Friday, January 11, 2008

Death & Co.; dead or alive?

UPDATE: Dave Kaplan called to confirm that the statements from Bill Crowley as quoted in The Villager are not the case. New entry to come on Dave's take on the situation. Click here

Imagine my surprise when I came in this morning and read a headline on Eater's Listage for today that said "Final Nail in the Coffin for Death & Co.?"

Considering I was planning on making a visit sometime next week, that I was planning on mentioning them in a story, and that the Death & Co. death rumor count is now reaching Abe Vigoda level, this was definitely something to follow up on. I quickly called up Joaquin Simo, but got directed to voice mail. "Oh no!" I thought to myself, my bad habit of thinking the worst of situations bubbling quickly to the surface.

Luckily, Joaquin called me back shortly before real panic set in.

I wasn't sure how to broach the subject. How do you tactfully ask someone if the business they're working for is still open? I decided to go with the combined cautiously nonchalant bandage rip-off approach, "Soooo...are you guys open?"

"Yea, we're open," he answered.

"Then what's this rumor about?" I asked.

Joaquin said it the original liquor license had expired in March, and currently what was happening with renewing the license was that it was a lot of bureaucracy is what it was, but the bar's status hasn't changed. It was just the same old same old going around.

"Hmm," I said. "Well, so you guys are still open and running and are fine for now?"

Joaquin answered, "As far as I know and as far as what our lawyers have said..."

In The Villager's "Scoopy's Notebook" (third item) writeup of what was going on there was the mention of an account from a regular patron who said that on Friday the bar shut down "early." Even with the quotes, it almost makes it sound like the place closed at an odd time, but then Joaquin reminded me of what he told me a little while back. That the place was now running on an abbreviated schedule of 6 pm to midnight.

"So, you are open?" I asked one more time.

"Six to midnight everyday."

I personally haven't talked with anybody from the S.L.A. yet, so who knows what the future holds. Pretty much, it sounds like the situation is up to what the S.L.A. wants to do next, but for the most part Death & Co. seems determined to carry on. The conversation didn't clear up anything about what was going to happen, but just so everyone knows, Death & Co. is still open (for now), just for a shorter amount of time.

I'm keeping an eye on the situation...

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