Is the Blue Note Jazz Club Coming to Long-Vacant Downtown Former Barnes & Noble Space?

10,000+ Square Foot Space in Greenwich Village at West 8th Street and Sixth Ave. Has Remained Vacant Since Jan. 2013

The corner building at West 8th Street and Sixth Avenue that formerly housed Barnes & Noble has remained vacant since December 31, 2012 when “Closed Forever” signs went up on the mega-chain’s door. Although many had mixed feelings about the chain, and linked it to the closure of too many independent book stores, it was nice to have a bookstore there. No one would have surmised that six years on the space would still be empty.

Washington Square Park Blog broke the news in September 2013 that TD Bank was coming when a reader wrote in with a tip. Scheduled to open in 2015, even securing Landmarks Preservation Commission approval for changes to the site; by April of that year, it was confirmed the bank would not be inhabiting the space.

It turns out TD Bank has held onto the lease all this time.

Now, news that Tsion Bensusan, owner of the nearby Blue Note jazz club on West 3rd Street as well as previously B.B. Kings music club (which closed last year), will be coming before Community Board 2’s SLA (State Licensing Authority) Committee on April 4th to discuss his application for Full Liquor On-Premises at the downtown Sixth Ave. site including a “Live Music Venue with rooftop and 4 AM closing time.” The applicant is “Corp. to be formed by Tsion Benusan.”

The space is 3 levels and was built in 1950. Prior to being Barnes & Noble, it was a B. Dalton book store; before that it was a one level Nathan’s hot dog shop (see photo below).

Local weekly, The Villager, believes the space will be the Blue Note (in a recent editorial, they surmise that the bank has been paying $200,000 a month for rent all this time). However, it could be a new jazz club venue for Bensusan, a music entrepreneur.

Dec. 31, 2012 B&N “Closed Forever”

In early 2016, WSP Blog wrote:

For over three years, the 10,000 square foot hulking structure sitting at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 8th Street in Greenwich Village has remained vacant after long-time tenant, mega-book seller Barnes & Noble closed on December 31st, 2012. Reason given for vacating: a “huge rent hike.” A sign placed in the window after the closure read “CLOSED FOREVER.” (It was soon removed.)

Nine months after the store shuttered, this blog got a tip that TD Bank was coming to 396 Avenue of the Americas. This was confirmed by DNAinfo; a bank spokesperson told the site, “The bank will open in 2015.”

Alterations to the building were submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on September 4, 2013 and were approved. Changes included: “installing signage, including resurfacing the existing sign panel at each street facade with dark green metal (Pantone 5535) and applying pin mounted aluminum signage, including a green (Pantone 361) square logo with white letters (“TD”), a green stripe, and 18″ tall white letters (“Bank”)

The Blue Note jazz club is located just blocks away at 131 W. 3rd Street between Sixth Avenue and Macdougal Street.

The space at 396 Sixth Avenue is still listed at Cushman & Wakefield.

At least they put up a mural! At some point, T.D. Bank commissioned this mural on the West 8th Street side:


H/T: The Villager: On a positive ‘Note,’ hope for a blighted corner

As it was… Nathan’s

Photos: Cathryn

Except last image of Nathan’s: Unknown


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Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:

Barnes & Noble 8th Street Closing November 30, 2012

Barnes & Noble Sixth Avenue “Closed Forever” January 11, 2013

Is TD Bank Coming to Former Barnes & Noble Space at Sixth Avenue? September 20, 2013

Former Sixth Avenue Barnes & Noble Site will not be a TD Bank April 28, 2015

Former Sixth Avenue Barnes & Noble, Three Years Vacant, Almost TD Bank, Now For Lease Again February 4, 2016

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4 thoughts on “Is the Blue Note Jazz Club Coming to Long-Vacant Downtown Former Barnes & Noble Space?”

  1. Fantastic news! Great space for a music club. Will be refreshing to get some artistic culture back to the area, which has become so sterile now that the 1% hedge-fund types ruined the area for everyone.

    • Hi VR, Thanks for your comment! It is good news potentially although the hearing for the liquor license keeps getting held over by the owner’s request… so not sure what that is about. We will see!


    • Thanks, Seth!
      I actually had that listed in an older post on the B&N space – but did not go back to read it until after. So, thanks for the reminder and link to photo!


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