Pour one out for Mayahuel, the tequila and mezcal-centric cocktail bar from restaurateur Ravi DeRossi that’s been in the East Village (304 East 6th Street) since 2009 that’s closing August 8.
DeRossi said that the lease has ended and the landlord did not want to renew. “There will never be a greater honor than having been able to welcome you into our home, share our passion for agave with you, and create and share so many incredible memories,” a note from the bar’s team says.
Mayahuel was one of several DeRossi businesses in the East Village that celebrate cocktail culture. It’s also a bar that helped make concentration on a single liquor a trendy thing across the city. When it first opened, agave liquors were often relegated largely to margaritas, and Mayahuel and Philip Ward of Death & Co. convinced people that it shouldn’t be. In a review in 2009, the Times said it “may be the world’s first tequila bar with a hypothesis — not a theme, like Spring Break Forever or That Night in Cabo, but an actual theory to be argued and defended.”
Here’s the full copy of the note.
To our Family, Friends & Fellow Agave Lovers,
It is with great sadness that we inform you Mayahuel will be closing her doors for good on August 8th, 2017.
Our lease has come to an end, and renewing was not an option.
There will never be a greater honor than having been able to welcome you into our home, share our passion for agave with you, and create and share so many incredible memories.
Between now and August 8th, we hope to welcome you into our home a few more times to celebrate all that is Mayahuel.
Walmart today doubled down on its efforts to continue building out a online retail fashion business. Today it announced that it would acquire Bonobos for $310 million in cash. The deal follows several other acquisitions that the retail giant has made in the area of online fashion. They include Modcloth in March 2017, outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51 million in February… Read More
every lyric and note i have ever written has come from the room i grew up in. i lived in this room until i was 27. kinda fucked up but i never felt the need to leave.
Antonoff grew up in New Jersey; he first rose to prominence as part of fun., the theater-kid-hedonism pop trio whose 2012 album Some Nights, anchored by the commencement-worthy smash “We Are Young,” made them superstars. It also gave them something to go on indefinite hiatus from. “I remember immediately — immediately — feeling like, ‘I don’t want to play ‘We Are Young’ when I’m 35,’” Antonoff told The New York Timeslast week.
He is 33 now, and already promoting Gone Now, the second proper album from his post-fun. solo project, Bleachers. “Hate That You Know Me” is the best song on it, a ramshackle riot of drum machines and wistful hairbrush-as-microphone jubilance, mining the same ’80s-dance-party-for-one vibe as latter-day Carly Rae Jepsen or Paramore. It is “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” when you can’t sing nearly as well as Whitney Houston, plus there’s nobody to dance with; it pulls off the neat trick of allowing Antonoff to chase pop stardom in the midst of running from it.
He wrote that song with Julia Michaels, one of the hottest young songwriters in pop music, an honorific that applies to Antonoff, too: He also cowrote big hits for Sara Bareilles (“Brave”), Taylor Swift (“Out of the Woods”), and Lorde (“Green Light,” still the best song of 2017, don’t @ me), the latter two of which he also coproduced. His style, roughly speaking, is Ungodly Enormous Intimacy, deeply personal and wildly inspirational anthems that suggest pop behemoths dragging painstaking recreations of their childhood bedrooms behind them in little trailers. He likes fight songs that are tougher, and stranger, and far more oddly appealing than “Fight Song.” He is offering brave young pop stars another way forward, hijacking the good parts of the ’80s (the rough-hewn neon buoyancy) while excising the lousy parts of the 2010s (the mindless EDM autopilot hiccuping). Through his alliances with Swift and Lorde, he’s enabling much of the most idiosyncratic pop on the radio right now.
Bleachers won’t reach anywhere near the prominence of most of his collaborators, but that only allows Antonoff to revel in his most personal quirks. His childhood-bedroom fixation actually began during the campaign behind the first Bleachers record, 2014’s Strange Desire, when he invited a Billboard writer out to Jersey for a guided tour: the commemorative baseballs and Star Wars figurines, the Beatles and punk and hardcore posters. That album’s modestly rowdy hit, “I Wanna Get Better,” was a cheerful pep-rally-as-therapy-session, a packed-house intervention for the unathletic loner cowering underneath those titular bleachers. But exorcism-as-ecstasy pop like this requires escalation. Pushing farther outward and inward. Mining his deepest traumas (most prominently, the loss of his 13-year-old sister to brain cancer when he was in high school) for the fuel that powers Gone Now’s universal odes to grief and despair and triumphant rebirth. Per the bedroom-trailer manifesto:
1. it’s a bit literal but the only way i was going to fully move on and live what i’m trying to live on gone now was to remove this room and freeze it. it speaks to how badly i want to enter the next phase of my life and how impossible it is for me to let go of what’s gone.
It’s an album about saying goodbye when you can’t say goodbye, about feeling both painfully small and ungodly huge. Antonoff is now both a pop-star-whisperer and a pop-star refugee, chasing the same dragon his old band so theatrically fled. His past is the key to his future. “Hey, I know I was lost / But I miss those days,” goes another shout-along mini-supernova chorus on Gone Now. “I was la-la-la-la-la-la lost / But I miss those days.”
It is a minor travesty that “Green Light” is already likely out of the 2017 Song of Summer race — I will do it at karaoke at some point, and it will be so awesome it makes the news — but both public and professional consensus is that the song’s just a little too weird. Specifically, pop-songwriter god Max Martin personally informed Lorde that the “melodic math” of “Green Light” is off, resulting in a case of “incorrect songwriting.” Which she took as a compliment, or at least it “wasn’t an insult — just a statement of fact.” The whiplash key change, slow-arriving drums, and helium-starburst backing vocals are all designed to throw you off balance and keep you there.
Antonoff, in his production/cowriter guise, usually isn’t chasing weirdness for weirdness’ sake: Swift’s “Out of the Woods” and Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” are fairly straightforward, and gargantuan, and inescapable. With Bleachers, there’s a bit more of that “incorrect songwriting” and general eccentricity — chattering background voices, dinky keyboard curlicues, jarring choruses that rattle and thrill like 50-year-old roller coasters — but it always comes off as pure, uncut pop, perhaps because he’s often working with the same radio-beloved people. In 2015, he put out Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2, a full-length remix of Strange Desire, each track altered by a female star: Bareilles, Jepsen, fellow pop-star-whisperer Sia, former tourmate Charli XCX, Dixie Chicks leader Natalie Maines, R&B striver Tinashe, etc. No Lorde and no Taylor, but you can hear them clearly on it anyway, the sound of a quirky tinkerer calmly pulling everyone into his orbit, until it no longer really sounds quirky at all.
His new album’s first single is the jazzercise yelp-fest “Don’t Take the Money”; the video is directed by his longtime girlfriend Lena Dunham, and I suppose their enduring union is another way of framing all this: a very 21st-century New York City sort of monied neurosis. When he gets especially jittery, Antonoff has something of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy in him, hip but pleasantly off-kilter, party-oriented but decidedly indoorsy, traipsing confusedly about Brooklyn, staggering in the sunlight.
What’s even more confusing is that at his quietest and softest — ”She puts on a black dress / I clean my glasses and phone,” begins the relatively mellow and sweet “Nothing Is U” — Antonoff can sound a little like Bruce Springsteen at his quietest and softest. Parts of Gone Now can come to resemble an alternate-universe pastel Nebraska, its protagonists watching John Hughes movies on their phones all the way to Atlantic City. (Scoff all you like, but there’s something very familiar about the way Antonoff nimbly mumbles his way through a line like, “That’s why I’m up in my room tonight whistlin’ wind out my teeth ’cause somebody didn’t fix ’em nice.”) This is a minimalist-pop album from a maximalist-pop guy, wildly off-kilter but way closer to the Top 40’s current center than it, or he, appears.
The point of the bedroom-trailer stunt is that you’re supposed to sit in it and listen to Gone Now. For at least some fans, it has proven awfully effective: “This was the most creative environment i’ve been in,” one tweeted afterward. “In 3 minutes, i felt the heart and soul of every bleachers song.” This is just about as literal as you can get, in terms of the bedroom-to-stadium transition that Antonoff has witnessed now from every point on the spectrum, and not in the usual order. It’s hard to say what he wants from this album, given that he already has plenty of the things it could conceivably give him: fame, money, the affinity of even bigger pop stars, etc. What’s mostly left for him is catharsis and connection, and the message here seems to be that even more so than all that other stuff, with those two things especially, you can never get enough, no matter how visible you make yourself, or how completely you hide.
I’m not sure where they’ve been keeping Kellyanne Conway these days, but the unexpected firing of FBI director James Comey was event enough for the White House to rouse her from whatever hidey-hole they’ve been keeping her in and put her up against Anderson Cooper to defend the President.