More than two years after it closed permanently, there are signs of life for the Upper East Side space that was formerly home to the legendary Dangerfield’s comedy club.
Upper East Site has learned that a new group is working to revive the storied venue — which first opened in 1969 at 1118 First Avenue, between East 61st and 62nd Streets, and closed permanently in 2020 during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic — including the name.
A representative for the planned club tells Upper East Site that licensing negotiations are currently underway to use the name Dangerfield’s, which, of course, comes from the iconic comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who co-owned the club and passed away in 2004.
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According to a filing with Community Board 8, in addition to comedy shows, the team behind the new Dangerfield’s also plans to host live music, including jazz at the famous club. The new owners even plan to fire up the kitchen again with a full menu for customers.
The filing comes ahead of next month’s CB8 Street Life Committee meeting — where new businesses seek a recommendation to serve alcohol as the first step in the long and arduous process of acquiring a liquor license from the state. Typically, a make-or-break decision for a bar, restaurant or club.
Dangerfield’s shut down like all public venues at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in New York City in March 2020 and would announce its permanent closure seven months later, revealing an end to operations after 50 years in a letter posted on social media — which blamed a lack of instructions from the state for how to reopen safely.
“The State of New York and New York City’s continuing Covid-19 lockdown, the banning of public venues, no official guidance as to when or if such public gatherings will be allowed or in what capacity, has placed a severe financial burden on Dangerfield’s making operations in New York City untenable,” Dangerfield’s wrote in October 2020.
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“Rodney Dangerfield Inc. … announces with great sadness that after 50 years of continuous operations we will be closing our New York City venue effective immediately.”
In addition to hosting comedy stars like Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey and Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay over the decades, Dangerfield’s also had a cameo in 2019 thriller Joker, based around the DC Comics villain, which served as the set for the film’s comedy club scenes.
We expect to learn more about the new venue on Tuesday, April 4th, when Community Board 8’s Street Life Committee takes up the new Dangerfield’s application.
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