Updated Dojo’s Restaurant, a cozy and unpretentious spot a few blocks from the park on West 4th Street at Mercer, a favorite of many (partially perhaps because it’s not a bland and/or expensive artisanal something or other), will be closing.
Dojo’s used to be a place you stopped in before a show at The Bottom Line across the street if you were in a hurry and wanted a nearby inexpensive, quick meal. Of course, that was awhile back as The Bottom Line itself closed in 2004. Did you know that the owners are still trying to reopen the club in a new location? (More on that in a minute.)
As far as Dojo’s closing, Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York reported Friday that the restaurant will close this summer.
The original Dojo opened in 1974 on St. Mark’s Place — that closed, also due to increased rent, the reason the remaining West 4th Street location is closing as well.
On Dojo’s web site:
...in 1991, Dojo in the West Village was created – both Dojo East and Dojo West were favorite local gems. Unfortunately in 2007, Dojo East was closed down due to high rent!! BUT Dojo West is still going strong!
Not much longer.
Dojo’s felt like it had been there longer than 1991. Now, what are the chances something bland like what replaced the Bottom Line (below, NYU building) and also expensive will arrive, only in the form of a yogurt shop or chain restaurant? What kind of business can afford the high rent the landlord is apparently looking for? Should we start a fight to save it?
As for famed music nightclub The Bottom Line, I never fully understood the entire story of the closing, but, in February 2011, the owners wrote on their website that they are still looking to reopen (who knew?):
The Search For The Club
Over the last four years, we have been so close to a deal that landlords presented us with leases all that remained was negotiating the lease. However, each time that last step turned out to be more prolonged and difficult than we anticipated (one negotiation lasted for a year and a half). We’ve been very close to an agreement four times, and each time the deal couldn’t close. These negotiations are difficult and time consuming. Until we’re sure that a deal can close, we’re hesitant to post a false positive. But there’s one thing you should be certain of: Just because nothing’s posted, doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. The one thing Stanley and I are certain of is the process goes on. To paraphrase Arnold in The Terminator, “We’ll be back.”
Keep the faith. Keep the e-mails coming.
Allan and Stanley
Update: Thanks to Seth who wrote: “I think it is less likely that the Bottom Line will reopen since one of the founders passed away in March 2013.” He reminded me that Bottom Line co-owner Stanley Snadowsky died in March of this year. (Thanks for the link too, Seth!) So, unless remaining owner Allan Pepper is ready to ‘give it a go’ alone, it does seem very unlikely.
This makes it all even a bit more depressing. I was rereading some of the back history of how NYU (which owns the building) wouldn’t work with the club on the rent and costs for renovations despite the fact that NYU, as an educational institution and non-profit, ‘enjoys’ – and profits from – low real estate taxes. (The Villager, 2003.)