Mini Rex Sober Karaoke Still Missing in Action

Posted on: October 22nd, 2019 at 5:06 am by

Nearly three years later, the Mini Rex/Juicebox Heroes sober karaoke concept is still missing in action.

The fall 2018 opening, and later, a targeted winter debut, did not pan out. Spring bloomed and summer sweltered and still no launch on Ludlow Street.

Much of the delay, at least initially, was owed to outspoken area opposition to the issuance of a full on-premise liquor license. Community Board 3 denied the Mini Rex application in April 2017, 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 Edouard Gave and Karin Elgai instead took the concept directly to the State Liquor Authority where a 500-foot ruling ultimately broke in their favor. Yet the full license is still pending.

Apparently the team is now only waiting on all its inspections.

In the meantime, mainstream press periodically publishes puffy lifestyle pieces about sober bars cropping up around the city.

“I really hope more bars come up and say, ‘Hey, sober people need options too,’” Elgai told Vice earlier this year. “We’re done hanging out in diners.”

The Mini Rex crew explained their pun-heavy, dual karaoke concept thusly in a prior Facebook post:

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.

Recent Stories

Full GovBall Lineup Announced for Summer 2020

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island, and Founders Entertainment has tapped some big names to kick off the celebration. Headliners for this year’s festival are GovBall veterans Tame Impala, alongside New York indie darlings Vampire Weekend. New additions to the top slots include venerable Fleetwood Mac […]

International Center of Photography Launches at Essex Crossing Next Week

For the International Center of Photography, four years of transition come to an end next week, as the institution plans its inauguration at Essex Crossing. The 40,000 square-foot museum and school, reunited for the first time since the midtown move, will debut on January 25 with a free “Opening Community Day.” Visitors on day one […]

Michelin-Star Chef Bringing Omakase to Former Black Tap on Ludlow Street

From shakes to sushi. After the epic bomb that was Black Tap, 177 Ludlow Street is now taking a more upscale tack. Omakase, which is Japanese dining for the ultra-luxe set. Real Estate Weekly has the scoop, reporting that a new mystery tenant, who currently owns and operates eight restaurants in New York and Tokyo, […]

‘Karvouna’ Evicted from the Bowery After Less than a Year

Restaurants can’t seem to make it work at 241 Bowery. The latest entrant, Karvouna Mezze, just joined the growing list of failures at this address. The City Marshal paid a visit to the restaurant and shut it down. All told, Karvouna lasted barely one year. Partners Dimitris Vlahakis, Wei Chen, and Chef Giuseppe Scalco (Merakia […]

Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze Announce New Documentary for Apple+

Apple yesterday announced that a new Beastie Boys documentary is coming to its Apple+ platform this spring. Right alongside the 26th anniversary of Ill Communication. Beastie Boys Story is just that – the history of the band as told by surviving members Mike D. and Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz. It’s based on the bestselling Beastie Boys […]