At a hearing at City Hall Monday, The Stud was approved by the Small Business Commission for Legacy Business status, hopefully boosting its chances of survival following a rent hike and the property changing hands. Mica Sigourney, a.k.a. Vivvyanne ForeverMore, who's been leading the publicity charge for the 15-member co-op that recently took over operation of the bar, announced the news on Facebook, saying, "This qualifies the Stud for supportive grants from the city. [And] We met 12 other Legacy Businesses and are proud to be in their company."
Back in July we first heard that the iconic, 50-year-old nightclub was in danger of closing after its longtime owner, Michael McElhaney, decided to sell the business and move to Florida in the face of a steep rent hike. The rent, which had been $3,800/month, was being hiked to $9,500/month (a 150% increase) under new owners, who are the grown children of the property's now deceased longtime owners, and McElhaney called this "an insane amount of money."
At issue too, beyond this rent increase, is development pressure in the immediate neighborhood which will likely motivate the current owners to want to develop the property to its maximum height of seven stories, like the massive residential development being completed next door to the club.
With Legacy Business status, The Stud stands to get an annual grant from the city of $500 per employee, as well as making grants available to the landlord of $4.50 per square foot, capped at $22,500 per year, in exchange for extending a long-term lease to the business of ten years or more. Business owners have to agree to maintain the historic name and craft of their businesses, and similar programs have shown success in preserving neighborhood character in London, Barcelona, and elsewhere.
Sigourney and the team have announced a community meeting next Tuesday, December 6, to make an announcement about the future of the bar, so stay tuned for more.
In the meantime, you can check out Vivvy in her glory at Club SomeThing on Friday, where the theme is "In the Middle of SomeThing" (featuring a runway down the middle of the dancefloor), and they're doing a live drag version of Match Game on Saturday, December 10.