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The Bottom Line - Going Under?

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Bottom Line Closes For Good (7)
RIP: The Bottom Line (7)

GUEST,Mary Granata 16 Sep 03 - 01:58 PM
wysiwyg 16 Sep 03 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 16 Sep 03 - 04:33 PM
Zhenya 16 Sep 03 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,pdq 16 Sep 03 - 09:18 PM
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Subject: The Bottom Line Going Under?
From: GUEST,Mary Granata
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 01:58 PM

Yesterday a sad news announcement was made. NYU is trying to evict The Bottom Line ( the club that has hosted and help launch the careers of Al Stewart, Mos Allison, Harry Chapin, Stan Getz, Tom Paxton, Roseanne Cash, Kenny Rankin, Asleep at the Wheel, Al Kooper, Leon Redbone, Loudon Wainwright III, Roger McGuinn, David Johansen (with the New York Dolls), Tower of Power, Doc Watson and of course, David Bromberg and Bruce Springsteen. And this is a very partial list.) from the space it has occupied since 1974. This would be a terrible blow all touring musicians and their fans. Please read the remarks below and e-mail NYU, telling them to save The Bottom Line

A note to friends of the Bottom Line from
Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky:

The doors may soon close on a thirty year legacy.

The Bottom Line has been presenting live music since February 12, 1974, and is owned and operated by Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky, who have been friends since childhood. The Bottom Line is unique because it is a "mom & pop store" amidst a crowded field of conglomerates and corporations. Our main commodity in the club has always been and will always be the music.

The Bottom Line has always been, and still is, run by Allan & Stanley, who take a great pride in what they do. They always have and still love the music.

The problem is as follows:

Even before the terrorist attacks on the World Trader Center, the nation was already feeling the downturn in the economy. Our business, along with so many other small businesses, has not been able to recover since the tragedy of September 11th. Attendance to shows has declined. In addition, our customers are feeling economic stress, our bills have been multiplying, and we have found ourselves substantially behind in our rent. Our landlord, New York University, has started eviction proceedings.

During our negotiations with New York University to resolve this situation, the Bottom Line has presented several different proposals to pay our past due rent, while at the same time keeping current with a new, higher rent proposed by NYU. Unfortunately, NYU has not been open to negotiating a long-term solution to our mutual problem. We want to pay off our debt to NYU, but to do so we need to remain in business. To stay in business, we need a promise from NYU that, if we pay off the rental arrears, they won't evict the Bottom Line.

Unless we can sway NYU to give us this basic assurance, we won't be able to take the steps necessary to save the Bottom Line. If you'd like to help, here's what you can do.

Let NYU know how important the Bottom Line is to the metropolitan area and what a loss it would be if the city was downsized by another landmark - particularly if you are an alumnus/a of NYU. Send a note to John Beckman assistant vice president of the Office of Public Affairs at or Lynne Brown, the VP for University Relations and Public Affairs at NYU at Please send us a copy at - and please forward this message to your friends.

Please support The Bottom Line now. Do not put off seeing a show today because we may not have a tomorrow.

You can e-mail us at:

Thank you for your support.

Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky
The Bottom Line

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Subject: RE: The Bottom Line
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 04:06 PM

Thanks, Mary. Here's more... The following article originally appeared at:,0,5189994.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-education



Bottom Line' Hits Its Bottom Line
By Monty Phan, Staff Writer
September 16, 2003

The Bottom Line may be done in by its bottom line.

The Greenwich Village club -- which helped launch Bruce Springsteen nearly 30 years ago -- is close to shuttering after falling behind on years of back rent to its landlord, New York University, which has begun eviction proceedings, the venue's owner said yesterday.

Allan Pepper, who opened the club in February 1974 with partner Stanley Snadowsky, said the Bottom Line owes about $185,000 in rent going back about 16 months, when the business, already hurting from the economic downturn, was further walloped by the effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It has been without a lease for about three years, and although Pepper is hopeful that a payment plan can be worked out, the owners refuse to agree to one unless a new lease is drawn up. A hearing on the case, which was filed in New York City Civil Court, will be next week.

"It makes it impossible to go forward with plans for the future without even letting us know if there is a future," said Mark Alonso, Pepper's attorney.

A New York University spokesman didn't return calls for comment.

Pepper, 61, doesn't dispute the club's debt and the school's duty to collect it, but he laments the passage of a time when NYU's relationship with the Bottom Line was more than merely landlord-tenant. In the 1970s and '80s, he said, NYU boasted of the club's proximity to campus (the Bottom Line is at West Fourth and Mercer streets) in recruiting materials. Now, the administration's attitude is that the club's rent, about $11,250 a month, is only about half the going rate, Pepper said.

"Now they view us as undervalued real estate ... which is very unfortunate and disheartening," Pepper said.

Its lease limbo has made performers wary of committing to any fund-raisers or big events, including what would be the Bottom Line's 30th anniversary in February. For now, the best the owners can do is rely on its patrons; the owners have outlined the situation on the Bottom Line's Web site -- -- and encourage fans to write NYU.

"If enough people indicate to them how important this place is in their lives," Pepper said, "then maybe they'll rethink their position."

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Subject: RE: The Bottom Line
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 04:33 PM

The Bottom Line is that people aren't going to shows, and that is a trend that was happening before 9/11. 9/11 only sped up the demise.

What is happening at the Bottom Line is happening all over the country. "Fans" of the music that the Bottom Line presents do get out to concerts as often as they used to because many of them have grown older and moved out to the suburbs.   Students at NYU really aren't making up the audience at the Bottom Line anymore.

The other side of the coin is that NYU is hurting for classroom space. To paraphrase a quote from someone interviewed in a New York Times article, the closing of the Bottom Line may hinder the growth of the next Bruce Springsteen, but the lack of a classroom could hinder the development of the next Albert Einstein.

It is a great club and a historic landmark. Alan Pepper is one of the nicest people in the industry - a true visionary. I hope that something can be worked out. I will miss their french fries in addition to the great music.

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Subject: RE: The Bottom Line - Going Under?
From: Zhenya
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 06:18 PM

I just became aware of this on the news (and from two articles in the NY Times) in the last two days. As a Manhattanite who lives one neighborhood away from the Bottom Line, and goes there occasionally, I have somewhat conflicted feelings about this right now. On the one hand, I've really enjoyed any shows I've seen there, and have gone there at least a few times a year for almost 20 years. So I want to write them a note of support, in the hopes of keeping them open.

On the other hand, I don't really go that often. I happened to be there about a week and a half ago, but that was the first time in over a year. I go to a lot of concerts overall, and in general have the time and money, so what's the reason I don't go there more? I guess for me the mix of performers is fairly eclectic, and I'm not interested in everything they have. Another problem is simply more competing venues. In some cases, new places have opened, and in some cases, my own tastes have broadened so that there's a wider range of performances I'm considering going to.

Sometimes there's an actual conflict, with two performances scheduled at the same time. Sometimes I do feel the squeeze on money or simply my energy level. It's also sometimes been noted over the years that they don't always publicize the concerts well, or to the right markets. Since I don't go that often, I sometimes simply forget about checking to see their listings (now easily done over the internet, or they've always had a phone tape) and don't hear about the concerts until after the fact.

I will probably still write a letter of support, but these are some of the issues for me.

P.S. I would miss those French fries too!

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Subject: RE: The Bottom Line - Going Under?
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 09:18 PM

For $185,000 NYC is lucky to get one full professor for one year. Can't they make a learning environment/extension status for the club? Some of the courses offered in college these day are better eliminated, IMO, so pick one and save the club.

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