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Lit Lounge Sees Ownership Change as Club's Future Plans Remain Unclear

By Lisha Arino | November 4, 2015 5:34pm
 Lit Lounge will close after 14 years in the East Village, its owners announced July 8.
Lit Lounge will close after 14 years in the East Village, its owners announced July 8.
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Facebook/Lit Lounge

EAST VILLAGE — Lit Lounge could downsize amid a corporate change, according to documents filed with Community Board 3, though the exact future of the club remains uncertain.

The owners of the 14-year-old Second Avenue nightclub are scheduled to go before the board’s SLA and DCA Licensing Committee later this month to discuss applications that reference a change in ownership and a desire to “reduce [the] size of licensees’ licensed area.”

Co-owners Erik Foss and David Schwartz, as well as their attorney, Ravi Sharma, did not immediately return requests for comment.

However, Allan Mannarelli — who tried to move his bar, The Cock, four blocks north into the Lit Lounge space two months ago — said Tuesday via text message that he recently became an owner of the nightclub.

The State Liquor Authority approved the corporate change two months ago, according to a notice dated Sept. 29. According to the document, Mannarelli became the managing member of 93 ART LLC, the entity that owns Lit Lounge, with 60 percent of its shares, taking the over the role from Schwartz, who had 33 percent of the shares.

Schwartz now has the 4 percent of the company’s shares, as does Foss, who owned 18 percent before the corporate change was approved, according to the notice.

Lit Lounge’s status has been in flux since July, when Foss and Schwartz told the website Club Planet they planned to close the East Village location and reopen in Brooklyn. However, the club reopened in September after a “much needed deep cleaning and even more crucial maintenance and repairs,” according to its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Mannarelli made a move to relocate The Cock into Lit Lounge’s space but was blocked by CB3’s SLA and DCA Licensing Committee in August, which has an advisory role in the application process. He said he would appeal to the state instead, which issues liquor licenses.

On Tuesday, Mannarelli said the owners were considering a move to split the space and possibly add a new bar on the ground floor. “LIT [is] still alive,” he added, although plans to move Lit Lounge to Brooklyn were not completely off the table.

The CB3 SLA and DCA Licensing Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the community board’s office located at 59 E. Fourth St.