After a year and a half of renovations and little information regarding its reopening, Webster Hall’s new owners,Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, have confirmed its 2019 return.
“While we’ve been closed, we have made some venue enhancements and think you will dig them. While updates are still underway, we are pleased to say that Webster Hall will return in spring 2019,” reads a newsletter, sent to subscribers last week. A spokeswoman confirmed the news on Thursday.
Renovations to the shuttered East Village nightclub were scheduled by new owners BSE and AEG Presents, which acquired the venue in April 2017.
Webster Hall, remembered for its varied club nights, closed on Aug. 10, 2017, after 25 years in the scene.
The famed venue plans to focus more on expanding its presence in the concert realm, once reopened. Roughly $10 million will be spent to renovate the Grand Ballroom, the Studio and the Marlin Room, AEG Presents chairman Jay Marciano tells Billboard. Renovation plans include turning the Marlin concert room into a waiting area, according to documents filed in April 2017 by Manhattan Community Board 3.
Webster Hall was one of few clubs to allow 19-year-olds entry, a policy started under former co-owner Steve Ballinger in the early ’90s. Whether the age requirement will change under new management remains unclear.
Bay Ridge resident Cassandra Estelle, who worked as an aerialist for Webster Hall’s techno-themed Gotham nights, recalls spending “quite a lot of time” at the venue during the summer before its closure
“It was just amazing, performing above the crowds,” says Estelle, 29. “It was definitely one of my favorite gigs that I’ve ever done . . . everybody was there to have a good time, everybody was there for the music.”
The 40,000-square-foot space at 125 E. 11th St., which first opened as a performance venue in 1886, served multiple facets of the community over the decades as a political rally space, a speakeasy, an RCA Records recording studio and the Ritz nightclub in the 1980s.
“I [was] definitely sad when it was closing,” says Estelle. “But I’m hopeful that, when it reopens, it will capture some of the same spirit it had.”