Next week, the city's Historic Preservation Commission will decide whether the Gold Dust Lounge is indeed a historic landmark. The problem is that even if the commission gives the bar a "landmark status," that doesn't mean the popular lounge will remain a watering hole.
According to a city report issued yesterday, only some physical features of the bar are historic enough to be protected. That means the bar could still be turned into the planned Express clothing store, as long as the retailer preserved the physical features of the bar, the report says.
But that's just one report, according to Lee Houskeeper, spokesman for the bar. This report -- which comes from staff working with the Historic Landmark Commission -- won't make or break the future of the lounge.
"It's just a rebuttal to our nomination [for historic landmark status]," Houskeeper told us.
Houskeeper says that after the release of this report, the Gold Dust Lounge may ask the commission to hold off on making a decision on the bar's status while lawyers and historians work out their own rebuttal to this "rebuttal."
Still, the report could be considered one point for Jon Handlery, the landlord who wants to boot the bar and put a retail clothing store in its place. The bar's lease ended March 10, but instead of packing up the premises, the Bovis brothers, who own the Gold Dust, threw an all-day "No Last Call" bash, refusing to leave.
Meanwhile, Supervisor Christina Olague has started her own efforts to keep the quirky Union Square bar intact, with legislation proposing a moratorium on conversions in the Union Square district.
"Any one of these things, if we lost, isn't going to knock us out, and anything we win isn't going to be our savior, but in combination all of it works to save the Gold Dust," Houskeeper told us. "It's a long process, and it could conceivably go on several years."
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