Rififi (a NYC comedy, music, burlesque and dance venue located on 332 East 11th Street) recently sent this letter to the Apiary:

Hi guys,

We recently saw your piece on our liquor license, the rumors of our closing and the future of the establishment in general and decided you were the place we would reveal the truth and our plans.

The license situation is an easy one. Every liquor license for all bars and clubs expire every two years. The renewal process is simple and quick and must be undertaken every two years, it's a checks and balances system. Rififi's license has been renewed and we plan on continuing to bring you the best comedy shows in the Village.

Unfortunately you are correct, there is a smear campaign being perpetrated against Rififi by some of the tenants in the surrounding buildings. They are intent on ousting Rififi during this period of license renewal, soliciting surrounding tenants to make complaints, abusing the SLA complaint webpage, and invoking archaic and racist cabaret laws (please refer to this site for a history of the cabaret laws in New York City). Many of these people seem to believe it is illegal for people to eat, drink and make merry.

Rififi seeks to nurture a copacetic relationship with our community and many tenants who live in the very same buildings as our opponents attend our shows, patronize Rififi on the weekends and are keeping us up to date in the neighbors efforts to taint the police and SLA against us. There is also talk of a luxury highrise building being erected across the street and this campaign may well be an effort to cleanse the block of 'undesirable' business. Wouldn't it be nicer for everyone if Rififi became a Build-a-Bear?

Of course in this situation our future is unsure, but from our end, we plan to stay open. We believe we are a vibrant and historic part of the East Village community and that nightlife in New York should be encouraged, it is after all an engine that employs 19,000 city residents and generates 100 million dollars in tax revenue every year. We'll do our best to keep you all updated on our situation, in the meantime please contact the community board in our neighborhood (Edwin Chan at CB3- echan@cb3manhattan.org) if you wish to support Rififi as a place to see wonderful and diverse shows every night.

Yours in service,


What they don't mention is that Rififi is also for sale. They've also been a target before.