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Burlesque Joint Could Share Location with Bowery Poetry Club

Outside the cafe, which is housed in the Bowery Poetry Club on the Bowery and East First Street.
Outside the cafe, which is housed in the Bowery Poetry Club on the Bowery and East First Street.
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DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

EAST VILLAGE — Longtime TriBeCa burlesque club Duane Park is close to brokering a venue-sharing deal with the Bowery Poetry Club that could keep both establishments afloat.

The Bowery Poetry Club at 308 Bowery plans to close its doors for renovations on July 17 and reopen under a space-sharing schedule that will let burlesque and jazz club Duane Park use the space Tuesday through Saturday and allow the poetry club to operate Sundays and Mondays, organizers said Thursday.

"It is an exciting moment of vision," said Bowery Poetry Club owner Bob Holman.

The partnership was first reported in the Tribeca Citizen.

Details such as who will pay renovation costs and the cost of running the venue were still being worked out, Holman said, adding that full details are still in negotiations.

Duane Park holds both burlesque and jazz shows.
Duane Park holds both burlesque and jazz shows.
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Duane Park

"We still have not completely signed up and I am just waiting for us to hammer out the details," he said.

"They are both really excited about it," said a source close to both teams, adding that Holman and Duane Park owner Marisa Ferrarin are longtime friends. "They are sticking together to keep entertainment alive."

Ferrarin could not be reached for comment.

Duane Park would continue to operate at its 157 Duane St. location of 25 years until the renovations are completed by October or November, a source confirmed.

The venue-share idea has been in the works since May and there are plans to collaborate on special events, she said.

Designs for the renovations have already been drawn up and dedicated patrons from both establishments can expect a Duane Park-look with a step-up in glamour.

"We are going to renovate the space and it is going to be gorgeous," said the source.

As for what the community's reaction might be to a burlesque club moving into the neighborhood, Community Board 2's district manager Bob Gormley said the plan was news to him.

"If someone wanted to put a burlesque club on the Bowery it could raise some concerns," Gormley told DNAinfo.com New York.

He recalled a previous application for a similar club five years ago on Kenmare Street that did not go down well with residents.

"It did stir the waters," said Gormley.

Holman said the venue's liquor license would remain under the Bowery Poetry Club and he did not intend to change its method of operations — such as sound restrictions and open hours — which might spare the joint-venture from going through the community board approval process.

The Bowery Poetry Club, a haven for the arts since 2002, has struggled in recent times. It attempted to raise $50,000 through crowd funding website Kickstarter in May, but the campaign was pulled three days after it went up, according to blog EV Grieve.

Duane Park is hopeful the collaboration will help its bottom line.

"Everyone has been priced out of the real estate market because of exuberant rent," said a rep for Duane Park, adding that the increase in foot traffic at the future Bowery location will be a big help to Duane Park.

"We are looking forward to the fact we are moving to a lively neighborhood," she said.