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Peep World Closed in Midtown

By Mathew Katz | April 11, 2012 1:20pm
The iconic red sign at Peep World, which closed down at the end of March.
The iconic red sign at Peep World, which closed down at the end of March.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

MIDTOWN — The Peep World has come to an end.

The storied peep show and porn emporium across from Madison Square Garden closed on March 26, according to Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, its long run coming to a climax with a fixture sell-off and $5 DVD sale.

The space is set to reopen as a bar, run by the owners of the Overlook Lounge on East 44th Street, later in the summer.

For decades, Peep World's glowing red sign was a pornographic beacon, drawing locals and tourists eager to purchase debaucherous videos and see live shows.

"It's a sad state of affairs that this city's perverts have so few places to go these days," said Ted, who identified himself as a "regular customer and fan" of Peep World, but declined to give his last name.

"I used to bring my buddies here from out of town, just to see the show," he added. "It was the right combo of funny and hot."

A worker at a busy variety store next door said Peep World's closing barely affected business.

"Those guys never really came in here. They'd head straight for the [other] shop, you know?" he said.

The spot on West 33rd Street is also a stop for discount carrier BoltBus, and several customers waiting to leave the city on Tuesday said they were relieved the corner would soon be a bit less trashy.

"I mean, I can see a bar being better. This place was always so sketchy," said Carla Onorati, 27, who was waiting for a bus to Washington, D.C.

"I don't know," added her friend, Anna Wittenstein, 26. "It's kind of the perfect New York goodbye and hello."

Patrick Evangelista, the manager of the Overlook Lounge, said the owner of Peep World was a holdover tenant and took some time to remove. Evangelista could not give a firm date when the new bar would open but said construction should begin within the next few months.