Outcry Forces Owners to Ditch Bungalow 8's Celebrity Brand for New Pub

By Mathew Katz on May 11, 2012 6:48am 

LDV Hospitality wrote in an agreement that Amy Sacco
LDV Hospitality wrote in an agreement that Amy Sacco "is not and shall not be an employee, owner or consultant" at their West 16th Street location.
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Evan Agostini/Getty Images

CHELSEA — Plans to revive a popular celebrity hangout in Chelsea died after outrage from neighbors concerned about noise, long lines, and limo traffic"

A company that purchased the brand of Bungalow 8 — a West 27th Street club known for its velvet ropes, star sightings and raucous partygoers who plagued neighbors from its opening in 2001 until its closure in 2009 — will drop the name for a new venture planned at 357 W.16th St.

The decision followed a backlash from neighbors and Community Board 4 who discovered a nameless gastropub planned at the location was actually the future home of a Bungalow 8 reincarnation, and that its former owner Amy Sacco would be involved. 

In an agreement with the board signed on May 1 and sent to the State Liquor Authority, brand owners LDV Hospitality wrote that the space on West 16th Street will now not be called Bungalow 8.

The agreement went on to state that Bungalow 8's former owner, Amy Sacco, "is not and shall not be an employee, owner or consultant of the applicant" at that location.

Last week, DNAinfo reported that the State Liquor Authority had put a liquor license for the space on hold after outraged CB4 officials read reports that LDV planned to open the space under the Bungalow 8 name and that Sacco would be brought on.

The company had originally applied for a liquor license for a gastropub in the space in January, but told Community Board 4 and SLA that it had yet to name the location.

"After our discussions with the principals of our concerns in placing the Bungalow 8 brand at that West 16th Street location, an amicable resolution was reached among the parties that the application as originally submitted will move forward with no involvement by Amy Sacco or use of the Bungalow 8 brand," CB4 District Manager Bob Benfatto wrote in an email.

Both LDV Hospitality and Amy Sacco could not immediately be reached for comment.

CB4 Chair Corey Johnson decried the bar's initial application — which did not include the owners' intention to use the Bungalow 8 name and relationship with Sacco — calling it a "bait and switch" and fired off a letter to the SLA.

Johnson said the group was concerned the name would draw the same sort of velvet-rope, bottle-service based atmosphere the original Bungalow 8 was known for.

Johnson said last week that the bar's owners, restaurateurs John Meadows and Curt Huegel, had originally shrugged off the board's concerns at a tense meeting on May 2.

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