Mini Rex ‘Sober’ Karaoke Bar Prepares for Fall Opening

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018 at 5:07 am by

Mini Rex is almost a year-and-a-half in the making, yet is about a month from opening.

Build-out work has been ongoing throughout the summer at 87 Ludlow Street, the former five-year home of Leftfield (d. September 2017). It is here, just south of Delancey, that co-founders Edouard Gave and Karin Elga will impart a two-store karaoke bar with a “sober” sister called Juicebox Heroes. Booze and juice, split down the middle by an old tenement staircase.

Estimated time of delivery is sometime in the fall.

Mini Rex has ruffled feathers since its announcement back in the winter of 2017.

Photo: Mini Rex Facebook

The sale of assets met fierce resistance from locals seemingly every step of the way. Community Board 3 denied the Mini Rex application for full liquor in April 2017 (after a withdrawal the month before), due in part to confusion over how segregating those who drink (the Mini Rex half) from those who don’t (the Juice Box Heroes half) would even work. Principals Gave and Elga instead took the concept directly to the State Liquor Authority where a 500-foot ruling broke in their favor exactly a year ago.

In a prior Facebook post, the Mini Rex team noted the following about their concept:

Mini Rex and Juicebox Heroes are supportive and collaborative entertainment venues which offer the diverse community of the lower east side options. For the performance enthusiast the dual entrance space revolves around the level playing field of Karaoke, the accessible main level to become ADA compliant for the accommodation of all patrons regardless of their physical dexterity- an option sorely needed in New York. This venue is judgement free, a champion for its twenty-one and older clientele, and their choices- including a sober lifestyle. A discreet stamp at the door denotes the legal age requirement for entry and the visitors choice to imbibe, or not to. The interior further supports this choice with a plethora of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and different zones, Mini Rex which contains the bar and the Juicebox Heroes side which is alcohol free.

Mini Rex and Juicebox Heroes will operate within all zoning regulations, including business hours- out of respect to our commercial and residential neighbors. Quarterly, it will conduct a clothing swap, a sustainable practice that builds a sense of community and generates clothing donations to the nearby Bowery Mission. It continues it’s support of the sober lifestyle choices of LES residents by working with the local AA chapter and providing a 5x weekly meeting space via second entrance during non-operating hours. Additionally, it supports the community and respects the quintessential LES culture by serving as a platform for local art through the commission of multi-medium/artists work throughout the interior spaces.

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