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Fabled Village Venue Gerde's Folk City Relaunching in Chelsea Market

By Maya Rajamani | August 9, 2017 6:11pm
 Chelsea Market.
Chelsea Market.
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Matthew Solarski

CHELSEA — A pair of restaurateurs plan to resurrect the fabled Greenwich Village music spot Gerde’s Folk City inside Chelsea Market after partnering with the former venue's owners.

The new Folk City will open in the basement of the market, at 409 W. 15th St. near Ninth Avenue, The Tippler and El Original owners Michael Barrett and Michael Ginsberg told members of Community Board 4’s Business Licenses and Permits Committee Tuesday.

The two are partnering with the former owners of Gerde’s Folk City and own the rights to the venue’s name, concept and logos, they explained.

The original Gerde’s Folk City, which was Manhattan’s “premiere folk club” until it closed in 1987, hosted performers including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, and Peter, Paul and Mary in its heyday.

Ginsberg described the pair's new venture as “a place for people to express themselves, have a place to perform.”

While Barrett said the space would be a “throwback” to the Village venue, Ginsberg told the committee the music and entertainment offered by the venue “might not always be Bob Dylan, or Joan Baez.”

“What Folk City meant to people back then, we want that to happen with the folk of today,” Ginsberg said the day after the meeting, noting that plans for the venture are still in their early stages.

“We’re looking forward — we’re not trying to only look back,” he added.

A tentative menu filed with CB4 includes a range of French bread pizzas, breads served with chicken liver butter, cured maitake mushrooms and other condiments, salads and “finger foods.”

Barret and Ginsberg, who also own Tex-Mex eatery El Original, are still in the process of applying for a liquor license for the space and don’t yet have a definitive opening date, Ginsberg said.