Author Topic: White Eagle Hall—Performing, Visual Arts Center Planned for Village Neighborhood  (Read 9942 times)

Offline MÇA

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Heath Miller Named Exclusive Talent Buyer For White Eagle Hall
« Reply #28 on: 06-14-2017, 04:16pm »
New Jersey Stage:

Heath Miller Named Exclusive Talent Buyer For White Eagle Hall

Heath Miller Named Exclusive Talent Buyer For White Eagle Hall(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Heath Miller of Excess dB Entertainment has been announced as the exclusive Talent Buyer for White Eagle Hall, the newly restored historic theater and concert hall in Jersey City that officially opened in May 2017.  Over the past two decades, Miller has become one of the leading talent buyers and live event promoters in New Jersey and New York City, specializing in shows at small to mid-size venues. In addition to music talent buying for White Eagle Hall, Miller books Webster Hall, Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ and non-exclusively at NYC venues Stage 48, Highline Ballroom and Le Poisson Rouge.

Miller has announced the first batch of concerts at White Eagle Hall including Buckcherry (07/06), H.U.B (07/08), Frank Iero & the Patience (07/22), Roky Erickson (09/08), Melody's Echo Chamber (10/08), New Found Glory (11/07), and the Mountain Goats (11/10). For tickets and more information, visit WhiteEagleHallJC.com.

“I look forward to helping establish Jersey City as a destination for live music and a tour stop for bands,” said Miller. “I hope a venue of this size will help further spark the great talents coming out of Jersey City and will help grow the local music community.”

Originally constructed in 1910, White Eagle Hall is an impressive new stage for performing arts, concerts and other events in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. White Eagle Hall has a capacity of 800 standing, features two bars on the mezzanine level and one on the balcony level. The restoration enhances the intimacy and charm of this historic venue while adding the latest in sound and lighting technology, creating a distinctive and memorable audience experience.

“White Eagle Hall is an exceptional stage for the performing arts that will bring together a diverse audience throughout this region,” said Ben LoPiccolo, CEO, White Eagle Hall. “Heath has an array of music knowledge and industry contacts as well as a deep understanding of the types of concerts and other events that will appeal to all the communities throughout the area.” Read more

Offline MÇA

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Historic White Eagle Hall to officially re-open with first concert
By Jim Testa | For The Jersey Journal
on May 02, 2017 at 8:04 PM, updated May 03, 2017 at 10:58 AM

It's official!

The renovated White Eagle Hall in Downtown Jersey City opens on Friday, May 5, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Mayor Steven Fulop, followed by a performance by Jersey City favorite musican sons Rye Coalition.

The event will be free and open to the public, starting outdoors at 4:30 p.m. with the opening ceremonies and performances by local dance troupes and actors from the Jersey City Theater Company. At 6 p.m., the action moves inside.

For its first official concert, White Eagle Hall couldn't have made a better choice than Rye Coalition, whose members grew up in Jersey City and have long been identified as the town's quintessential local band. Sunshine & The Rain, featuring Rye Coalition bassist Justin Morey and his wife Ashley, open the show.

Free hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.

"It's an honor," Rye Coalition drummer Dave Leto said. "I have fond memories as a small child playing basketball there during St. Anthony's practices on weekends. It's a legendary building. As far as Jersey City music goes, we were probably one of the first to go on tour and leave the area, but Jersey City will always be our home."

The new White Eagle Hall will be hosting live music, theater, comedy, and special events, and also be available for weddings and private events. The Jersey City Theater Company, which will be housed at the hall, staged the first live performances there in 40 years last month.

[...]

Heath Miller of Excess dB Entertainment has just been announced as the booker for music and other events; his resume' includes currently being the talent buyer for Manhattan's Webster Hall, a previous stint at New Jersey's Mexicali Live,  as well as a successful career in concert promotion, talent management, and festival organization.

"I'm really excited that Jersey City will finally have the kind of venue it deserves," Miller said. "We were trying to figure out a real Jersey City band that the community would relate to and I'm so glad we got Rye Coalition.

"We're definitely going to be doing a good mix of seated and standing shows over the course of the first year, and I'm going to try and bring a wide variety of music in, from your standard rock 'n' roll to more left of center indie, to pop stuff, to some metal and punk. We'll probably bring a little hip hop in, and some younger shows, some older shows."


Jersey City itself will be a big inspiration to what people get to see at White Eagle Hall, Miller said.

"The programming is going to be diverse because Jersey City is diverse," he said. "I want to be able to work with good local partners who can bring in some cultural music, Indian or Filipino or any group that has a large population in Jersey City. I don't want this place to be just for the rock people, I want to make sure we have something for everyone."

The hall can be configured differently for various events, Miller noted, so not every concert has to be geared to an 800-person crowd.

[...]

"After the L train shuts down in 2018, a lot of Jersey people aren't going to want to go to Brooklyn, so that will make this spot even more attractive. That gives us a year to get established, and then once the L train isn't running into Manhattan, the standard for bands will be that if they're playing Brooklyn, they should also be playing Jersey City. Or if they're playing Manhattan and skipping Brooklyn, they should be playing Jersey City. And if you're big enough to sell out your Brooklyn show and your Manhattan show, then you should be playing Jersey City, too. I think that will just become the norm."

There's "plenty of parking" in that part of Downtown Jersey City (ed: :| ) , Miller said, but even so, he thinks the proximity of the Grove Street PATH station will make White Eagle Hall a destination venue for concertgoers from New York City and New Jersey.

"It's such a short walk, it's a couple of minutes down Newark Avenue and then you're at the pedestrian mall and then you're at the PATH train," he said. "I know people will be driving but I really hope a lot of them take mass transportation, it's really an ideal spot. And much closer to the PATH than Maxwell's in Hoboken used to be."

IF YOU GO:
White Eagle Hall, 335-337 Newark Ave., Jersey City, will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and live entertainment outdoors at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, followed by indoor performances by Rye Coalition and Sunshine & The Rain at 6. Admission is free but space is limited so White Eagle Hall urges attendees to RSVP at http://www.wehjc.com.

Online CeeDub

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Be sure to get your tickets to get inside this Friday for the free Rye Coalition show

Offline MÇA

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White Eagle Hall set to reopen Friday in Jersey City
« Reply #25 on: 04-06-2017, 01:14pm »
White Eagle Hall set to reopen Friday in Jersey City
By Kristen Keller | For The Jersey Journal
on April 05, 2017 at 4:22 PM, updated April 06, 2017 at 12:42 PM

There was a time when historic White Eagle Hall was home to all sort of community events, from dance recitals to concerts. But for many of the past 40 years, the building was more famous as the practice home of of the national powerhouse St. Anthony High School team.

That all changes today.

White Eagle Hall is reopening Friday as a performing arts center after the building underwent a comprehensive multi-million dollar restoration. Read more

Offline MÇA

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JCTC Brings Theatre & Performing Arts Back to Restored White Eagle Hall

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- After many decades, theatre has returned to one of New Jersey’s most-prized historical venues. In April, Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) begins a new chapter in the NJ/NY performing arts world by presenting theatre and dance to the newly restored, White Eagle Hall.

As part of its Disruption series, which opens March 31st at the adjacent Merseles Studios, JCTC presents Nimbus: Proliferate & Gala, (April 7th ) and Now I Know (April 23rd) by James Judd, monologist, humorist and headliner of NPR‘s Snap Judgment.

These two shows mark the first performances of any kind at this historic theater since rock & roll “battle of the band” dances took place there more than 40 years ago.

White Eagle Hall opened in 1910, constructed by polish immigrants as a theater and public assembly facility, hosting recitals, concerts, theater productions, sporting exhibitions and other community events. By the end of the 20th century, the space had become famous as the practice court of Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley and his championship team, the St. Anthony Friars.

This comprehensive restoration – which followed sustainable building standards – by the Ben LoPiccolo Development Group (BLDG), brought back to life the original luster of this historical theater while adding the latest in sound and lighting technology as well as audience amenities. Read more

Offline jehu

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I think they have too much of a dining area and not enough bar-335

The developer told me the 'Todd O-Phonic' will be their pop music booker, in a mutually non-exclusive arrangement. He never looked happy on the dining room floor as far back as I can remember, and 355 seem to be off to a good start resto-wise.
TheFang: yeah, i gotta agree with jehu here

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Offline Soshin

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Well that's good news.  I look forward to opening night of Hanukah with YLT then :P
"god hates you. you will all go to yuppie hell. in yuppie hell there is no starbucks or hole foods or sushi bar. in yuppie hell you will work 16 hours a day in a bodega. in yuppie hell your car will not start when the sweeper is coming down the street. in yuppie hell your doorman will terrorize you and have sex with your wife or husband...when you are at work....in the bodega. in yuppie hell you will go to the laundromat and lose your last quarter in a broken washing machine. in yuppie hell you will buy all your food and clothing at the 99 cent store. in yuppie hell there are no cell phones, you will use a pay phone. a filthy pay phone".      -   Cat_Man Dude

Online CeeDub

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The developer told me the 'Todd O-Phonic' will be their pop music booker, in a mutually non-exclusive arrangement. He never looked happy on the dining room floor as far back as I can remember, and 355 seem to be off to a good start resto-wise.

Offline Soshin

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I heard Todd Abramson pulled out as an investor.  Any idea if he will still be booking shows for them?
"god hates you. you will all go to yuppie hell. in yuppie hell there is no starbucks or hole foods or sushi bar. in yuppie hell you will work 16 hours a day in a bodega. in yuppie hell your car will not start when the sweeper is coming down the street. in yuppie hell your doorman will terrorize you and have sex with your wife or husband...when you are at work....in the bodega. in yuppie hell you will go to the laundromat and lose your last quarter in a broken washing machine. in yuppie hell you will buy all your food and clothing at the 99 cent store. in yuppie hell there are no cell phones, you will use a pay phone. a filthy pay phone".      -   Cat_Man Dude

Online CeeDub

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No dates, targeting end of year.

So, maybe March?

Offline TheFang

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They make mentions of opening dates?
"I can't help it, I'm a greedy slob. It's my hobby." -- D.D.

Online CeeDub

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:wave:

This was a Fundraiser for Jersey City Theater Center, with a preview tour of the performance space.

Just spotted some fancy lights and fancy people hanging out inside WEH.
« Last Edit: 09-21-2016, 10:17am by CeeDub »

Offline MÇA

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Just spotted some fancy lights and fancy people hanging out inside WEH.

Some fancy people from here went. :nerd:

Offline moelissa

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I saw that too. Can't wait for even less parking around my house.
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Offline TheFang

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Just spotted some fancy lights and fancy people hanging out inside WEH.
"I can't help it, I'm a greedy slob. It's my hobby." -- D.D.

Offline TheFang

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Appliances spotted being loaded in today...
"I can't help it, I'm a greedy slob. It's my hobby." -- D.D.

Online CeeDub

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The Café building has been sold and is slated for demolition. Guy at the wine shop was saying this is the last Thursday night live music gig EVAR. Their business is good but not so good to go a week+ with one closed and the other not open. Think of the employees, too.

Offline MÇA

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Did I hear correctly that Madam Claude Bis is OPENING NEXT WEEK?

Offline devb

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/nyregion/jersey-city-a-flower-blossoming-as-a-new-colossus.html?_r=0

Jersey City: A Flower Blossoming as a New Colossus

On a warm Saturday in Jersey City last month, the siren call of the sofa and cable television was probably a bit muted for many residents.

Filipino and Diwali festivals coexisted a mile apart on Newark Avenue and Exchange Place. In front of City Hall, the local L.G.B.T. organization, Hudson Pride, gathered for its annual festival. At the Culinary Arts Institute of Hudson County Community College, the scent of shellfish and saffron wafted from the New Jersey Paella Festival. Even the local cemetery, a few blocks from the Pride Festival, was hopping: 1,000 people, some in Halloween costumes, frolicked in front of a makeshift stage, where eight local bands were performing.

The cultural rise of Jersey City, the state’s second-most-populous city, which many might say accelerated after the 2008 revival of the Grove Street PATH station, was on full display.

Among residents like Anthony Vito Susco, who organized “Ghost of Uncle Joe’s,” the annual fund-raiser at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, the bonanza of events has come to seem normal for this city of more than 250,000 people.

“Since I’ve lived here, Jersey City has been this flower blossoming, with people saying it’s becoming the sixth borough,” said Mr. Susco, the owner of Dancing Tony Productions, an event planning company. “Every year the flower gets closer and closer to opening.”

The city’s planning director, Bob Cotter, thinks so too. “It’s a very good time for us,” he said. “We’ve seen a ratcheting up in the creative class. Now we’re getting more performing artists.”

Both Mr. Susco, who also hosts the city’s weekly Groove on Grove block parties from May to September, and Mr. Cotter said that if they had to mark their calendars, they would bet on full bloom taking place in the next few months. Even local mainstays like the Liberty Science Center have increased artistic programming. One of the museum’s current exhibitions, “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World,” traces the evolution of the instrument and includes the world’s largest playable guitar, a 2,255-pound, 43-foot Gibson. The museum is also producing a live music series related to the show.

But perhaps more important, a handful of imminent additions to the cultural and artistic bustle, big, momentous ones, could be behind the enthusiasm.

In January, Mana Contemporary, the sprawling art destination that laid down 35 acres of roots in Jersey City in 2011, will open its doors to the International Center of Photography’s archives. In a 15,000-square-foot space within the center’s two million square feet, Mana will store 150,000 images currently housed at the center’s headquarters in Manhattan, including works by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Lisette Model. A selection of the photographs will be on view in a media lab accessible to the public, a new amenity. The center will also display works from its collection in Mana’s gallery space.



Todd Abramson, a former owner of Maxwell’s, pictured in the Hoboken club, which closed in 2013. Credit Bryan Thomas for The New York Times

As the International Center of Photography settles in, Eugene Lemay, Mana’s chief executive, who orchestrated the new partnership, will continue what he called his vision for changing the art world at Mana. The center has already attracted Richard Meier, Gary Lichtenstein, Marina Abramovic and other prominent artists for collaborations and shows. By the end of 2015, it will also be the home to five restaurants, a boutique hotel with a rooftop pool, a Meier-designed sculpture garden, a theater, 250 artists studios and a state-of-the-art recording studio, he said. Already in place are a foundry, a dance studio and a printmaking shop.

While Mana puts a highbrow gloss on Jersey City’s booming cultural life, a venture that may attract a broader audience is expected to open in April.

White Eagle Hall, a historic downtown building whose $3.2 million renovation is nearly complete, will be a site for concerts and other performances, with space for 800. Todd Abramson, a former owner of Maxwell’s, a Hoboken club that closed in 2013, will book the music acts; he attracted bands like Nirvana, Oasis and Wilco to Maxwell’s, and because White Eagle Hall is much bigger than that club, Mr. Abramson expects to have “more leverage and flexibility.”

Mr. Abramson will also be a co-owner of Down Home, one of two ground-floor bar-restaurants, where he plans to recruit willing White Eagle Hall headliners to perform as D.J.s in post-show sets. Down Home will seat 200.

“Rock will probably be the most represented genre, but I’m sure we’ll also do jazz and world music and comedy,” Mr. Abramson said of the new venture.



A historic downtown building is being renovated for White Eagle Hall, where Mr. Abramson will book the music acts. Credit Ben LoPiccolo

Music will be only a part of what goes on at White Eagle Hall. Olga Levina, an owner of the building with her husband, Benedetto LoPiccolo, plans to integrate theater and dance into the programming.

Ms. Levina is artistic director of the Jersey City Theater Center, which currently stages theater and dance performances at Merseles Studios, a space with a 50-seat black-box theater, next door to White Eagle Hall.

“What we’d like to see happen is the two venues working together,” Ms. Levina said. “We’re going to work hard to bring programming that will surprise people, like under-the-radar theater festivals and theatrical works by women.”

White Eagle Hall will also keep tabs on another new venue, the 100-seat Monty Hall, on the ground floor of the local free-form radio station, WFMU. Ken Freedman, WFMU’s program director, has been overseeing shows, including a recent performance by Tammy Faye Starlite, a New York City cabaret performer, since July. “We’ll be working hand in hand” with Monty Hall, said Mr. Abramson. “If there’s an act inquiring about White Eagle Hall and I think they’re more suited there, I’ll steer them.”

That, according to Christine Goodman, the founder and executive director of Art House Productions, a nonprofit that develops and presents performances in a 99-seat black box theater and attached gallery, is the way things work in Jersey City. Now, especially.

“When I founded Art House Productions 14 years ago, there were no ongoing arts events to bring people together” Ms. Goodman said. “It’s been wonderful to see how much that’s changed over the years.”

Since 2006, Art House Productions has been coordinating Jersey City Fridays, a quarterly festival that links 50 venues across the city to put on a single night of shows and events. Up to 3,000 people attend, Ms. Goodman said. The next Jersey City Friday will take place on Dec. 5.

“Now, we’ve become this community that has a face to our arts scene,” she said. “People are proud to live here, and people want to come visit. The city’s thriving because of it.”

Offline Bobblehead

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Here's a good history of White Eagle Hall.

Mystery Solved: The Four Men on White Eagle Hall
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013

The news of the White Eagle Hall transformation into a Performing Arts Center has excited the neighborhood as well as the region. I blogged about that announcement here and as promised, this follow-up blog features some of the history I’ve gathered on this extraordinary building.

More importantly, a mystery has been solved. Before we turn the page on this new chapter of the downtown Jersey City saga, let me first reveal the identities of the four busts adorning the building.

These men, at least their cement likenesses, have been looking out on Newark Avenue since 1910 and no records survive stating who they are, and nobody knows who they are.

Their identities were unknown… until now….
Sanctimonious bleater.

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Offline MÇA

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A few pics of the ongoing renovation here.

Offline MÇA

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White Eagle Hall in Jersey City mgazine
« Reply #7 on: 03-25-2014, 09:48am »
Latest issue of Jersey City magazine has a nice article on WEH. See the whole issue here. An excerpt:

Quote
Today’s music lovers from Jersey and beyond will rejoice to hear that Todd Abramson, co-owner of and music booker for Hoboken’s legendary Maxwell’s, will be booking local and national acts for White Eagle Hall. He and LoPiccolo hired a top-notch sound company to ensure the stained glass can withstand the vibrations and decibels sent upward in its direction. As for those who might be emitting said sounds, Abramson said we can expect similar acts that played at Maxwell’s when it was still a music venue, and more. “In some ways, the programming will be like it was at Maxwell’s,” he says, “but on the other hand, the size gives me the option to book larger acts and have more flexibility. For instance, some artists only want to do shows with a seated audience. Now, we can accommodate that.”

There will be two restaurants at White Eagle Hall, both located underneath the performance space. Alice Troletto and Mattias Gustafsson, the married duo behind Madame Claude and Madame Claude Wine, will open Madame Claude Bis. The proposed restaurant will be much larger than the current Madame Claude’s, accommodating more than 80 guests, but it will reference the original bistro’s look and feel. “The design and style will be very much like the first café,” said Gustafsson. “It’s a very typical French bistro style that you see all over Pairs.” As for food, they’ll be serving the original Madame Claude’s menu and adding updates that will include a raw bar. They’ll have a full-service bar, with a distinct focus on wine. The older restaurant will become more of a creperie, Gustafsson says, with some old Madame Claude favorites remaining on the menu. His band, Manouche Bag, will serve as the house band at Madame Claude Bis, performing two to three nights a week. “There will be no stage, just like at the original café,” he says. “It’s a restaurant and I want people to retain their dining experience and be able to talk.”

Abramson is getting into the action on the restaurant side of White Eagle Hall as well. He and his partners will be opening Bingo (the name is subject to change), a 200-seat restaurant and bar that will serve contemporary American cuisine “before, during, and after the performances upstage,” Abramson says. There will also be a bar in the theater lobby, where LoPiccolo plans to showcase local artwork. He says, “We want White Eagle Hall to be a complete destination experience.”



We can have nice things.

Offline MÇA

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Co-owner of Hoboken's soon-to-close Maxwell's music club is looking at Jersey City venue
By John Ambrosio/The Jersey Journal
on July 12, 2013 at 3:03 AM, updated July 12, 2013 at 3:04 AM

Maxwell’s co-owner and booking agent Todd Abramson said he’s been talking with Jersey City developer Ben LoPiccolo about booking shows at a hall in Jersey City after famed music club Maxwell’s closes, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“I’ve had a few conversations with Ben,” Abramson told the Wall Street Journal, referring to holding events at White Eagle Hall, 337-339 Newark Ave. “My sense is that there would be much more support for what I do in Jersey City from both residents and the city itself than I’m finding in Hoboken right now.”

Since last month’s announcement that the beloved indie-rock venue will be closing at the end of July, rumors have been circulating that Abramson, whom many credit with creating the venue’s unique atmosphere, might seek greener pastures in Jersey City.

Most of the rumors stem from comments Abramson made praising Jersey City and likening its community of artists and musicians to that of Brooklyn. At the same time, Abramson has been critical of the changes he’s seen in Hoboken over the years and cited difficulties with providing parking and a radically different bar scene as reasons for the musical hot spot’s closing.

“We were offered a renewal with rates that weren’t necessarily onerous,” Abramson has said. “But after much thought, given the changing nature of Hoboken and the difficulties of trying to run a business in this town, we decided it was time.”

Looking to the future, Abramson called White Eagle Hall “an option,” and noted that he was looking at several sites around Jersey City.

The former Bingo hall gained national notoriety in the late 1980s as the cramped training facility of the nationally ranked St. Anthony High basketball team.

LoPiccolo, the CEO of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group LLC, has been in the process of renovating the historic White Eagle Hall since he purchased it in 2007.

LoPiccolo told The Jersey Journal that he has grand plans for the Newark Avenue venue. Included in those plans are an 800-person, multipurpose arts space and two new restaurants.

While it remains to be seen whether the hall, which is scheduled to reopen some time next year, will be able to replace the soon-to-be-defunct Maxwell’s, Abramson told the Wall Street Journal that he’s more than willing to try.

“I understand that the closing of Maxwell’s creates a void in New Jersey, and I’d like to be the person to turn around and fill that void,” Abramson said.

Offline MÇA

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On the ground floor, two restaurants that would also host live music are planned. The smaller restaurant would be opened by the owners of Madame Claude Cafe, a beloved French spot a block away that hosts co-owner Mattias Gustafsson's four-piece band, Manouche Bag, on Thursday nights. Plans for the larger space have not yet been announced.



Good to see this confirmed in print. MCC has been an anchor for west Downtown for 10 years, and I wish Alice and Mattias success in this latest chapter. I wonder what'll happen to the current café? Are they moving or merely expanding?

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New Arts Venues are Planned in Jersey City
Developers Set Sights on New Multipurpose Theaters
By JENNIFER WEISS

As anyone who lives there will tell you, property values and rents have soared in much of Jersey City as new residents have come in droves. But the arts scene in New Jersey's second-largest city has not kept pace when it comes to public entertainment venues. While the historic Loews Jersey Theatre shows movies and hosts a smattering of events, most of the city's theater and live music is still confined to restaurants, bars and borrowed spaces.

That could soon change. A developer and his partner have set their sights on an old theater on the western edge of Jersey City's downtown and are planning an arts venue that will present a dynamic mix of theater, music and family-friendly fare that they liken to the programming at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The plans come at a time when the area is mourning the imminent loss of a beloved nearby venue: Maxwell's, the legendary club in Hoboken, which is set to close July 31 after 35 years of luring local music lovers—including many New Yorkers—to a town one-fifth the size of Jersey City.

The White Eagle Hall, a century-old building on Newark Avenue that has fallen into disrepair, is under an extensive renovation with an opening eyed for spring 2014. Owner Ben LoPiccolo and his partner, Olga Levina, have unveiled plans for a multipurpose theater, arts and music venue that could accommodate about 400 people sitting and 800 standing in its main hall, which includes a balcony. On the ground floor, two restaurants that would also host live music are planned.

The smaller restaurant would be opened by the owners of Madame Claude Cafe, a beloved French spot a block away that hosts co-owner Mattias Gustafsson's four-piece band, Manouche Bag, on Thursday nights. Plans for the larger space have not yet been announced.

Mr. LoPiccolo confirmed that he has had discussions with Todd Abramson, the co-owner and booker of Maxwell's, about a new collaboration. Mr. Abramson, who also books acts at the Bell House in Brooklyn and occasionally at the Landmark Loews Jersey Theatre, has pointed to Jersey City as a possible location for a new project. He indicated that White Eagle Hall was an option but said he's been looking at other sites in Jersey City as well, many "unsuitable."

"I've had a few conversations with Ben," Mr. Abramson said of Mr. LoPiccolo. "My sense is that there would be much more support for what I do in Jersey City from both residents and the city itself than I'm finding in Hoboken right now."

The region's music scene stands to take a huge hit when Maxwell's closes. But Mr. Abramson sees Jersey City as the Brooklyn to Hoboken's Manhattan, in a sense—a place with a more varied and artsy population, where many of Maxwell's 20-something regulars went when they fled Hoboken for cheaper housing.

"I understand that the closing of Maxwell's creates a void in New Jersey and I'd like to be the person to turn around and fill that void," he said.

While Jersey City has faced some of the same growing pains as its smaller neighbor—including parking issues, which Mr. Abramson said were instrumental in his decision to close Maxwell's—excitement for new development percolated in the months leading up to the election of Steven Fulop, the new, 36-year-old mayor.

Two other theaters could eventually come to the city's downtown, where much of the new development has been concentrated. A 550-seat theater is planned as part of Toll Brothers' Provost Square residential and retail development in the Powerhouse Arts District, and developer SILVERMAN has a redevelopment plan for a lot nearby at Grove and Morgan streets and Marin Boulevard that includes provisions for a community theater.

Over on Newark Avenue, the heart of a restaurant row that Mr. Fulop pushed for when he was a councilman for the ward, "there's a lot of bars and restaurants that attract a similar clientele to Maxwell's," Mr. Abramson said. New York-based businesses now in the neighborhood include Barcade and Two Boots Pizza; Thirty Acres, opened by a former chef from the Momofuku Noodle Bar and his wife; and Greenpoint's Word Bookstore, which is planning a new location a stone's throw from the Grove Street PATH Plaza.

There is some distance between the White Eagle Hall and the buzzy end of Newark Avenue near the PATH. The yellow-brick building with an eagle on the facade sits in a less-developed part of the neighborhood, though new businesses have opened in recent years, and a new luxury apartment building, 340 Third Street, has gone up. The hall is in the midst of a major renovation that Mr. LoPiccolo estimates will cost in excess of $3 million. But even as rain dribbled through the ceiling and spilled down a wall on a recent day, the glamour of the space was unmistakable. Vintage details remain, such as two stained-glass skylights in the main hall decorated with the silhouettes of a man and a woman.

Mr. LoPiccolo has committed to preserving the building's historical details and charm even as he adds modern necessities such as soundproofing. "It's going to be a destination yet again," said John Gomez, a local historian and teacher. "This is what I live for in preservation, buildings being renovated and reused and not just sitting there abandoned."

The White Eagle Hall was a social hall for St. Anthony of Padua, a parish that formed to serve the area's Polish community. It has hosted wrestling matches, political events and bingo. For many years, it was a practice hall for the St. Anthony's Friars, the nationally recognized basketball program run by famed coach Bob Hurley.

"He said, 'This place spoke to me,'" recalled Ms. Levina, who has two children with Mr. LoPiccolo. The family lives in Short Hills. "He said, 'I know it's expensive, but we have to turn this into a theater.'"

Mr. LoPiccolo said the building first caught his eye seven or eight years ago. At the time, it was priced above $2 million—workable for a tear-down and condo development, he said, but not a theater.

"I said to her, 'I can't knock it down, I'm not going to touch it but it would be great if it would be a real venue for downtown,' so I walked away," he said.

When he returned, the price had dropped significantly, and he purchased the theater last year for $1.1 million.

He and Ms. Levina see the need for an arts venue downtown, where he has been building housing for years and where Ms. Levina helms the Jersey City Theater Center, founded by the couple in 2006. She said she envisions an ambitious roster of national and international programming, and has reached out to some of the city's many local arts groups as well. The couple is also working with an arts and culture consultant.

Mr. LoPiccolo described the programming planned for the theater as "a little bit of everything," but with a feel more like BAM than its suburban New Jersey neighbors. "Fashion, modern dance—so many things can happen here," he said.

In the absence of a dedicated music venue in Jersey City, bands have been playing a patchwork of outdoor festivals and bars, restaurants, and arts venues. Bigger-ticket acts such as Beck, Yo La Tengo and Bright Eyes have filled the Landmark Loews Jersey Theatre in Journal Square—booked by Mr. Abramson—but live music there has been on hold while the historic theater invests in new stage lighting and sound equipment.

Last year, the city retooled its entertainment ordinance, making it easier for restaurants in certain districts to host live music. Local event promoter Anthony "Dancing Tony" Susco said two or three new places could be booking bands by next year. That comes as excellent news for music lovers who have been relying on Maxwell's—which holds only about 200 people—for decades.

"I'm hopeful about it," said Donovan Cain, who plays bass with the Jersey City band the Milwaukees, of the White Eagle Hall. "Regardless, I would like to see a venue in Jersey City, period."

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