Lenox Lounge is dead. Long live Lenox Lounge.
The famous Harlem jazz club and destination was unfortunately shuttered at the very end of 2012 after a final New Year’s Eve party, but will be re-opening in a new location this summer.
Lenox Lounge was forced to close due to the doubling of its rent (allegedly to $20,000) at its original 288 Lenox Ave. location (between 125th and 126th St). But the club’s owner, Alvin Reed Sr., recently announced plans to move a few blocks uptown, still on Lenox Ave. at 333, but between 126th and 12th7 St, reports the New York Daily News.
“Just as I restored Lenox Lounge in 2000, I am determined to expand the brand just two blocks away,” said Reed in a press statement. ““Of course the famed Zebra Room will get a second act,” Reed said. “Lenox Lounge has always been a spot where everyone — from Harlemites to foreign tourists — could hang out and listen to great music. Lenox Lounge has always been and will continue to be less commercial and more authentic.”
The new location will reportedly be two floors, with an option for a third, and have an Art-Deco theme. Lenox Lounge was open since 1942. Reed, a retired city cop and Postal worker, purchased the property in 1988, before restoring it in 2000. The nightclub’s famed Zebra Lounge hosted the likes of Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, James Baldwin, Malcolm X and John Coltrane.
Lenox Lounge’s old space has already been claimed. Restaurateur Richard Notar, a managing partner at Nobu Restaurants, took over the lease and plans to open Notar Jazz Club as a restaurant and lounge that will be selling soul food.
Gotta love gentrification, right?
Photo: DNAinfo/Jeff Mays