Struggling Cake Shop Looks to Sell the Cafe, but Keep the Basement Live Venue
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Mr. Lower East Side at Cake Shop, January 2014
Anytime Cake Shop is in the news these days, it’s usually negative – about their ongoing financial struggles or how investors are sought to keep things afloat. And this time is no exception. For one reason or another, the business model simply isn’t working.
Now in its eleventh year, Cake Shop is looking to sell off the ground floor cafe/bar business while continuing to run the venue below themselves.
The following press release is taped inside the windows. Who’s gonna save their soul?
Cake Shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is looking for partners to buy the upper street-level space. The owners want to find a well-financed, like-minded equity partner to take over the business for the upstairs restaurant/bar. This way, we can survive and keep booking the best bands, comedians and reading series from all over the world in the basement-level venue and bar.
Do you want to create something special and own your own bar? Do you have a food concept that would kill it on Ludlow Street? Now is your chance to be a part of the iconic Lower East Side artistic history. Let’s make it happen!
Us: Cake Shop is an internationally known small music venue, bar and cafe. We want to focus on live music and performances, as we have built up great relationships with thousands of bands since 2005. We are looking forward to concentrating on showcasing our favorite artists, while providing a stage for new talent.
You: A passionate individual, or small group of friends, who are well-funded and have always wanted to own a bar or bring your food concept to the masses. To be clear- the food concept must be realized with an “electric” kitchen, as there will not be any hood fans for gas cooking. This could operate as two separate businesses, or a well-structured partnership with a passion to keep the Lower East Side alive and interesting.
We have 9 years left on our lease. Cake Shop wants to team up to continue to grow with our beloved changing neighborhood.
Cake Shop’s struggles have been well-documented for years through its various rounds of crowdfunding campaigns. During the last such cash drive, an investor named Michael Thieme reportedly floated a majority of the support funds to keep the venue alive. He and his wife joined the business in June 2015. They, together with owner-brothers Nick and Andy Bodor, signed a ten-year lease, and announced their commitment to keeping music the sole focus.
It’ll be a tough road ahead.