96 Tears is the latest bar in Jesse Malin‘s East Village empire that includes Bowery Electric, Berlin and Niagara. It’s located right next to Niagara at 110 Ave A — the space that was just Tompkins Square Bar, and before that Sister Midnight, and Black Market and is above Cabin Down Below — all or mostly places he has also been involved in with his partner Johnny T who also co-owns 96 Tears with him. DJ/promoter/New York Night Train conductor Jonathan Toubin (who also co-owns TV Eye) is also a partner. After an opening party on Wednesday night, 96 Tears is officially open to the public: 6 PM – 2 AM on weekdays and 6 PM – 4 AM Thursday through Saturday.
The name, of course, comes from the classic song by Question Mark & The Mysterians, but more specifically it’s a tribute to Malin’s friend and D Generation bandmate Howie Pyro who died earlier this year and had “96 Tears” tattooed on his neck. Howie was an avid collector of rock n’ roll and other pop culture memorabilia (check out a video below) and much of that is on display at 96 Tears:
The walls and shelves of the 96 Tears bar realize Howie’s dream as they’re adorned with his original posters, tchotchkes, and other extraordinary artifacts like the original promotional fruit company ashtray he discovered Andy Warhol lifted for The Velvet Underground & Nico LP cover (and wrote about in Dangerous Minds), the “Free Sid Vicious” shirt that punk’s original poster child left at Howie’s apartment before his legendary demise, the original art Ed “Big Daddy” Roth “Rat Fink” gifted Pyro (who penned his 1992 biography Confessions of a Rat Fink), a gold record The Ramones presented to Howie for their debut LP, a Dead Boys bass case that became his own, and an unimaginable array of other authentic subcultural wonders from across the edges of the 20th Century subterrain that found their way into Howie’s orbit.
The club says that The Cabin Down Below, the speakeasy that was also known as “The Strokes Bar” in the late ’00s, will operate “6 PM-4 PM Thursday through Saturday and sporadically for special events and rentals on weeknights.” Check out 96 Tears’ website for more on Howie and the club (and its food options), and check out more photos of the bar by Dave Stekert & Chris Enriquez, and some relevant videos, below…