Friday, July 25, 2014

Ding Dong Lounge

VANISHING

The Ding Dong Lounge, a 21st-century dive bar up by Columbia, is closing.

Ding Dong DJ Linda Rizzo writes in: "The Ding has lost its lease. Victim to landlord greed, avarice, and douchebaggery. The Ding Dong Lounge at 929 Columbus Avenue will close its doors (hopefully only until a new location is found) on Thursday, July 31. It was a real pioneer being a rock & roll dive bar/music venue above 14th Street, and one with nary a television."


photo: Linda Rizzo

Opened by Bill Nolan, former owner of Motor City Bar (also just vanished), the Ding Dong got started in 2001, so not a very long time ago, but it gained a reputation. Gothamist called it "dirty in all the right places," a "blissfully local" "cheap dive with oodles of personality that is almost never filled (and certainly never with Columbia kids)."

The Village Voice named it the Best Cheap Manhattan Dive New York 2013. They described it: "There is not a single television set. The bathrooms are—well, the place has bathrooms. There's usually a DJ who likes classic punk and new wave."

In 2002, the Times credited the bar with helping to revitalize the neighborhood. And you know what that means. Said Nolan at the time, "I think this neighborhood has real potential, especially for entrepreneurs. There aren't many places left in this city where you can be the first of anything. I just need some more adventurers."

There's just one week left to check out the Ding Dong before it joins the rest of dirty, cheap New York--under the boot heels of the latest adventurous entrepreneurs. Linda will be spinning tonight and on 7/30, when, she says, "to quote Parliament, I will ‘tear the roof off the sucker.'"

26 comments:

Bluella DeVille said...

I also wanted to mention that Adrianna Ault Nolan is the current owner, and Ding Dong Lounge has seen its most crowded and most successful years under her guidance. But as there are no laws governing commercial rents in this city, she has no choice but to look for a new home.

I'm still wiping my tears away...

Anonymous said...

Its a bar for Christs sake. What does it say when the revered local institution is a bar? So it was OK when they had a cheap lease and prob made a boatload of cash but now its the landlords fault. They did well I'm sure. Now they can do something else. The total profit over 13 years was how much? Couple mill maybe?

Anonymous said...

If you are that distraught over a bar closing you need AA or maybe newer priorities.

Kyle Campion said...

JM, don't worry about these clowns saying "it's just a bar". Some people don't get it and, sadly, never will.

Brendan said...

10:35 and 10:38 is/are obviously not familiar with the area. It's the only bar of its kind for miles. This is the part of the UWS that I still like and Ding Dong Lounge is one of the reasons why (among many others). I hope they relocate.

ShatteredMonocle said...

Anon 10:35/38 (same person?), yes yes obviously this post is about the diminishing access to alcohol in New York. Fine reading comprehension on your part.

Anonymous said...

That place is great. I used to live near it and it was a beacon of awesomeness. I have gone back to the neighborhood many times over the years for the sole purpose of going to DingDong.

Feels like it does when that last person living in your childhood home town dies and you know you'll never go back.

Anonymous said...

The interior of this bar is quite special. It really does have the grungy, punk rock feel that CBGBs had. And it's also out of the way which makes it even nicer. I will truly impressed if they can relocate and capture even half of the ambience of 929 Columbus.

Remember Zinc Bar when it was on Houston with that groovy cavern-like room and the arched brick and the arched brick ceiling. You felt like you were in the scene of an early Fellini film. Now it's just around the corner on West 3rd and, while it's a perfectly good jazz club, it has since lost most of it's charm.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

What a torrent of close downs recently. Is it just my imagination or is it all happening faster and faster and faster? Sad news about the Subway Inn yesterday - nothing like it anywhere nearby.

3:56 p.m. said...

"The neighborhood is now 100% vanilla instead of 99% vanilla."

Anonymous said...

are they going to relocate in the area?

Anonymous said...

I spent many nights at the DDL with Kryssy, Jimmy, Bill and a host of others. Never a dull moment. There's a reason why it's closing, because we're not there to keep the party going any more. Long live the Ding Dong Lounge! Now pick a card, any card...

Magic Mark

Anonymous said...

Spent many fun nights at "the Ding," as my roommate liked to call it. It was always the place you went to after Haakons or Amsterdam Tavern or the any other bar in the area. Gonna miss it.

Magic Mark, your last name wouldn't happen to begin with a V would it?

laura r. said...

jeremiah please include location. not all of us know bars. it could be in 72nd st or 102nd st? as for the nasty comments: i myself would not go to these kind of places, but for others its a social gathering place. doureful something like it will open again. froyo starbucks 7/11 doesnt cut it. a $60 dinner place doesnt cut it either.

Anonymous said...

This is all due to eviction. Not a greedy landlord. It's all on public record

Anonymous said...

eviction? public record? where do you see that? I thought this was a rent hike- their website says they are going to try and relocate.

Jeremiah Moss said...

To Anonymous who keeps sending in comments about how so-and-so is a "fucked-up bitch," etc., I'm not publishing those particular comments, so you need not waste your time writing them. Other comments that seem to be from you I have published, but not those. If you have any questions, please see my comment policy here.

Anonymous said...

How would commercial rent control work exactly? I've seen that term used. In the real world how does that work ?

Michael Simmons said...

To Anon 10:38 -- You wrote "If you are that distraught over a bar closing you need AA or maybe newer priorities."

This phenom of strangers lecturing strangers that emerged with the Internet has always vexed me. Many of us value bars as neighborhood meeting spots meant for fun, relaxation, conversation, etc. What gives your "opinion" any credibility? How do you know what people "need" or what their "priorities" ought to be?

"Americans are incapable of minding their own goddamn business."
-- William S. Burroughs

Anonymous said...

What gives your comment credibility?
Aren't you lecturing now? What gives your opinion credibility? This blog is here so a small group can tell others how rightthey are. How superior they are How their.vision of NY is the only acceptable one. I'm a contrarian. The fact that one comment questioning the group mindset sets so many off is always interesting. So angry and defensive. I wouldn't call a one sentence comment a lecture either. So thin skinned. No more comments from me. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

As a native New Yorker, I salute Jeremiah for keeping us apprised of what happens when "good people do nothing." I believe many current transplants to NYC, unlike their predecessors who came here to become New Yorkers, will simply move on to the next trendy neighborhood or city, as things deteriorate here. I believe Seattle and Portland have protections to keep small businesses from being pushed out by gentrification. Regarding the importance of local gathering places in the lives of communities, read Oldenburg's "The Great Good Place. "

Ed said...

The Ding Dong Lounge didn't really revitalize the area. If you make it up there, which is on Columbus and somewhere above 110th Street, you will realize there is not that much around. There a a few pseodo trendy restaurants and not much else. And I never saw anyone other than Columbia students there, the place is enough a pain to get to that only Columbia students who lived in the area really had the time to get there.

Now on Amsterdam, even a few on Broadway, there were alot of cool places that arguably "revitalized the neighborhood", pretty much all of which ahave closed.

Bars were pretty much the only place left the US where you could go and start a face to face conversation with complete strangers, no wonder they all have to go.

Bluella DeVille said...

The Ding Dong Lounge was more than a pioneer. It was fragment of hope for a forgotten and neglected neighborhood. In 2001 only the most fearless souls would venture through that part of the city. Perhaps buying a St Jude candle at a nearby botanica, to guide them safely along an avenue littered with used bullets, broken crack vials and the rag-doll limp bodies of nodding hookers.

The Ding was a host to a myriad of bands and musicians and poets and performers in its 13 years. Crossing the lines of every possible genre, each artist was admired for being remarkably gifted and cool and unique. Everyone was given the time and respect they deserved, in a place that always appreciated their talents

The Ding was a haven to a beautifully diverse potpourri of New York’s multi-cultural inhabitants. With no mind to age, social standing, ethnicity or sexual orientation - everyone was welcome, and everyone enjoyed each other’s company. That is the gold standard of a perfect place to hang-out at day’s end or till morning’s beginning.

The Ding was a home to its family of bartenders, DJs and regular patrons. We laughed, we cried, we cursed, we yelled, we kissed, we drank hundreds of shots of tequila together. These people have touched my life. I am honored and blessed to be a part of this crazy wonderful dysfunctional family.

As a native New Yorker, I feel especially protective of preserving the intrinsic beauty and diversity of our neighborhoods. I wonder what will appear to take the the Ding Dong Lounge's place at 929 Columbus Avenue. A Starbucks? A 7/11? A sports bar with too many TV’s and no trace of a soul?

RIP 929 Columbus Avenue ~ The Ding will rise again….

Anonymous said...

Any idea where the Ding is moving?

Anonymous said...

Wow thanks for being so brave and being a 'pioneer'. What would happpened to this hood if Whitey didn't open a bar? I shudder to think.' Only the most.fearless souls would venture through that part of the city' Really? Does bringing in drinks preserve the beauty and diversity of the neighborhood? As far as everyone being welcome Ive been to this spot and that's not the case. Go to Williamsburg and get it over with. Bring your judgemental attitude with you. The hipsters are waiting.

Anonymous said...

" In 2001 only the most fearless souls would venture through that part of the city."

What planet are you living on?