The hipster hot-spot under the JMZ, Market Hotel, is facing allegations via mass email about the venue being raided and condemned by cops. Even worse, according to our tipster, is the show’s promoter (not Todd P. who runs most of the shows at the venue) being brought up on a slew of charges including weed and underage alcohol distribution.
Fortunately for the musical underground, there’s a chance none of this is true.
According to the source who emailed us today, the cops raided the loft/living space/hipster music venue sometime last night, shutting down the scene that has been burgeoning since this fall. As recently as last month, Todd, that ubiquitous promoter of all things underground and “cool” was expanding his Market Hotel into the neighboring empty, weed-grown parking lot next door, building a stage on which Dan Deacon and friends played for poor scene kids for $10, before the act moved to the Bowery Ballroom the next night and charged considerably more.
Our email source has come from one of the bands who played at the Hotel last night, where Todd was not present. Two plainclothes cops with guns entered the building, picking up beer cans, and then disappeared, only to return after the show and hand summons out to this anonymous “other” promoter, rounding up kids in squad cars as they left the building, and declaring the building condemned.
Now the guys in charge of the show say that the raid 100% didn’t happen, and no one has been brought up on any charges. Two minutes later they called me back and said that they and their crew have been receiving the emails, and suspect they have been started by a competing venue that is trying to dissuade kids from coming to the shows.
Do we believe them? Well, Beauty Bar did just open three blocks away from the Market Hotel, and with their live music scene could certainly see the Todd P.-promoted venue as impinging on their market. Meanwhile Angels across the street (yes, that Angels, with the shootings outside as little as two years ago) have started holding rock shows in lieu of their usual Latin club scene, and could also be trying to encroach on the hotel’s territory.
Or hell, perhaps Todd P. and his staff, who have a reputation as being tough-as-nails on underage drinking at his shows (which are all ages) just managed to piss off the wrong 18 year old with a good list of contacts. Either way, we’ll be keeping careful watch on this story as it develops. Bushwest Side Story!
UPDATE: Ric Leichtung, the promoter from the show last night, just got in contact with me and confirmed that plainsclothes detectives DID enter the premises around 1 a.m. last night and talked to him, but no summons were issued and no one was arrested. Ric then claims to have shut down the show on his own accord because he no longer felt comfortable, and that the 15 or so kids left exited the building without issue.