There were rumors going around town that everyone from Chase bank to New York University to a Duane Reade was vying for the CBGB space on the Bowery. But it was John Varvatos that ended up taking over the lease after long-time occupant and club-founder Hilly Kristal was booted out.
Mr. Varvatos, who has long professed his admiration for rock and roll (and has used fellow Detroit native Iggy Pop as a model in ad campaigns) has been able to indulge his interest as few others have been able to, littering the basement of his historic new store with his old record collection and rock posters. After the official opening yesterday, Urban Daddy posted some pretty pictures of the scene there.
It remains to be seen whether a boutique of his pricey designs will alleviate the distress of the hardcore CBGB’s preservationists. According to Urban Daddy, Mr. Varvatos has gotten rid of the not-so-pleasant bathrooms and greenrooms, but kept the graffiti and stickers adorning the walls as well as pieces of the original bar structure. The clothing store also has a retractable stage and a rock radio station that will broadcast from inside the store (are there people who listen to the radio in Manhattan?) to maintain the space’s musical purpose. Mr. Varvatos even designed a 315 Bowery collection to be featured only at the CBGB location, according to Urban Daddy.