In the News: Is Bar Works Capsizing?

••• Crain’s says that the Bar Works co-working company, which has been under a cloud for a while, appears to be capsizing. The new Bar Works at 95 Chambers was open as of yesterday, however. It may be making a go of it by subletting space to Bulletproof Coffee café, Pure Green juice bar, and a Beyond the Bar fitness studio. (Indeed, the co-working space downstairs is tiny.) UPDATE 6/28: The Bar Works signage has been removed as of today, and Pure Green founder Ross Franklin says that Pure Green—which is leasing space from the landlord, not Bar Works, and is unaffiliated with the co-working company—is staying. (Same presumably goes for Bulletproof Coffee and Beyond the Bar.)

Bar Works introduced the dubious idea of combined bar and co-working spaces that allowed members to both work and imbibe. Now the company is the subject of an FBI investigation and at least two lawsuits alleging fraud. Amid the allegations, Bar Works did not appear to be operating Monday. A visit by Crain’s to its two Midtown locations—on West 46th and West 39th streets—found the retail spaces dark and empty. A padlock had been installed on the front door at 47 West 39th St.

No one answered repeated phone calls placed to the company’s locations in the city. The landlord of a space Bar Works had been planning to open on the corner of West 16th Street and Eighth Avenue in the coming months, said the firm had ceased the construction work to build out the location and was two months behind on its rent. That landlord, Alexander Brodsky, said his family’s real estate firm, the Brodsky Organization, had begun eviction proceedings against Bar Works.

The whole story bears reading, and it would be entertaining if people weren’t getting hurt. This is also from Crain’s, and it pertains to the Bar Works that was promoted at 70 White (at Cortlandt Alley):

Twenty-seven investors from China launched a joint lawsuit in State Supreme Court June 16 seeking repayment of more than $3 million the group invested in Bar Works that it alleges was pilfered by Bar Works executives in a Ponzi scheme. That suit, along with news that another investment group had filed a similar case against Bar Works in Florida in recent weeks and that the co-working company was being investigated by the FBI, was first reported by Law 360.

••• New York magazine says the Maharishi store on Lispenard will open in late summer with “tiger rugs, parachute bags, and silk pants.”

••• Anticipating Amazon’s involvement, The Street “visited the Tribeca Whole Foods store two days in a row recently, [and] we found a mess—debris on the floor, shelves not fully stocked and items displayed helter-skelter. Meanwhile, the Burger Bar, which sells made-to-order fast food, was slow-moving and disorganized.” The rest of text doesn’t really bear that out; the author sounds like she lives in suburbia.

••• The South Ferry subway station opens today. —New York Post

••• Joe Distler, who owned Riverrun back in the day, submitted a story about Edward Albee to the New York Times‘s Metropolitan Diary.

••• “The only house of worship in Battery Park City is winding down operations in anticipation of shutting entirely later this year. St. Joseph’s Chapel, located within the Gateway Plaza apartment complex, has been buffeted by exorbitant rent increases that the leadership of St. Peter’s Parish in the Financial District (of which the Chapel is an adjunct facility) views as untenable.” —Broadsheet

••• The former Costata space at 206 Spring will be a Korean barbecue restaurant. “Julie Choi has signed a 15-year lease spanning 7,500 square feet on the basement level and first and second floor at 206 Spring St., which was previously home to Fiamma and Costata. The new Korean place will hold more than 250 diners at a time. Choi is part of a family that […] launched Woo Lae Oak in Manhattan in 1974. Today, the family operates Bann on West 50th Street.” —New York Post



  1. WF definitely has a schizophrenic display policy (chutney beside yogurt), but I like it. While a Walmart grocery store has massive selection and large aisles, the lack of humans is depressing.

  2. So sad about St. Joseph’s Chapel.