Fat Baby Closed Down on Saturday Night [UPDATED]
Fat Baby, the controversial Hell Square club on Rivington Street owned by Rob Shamlian, is finished. It turned off the lights for the last time on Saturday night after a dirty dozen years in business.
But a reboot of some sort is probably in the wings.
The closure is most likely linked to the purported sale of the nightspot. Indeed, a Boogie reader with knowledge of the matter relays info that seems to corroborate the transaction, but identity of the buyer is not confirmed. The tipster tells us that staff dispersed, and that the Fat Baby moniker will disappear after an extended “renovation” period. Apparently, the club will transform to attract a “higher-class clientele.”
You’ll recall that Darin Rubell, Jaime Felber, and Eric Kruvant (also behind Drexler’s and Boulton & Watt) pitched Community Board 3 back in June to acquire Shamlian’s remaining Lower East Side holdings, including Spitzer’s Corner and Los Feliz. Sale of the latter two establishments was approved and ratified by the advisory body, but the transfer of Fat Baby itself was denied outright.
Update: the Drexler’s team confirmed to us via email that they are not behind this rumored sale. Apparently, they gave up on it after CB3 voted no.
Fat Baby has been a thorn in the side of Hell Square residents pretty much since its arrival in 2005. CB3 initially approved the venue as a bar/lounge serving “pub sytle” food, without the promoted atmosphere of nightlife and dancing. In retrospect, neighbors called it a bait-and-switch. It’s always operated as a nightclub and music venue, and neighbors claim illegally. The establishment rowdy, noisy, and oftentimes violent. Indeed, two men were stabbed outside the club back in April after an altercation inside spilled onto the sidewalk.
Whatever happens here, it goes without saying that the Lower East Side Dwellers block association will be all over this…
We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.