From a media release:
Joe's Pub New York - Renovations Summer 2011
July 2 to reopen October 1, 2011
New York, NY – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes), Joe’s Pub (Director Shanta Thake), and Joe’s Pub, LLC (Managing Director, Partner Kevin Abbott and Designer Serge Becker) announced March 31, 2011 that Joe’s Pub, a vital part of New York City’s cultural landscape, will take a three month hiatus, beginning July 2, to undertake an exciting interior redesign and renovation, spearheaded by original designer and Joe’s Pub, LLC partner Serge Becker.
Serving more than 100,000 audience members annually, Joe’s Pub first opened in 1998 and presents more than 800 performances a year. It will officially reopen on October 1, 2011 with the same dedication to diverse programming, affordable ticket prices, full bar and dinner service, and an improved seating and stage design.
• Joe’s Pub will remain open until Friday, July 1 with a full performance schedule at www.joespub.com.
The renovation of Joe’s Pub, the first in 13 years, is designed to enhance the audience and performer experience by eliminating standing room, expanding seated capacity, renovating the restrooms, improving seating layout and sightlines, providing new artist dressing rooms and moving the entrance to Joe’s Pub from Lafayette Street to inside The Public Theater lobby. In addition, patrons will be able to select and reserve their seating online.
“Joe’s Pub has become central to the mission of The Public Theater – and this renovation will reflect that centrality, allowing the Pub to become even more integrated to The Public’s other programming,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “Music and theater are living in thrilling collision on Astor Place.”
“From bluegrass and country, to gritty cabaret to Senegalese reggae and beyond, we’ve presented thousands of shows that represent the ever-changing reflection of this city’s unmatched diversity in our intimate room,” said Joe’s Pub Director Shanta Thake. “We are committed to presenting incredible talent from our community and all around the world. I am thrilled to see our commitment strengthened by this renovation, which is driven by our desire to improve both the artist and audience experience.”
“The much loved look and feel of Joe's Pub will be kept intact with a few fresh details and tweaks and with the major change being the layout of the venue,” said Joe’s Pub, LLC Designer Serge Becker. “The theme is still an elegant modern cabaret space in a soaring neoclassical room.”
The changes to Joe’s Pub align with the construction and remodeling of The Public Theater as part of the GOING PUBLIC Capital Campaign, which also includes the addition of a café area to the redesigned Public Theater lobby; the opening of a new lounge space designed by David Rockwell; and an expanded kitchen to accommodate the new food and beverage service needs of the building. On October 1, Joe’s Pub will reopen with its limited kitchen until all the renovations are complete in the spring.
“It is our mission to create an experience for our guests that will be unparalleled to any other arts venue in the city,” said Joe’s Pub, LCC Managing Director Kevin Abbott. “We will provide a level of cuisine and service that will make The Public Theater not only a top destination for the arts but also a home for the community at large to experience fine arts combined with fine dining.”
The ongoing construction of The Public Theater will revitalize the historic Astor Library building and strengthen the organization for years to come. The plans, designed by Ennead Architects, include an expanded and refurbished lobby (which allows for the lobby’s capacity to increase 170%); an exterior entrance staircase with two ADA-accessible ramps and a glass canopy; a complete restoration of the theater’s historic brownstone façade; a complete upgrade of the theater’s heating, ventilation and air condition systems; an increase in restroom facilities by 350%; an expanded and centrally located box office; a new mezzanine level; a new lounge space; improved and expanded food and beverage service; a greatly expanded Joe’s Pub kitchen; the incorporation of energy-efficient technology; and improved street visibility including six new poster boxes and exterior lighting.
Joe Papp acquired the building in 1965 with help from the City of New York and it became one of the first buildings to be declared a New York City Landmark. The Public Theater’s mission - that arts should be accessible to all regardless of socioeconomic background - echoes the democratic legacy of the Astor Library that made knowledge available to everyone. The complex was transformed into a functioning performance center and still operates as The Public Theater’s downtown home, housing five theaters, administrative and production offices, rehearsal space and Joe’s Pub.
Artists' renderings provided by Joe's Pub.