WEST VILLAGE — They're just about ready to saddle up.
Boots & Saddle, the decades-old gay bar that stood at 76 Christopher St. since the 1970s, is just about ready to open its doors at its new location on Seventh Avenue South, according to one of the bar's managers.
The bar was hoping to get final approval from the Department of Buildings at an inspection that was scheduled for this past Monday, to have the grand opening on Memorial Day weekend, but the agency canceled at the last minute.
"We may be delayed as our inspection was postponed, but it's real soon," said assistant manager Michael Richardson.
A Department of Buildings spokesman said the agency attempted to inspect the space on May 18 at 8 a.m. but no one was there to let them in.
But Richardson said they were told their inspection would be between 10 a.m. and noon. He said their architect was called at 7:45 a.m. and told to be there in 15 minutes, but couldn't make it on such short notice.
The bar's search for a new home began about a year ago, when the sale of its Christopher Street building prompted a rent hike that owners Ron Silver and Rob Ziegler said was untenable, especially for how small the space was.
But their attempts to win community board approval at two different locations in Chelsea and the West Village proved unsuccessful when locals complained about the potential for passing children to see drag performers through street-level windows.
A Community Board 2 member ultimately advised them to check out the former Actors Playhouse at 100 Seventh Ave. South, which seemed almost perfectly suited to their needs: The bar area is actually below ground, nipping neighbors' noise concerns in the bud.
They won board approval in November, and have been working since then to renovate the space, where they hope to expand their current operation to include food and accommodate more patrons.
And Richardson said they're ready to welcome their old regulars to their new home, as soon as they can get their Place of Assembly certificate from the Department of Buildings and provide it to the State Liquor Authority.
"[The DOB] canceled on us and we haven't gotten a new date," said Anderson, who said it's "critically important" that they open soon, because they've committed to hosting the Out Magazine awards this year on June 1.