Lower Manhattan’s oldest social club is going under.
The Down Town Association said in a bankruptcy filing on Thursday it had less than $75,000 to pay $6.9 million in debt, primarily held by its landlord, Great Empire Realty, Bloomberg News reported. The club, founded in 1859, had provided “an island of quiet civility” and a “locus for nourishment, entertainment, relaxation or quiet discourse” at 60 Pine Street since 1887.
The club’s Chapter 11 filing indicates it hopes to emerge as the pandemic eases.
In 2018, Benny Fong’s Great Empire bought the building for $28.3 million million with plans to lease it back to the social club. In recent years, the social club offered discounts at nearby retailers — including 15 percent off at Brooks Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2020.
According to the club’s bankruptcy filing, it owes severance to about a dozen employees.
Presidents Grover Cleveland and Franklin D. Roosevelt were members of the Down Town Association, which is the nation’s second oldest such club. The building that houses the club, 60-64 Pine Street, was landmarked in 1997.
[Bloomberg News] — Georgia Kromrei