Bill’s Gay Nineties, one of the city’s last remaining speakeasys, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Crain’s reported, citing financial troubles due to the bad economy. It owes $40,000 in back rent.
The Prohibition-era tavern at 57 East 54th Street between Madison and Park avenues, which was at one time frequented by celebrities like Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, has not been able to negotiate a lease extension with its landlord, Crain’s said, but its owner, Barbara Olmsted, still hopes to come to an agreement with the building’s owner.
“It looks like it’s a straight-up landlord dispute, in which the tenant is trying to buy more time” said bankruptcy attorney Fred Stevens of the law firm of Klestadt & Winters, who was not involved in the dispute. [Crain’s]