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Boots & Saddle Drag Bar Eyes Actors Playhouse Space After Local Opposition

 Boots & Saddle co-owner and manager Rob Ziegler outside the bar.
Boots & Saddle co-owner and manager Rob Ziegler outside the bar.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

WEST VILLAGE — Embattled drag bar Boots & Saddle has negotiated a lease for a new location as part of its ongoing fight to stay in the West Village.

The bar, which has to leave its longtime home on Christopher Street soon because of rising rents, now hopes to reopen in the former Actors Playhouse, a spacious underground venue at 100 Seventh Ave. South, after previous proposals for new locations sparked protests from the community. 

"We are hopeful that our efforts to find a more suitable space will negate or at the very least reduce community opposition," said assistant manager Michael Richardson.

Boots & Saddle's attempt to get a liquor license for a new space was most recently shot down by Community Board 2 in September, after locals feared that a proposed location at 47 Seventh Ave. South would be too noisy and would expose children to daily drag performances. 

After that heated meeting, Robert Ely, co-chairman of CB2's State Liquor Authority licensing committee, encouraged Boots & Saddle owners Rob Ziegler and Ron Silver to check out the old Actors Playhouse space instead, because it is entirely below street level and has no residences above it. Ely hoped the location would mitigate concerns about noise.

Ziegler and Silver took Ely's advice and negotiated a lease for the space, Richardson said.

Boots & Saddle will return to the community board for a hearing on Nov. 10, and Richardson hopes to finally get the board's advisory approval for a liquor license at a new space.

"Boots & Saddle has been a part of the West Village community for over 40 years and we want to remain so," Richardson said.