Drag Bar Boots & Saddle Looking to Move to Chelsea
CHELSEA — After 40 years on Christopher Street, drag bar Boots & Saddle could soon move north.
Owner Robert Ziegler has applied for a liquor license for a new Boots & Saddle location at 290 Eighth Ave., near West 25th Street, city and state records show.
The famous gay bar, known for its nightly drag shows and friendly vibe, was priced out of its longtime home at 76 Christopher St. and will soon shut down after four decades in the West Village.
The new 2,500-square-foot Chelsea space will be more than three times the size of Boots & Saddle's current home, allowing the owners to serve food alongside the drag shows.
"It will be more of a restaurant than a bar," Ziegler said of the 285-person spot. "A sit-down place with drag shows."
The new food menu will include pizzas, flatbreads, pastas, a three-cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon, and a selection of sliders and sandwiches.
The space was previously home to The Gates, a lounge and bar that closed in 2010. It has sat empty ever since.
Ziegler previously told DNAinfo New York that a new landlord at the Christopher Street location planned to raise the bar's rent by thousands of dollars a month, to the "high twenties."
The bar sought to reopen at 37 Barrow St. in the West Village but abandoned the plan after Community Board 2 shot down its liquor license application in May to avoid noise and traffic problems.
The Chelsea location's proposed license will go before Community Board 4's Business Licenses and Permits Committee at its next meeting, on Sept. 9, and will then need approval from the State Liquor Authority. So far, Ziegler has reached out to several community groups and said he hopes to get their support for the license.
"There's a lot of bad history in the area, and we need to figure out how best to operate," he said. "We like to be a good neighbor."