered over a cabaret license) to Happy Valley (closed in a landlord dispute). So he now finds himself without a home. Again. In this game of musical chairs, the chairs are disappearing fast.

Happy Valley is the latest to lose the struggle between real estate interests and clubgoing interests. According to a source, the East 27th Street landlord is selling condos in the building but is having a hard time moving units because prospective buyers saw that their future lobby is currently a club. Bartsch released an e-mail statement over the weekend announcing the demise of both her party and the club itself: "The owners of the club lost the lease in a court battle with the landlord."

All dressed up, nowhere to go
photo: Tricia Romano
All dressed up, nowhere to go

However, when reached by the Voice, co-owner Joe Vicarisays, "We cannot comment on, confirm, or deny any of this at this time."

The Roxy, which has been around for more than 20 years, also sits on land that's increasing in real estate value by the day. It's perfectly perched in the up-and-coming West Chelsea area, where developers are aching to put in condos and high-rises. "The community doesn't want it anymore," Aguiar says of the Roxy. "Nobody wants an eyesore of a nightclub there."

Avalon has it still tougher. As a landmarked space, it is nearly impossible to modify— while the interior can be altered, the outside of the building has to be preserved. And even then, prospective buyers are hesitant to deal with the legalities of such a landmarked space. "The place will either be abandoned and deteriorate, or it'll be a nightclub," Blair says. "That's the truth of the matter."


flylife@villagevoice.com

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