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Cain's Tavern in Bushwick Closing After Rent Hike, Owners Say

By Serena Dai | July 22, 2015 4:57pm
 Cain's Tavern is closing its 36 Wilson Ave. location.
Cain's Tavern is closing its 36 Wilson Ave. location.
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Facebook/Cain's Tavern

BUSHWICK — Local dive bar Cain's Tavern is closing, the owners announced Wednesday — claiming that landlord Cayuga Capital Management asked for an astronomical increase in rent.

Stevie Cain and Aaron Augenblick, owners of the bar at 36 Wilson Ave., wrote on Facebook that the 5-year-old bar will close by Aug. 22 because the landlords asked for a 500 percent increase in rent, as Bushwick Daily first reported.

"Thank you to our Cain's family," they said. "You are the most fun, most loyal, most drunk, most amazing group of people ever."

But Cayuga Capital Management principal Jamie Wiseman denied that it had asked for such a huge rent increase.

Cain's retail lease expired and Cayuga offered "a market rate renewal, which the tenant declined," Wiseman said in an email.

"The renewal increase was far less than 500 percent," Wiseman said.

Wiseman declined to specify the exact rent increase due to "legal confidentiality obligation." Cain's did not respond to request for further information.

Cayuga purchased the two-story building in 2008 for $676,000, according to Department of Finance records.

Cayuga Capital Management owns many properties in North Brooklyn and is currently in court with another local bar, Radio Bushwick.

The bar and venue was forced to close last fall after Cayuga took it to court for lacking proper Department of Buildings certification — a certificate that Radio Bushwick owner Tari Sunkin claimed she tried to get for months but couldn't due to missing paperwork from Cayuga.

Sunkin did not respond to an inquiry on whether she still planned to reopen the venue. They are still in court over the issue, according to county records.

Many other dive bars in the area have been closing. Last year, Kings County Bar was forced to move from its decade-old spot at 286 Seigel St. due to a rent hike, though it was able to reopen in a less divey space at 1 Knickerbocker Ave.

And Wreck Room shuttered its location at 940 Flushing Ave. last year, too.

Cain's Tavern, open since 2011, said in its announcement that it plans to scope out other locations to reopen the bar.

"It's been a privilege and a pleasure to serve you all," the owners wrote. "We're fully operational until our last night on Saturday Aug 22nd. Let's all party 'til the wheels fall off."