The East Village must be getting used to all these closings by now. First, it was Mars Bars on East First Street; then Banjo Jim’s on East Ninth Street; and, now, the Lakeside Lounge on Avenue B will see its doors close for good. In an e-mail message to Runnin’ Scared, co-owner Eric Ambel confirmed that, “after 16 years on Avenue B, our last night will be April 30.” What a shame.
In 1997, just as Alphabet City was recovering from a decade of turmoil and crime, Jim Marshall and Eric Ambel opened the Lounge right next door to the now-closed Life Cafe on 10th and B. It was a place where “the stories you’ve heard [about it] are most certainly true,” according to its website.
Known for its local musical acts and jukebox, the Lounge soon joined the ranks of the East Village underground rock scene, giving a home to groups like Spanking Charlene and Tom Clark & the High Action Boys. It didn’t pay the bands or charge a cover; it was a symbiotic relationship where the bands got airtime and the bar goers were entertained for the night.