"For 56 years," wrote the Times in 2007, "since it opened during the Truman administration, 55 Grove Street in the West Village has been a piano bar, cabaret and comedy club for the quick-witted and full-throated. First it was Upstairs/Downstairs, then the Duplex (which remains open at another location), and finally it became Rose’s Turn."
Rose's Turn closed in 2007, ending 56 years of history. Let's take a look at what has replaced it.
55 Grove is now the home office for interior design firm S.R. Gambrel. Town & Country called Mr. Gambrel "the darling of young Wall Streeters ... the go-to decorator for a great many of today's young titans of finance and technology."
What was a ramshackle, nondescript tenement is now a sleek showplace, like something flown in from the Hamptons. An alabaster lioness guards the big front window.
An apparent master of transformation, Gambrel has also taken a "nightmare" of a Village apartment building and turned it into his own luxury townhouse. (The man played by Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon once lived there.)
before, New York magazine
For half a century, 55 Grove underwent change--from one cabaret to another--then came the 2000s when we have just three choices for what will replace the old city: stratospheric luxury, pricey artisanal independent, or national chain.
It's startling to walk down Grove Street today, to pass Marie's Crisis and Arthur's Tavern and then to come upon Gambrel. I wonder what else will be transformed here--we've seen what happens when the neighbors go upscale.
I'm getting worried for Arthur's and Marie's with their gritty, old facades, their rusted neon signs, their hard-won character. Is someone already plotting their demise? Are The Joneses, concerned about property values, looking upon these classic New Yorkers and thinking, "This just won't do"?
Let's pray they own their buildings.