West End Lounge to Close for Good

The West End Lounge, a gathering spot for drinks and live performances on the corner of West End Avenue and West 107th Street, will close its doors for good, owner John Forslund said on Facebook.

As we round out September and head into the Fall… I guess there’s no better time to announce. After a lot – and i mean a lot – of introspective thinking & discussing with my small team of advisors … I will not be reopening The West End Lounge on 107/Bdwy. The years and years of fond memories will always stay with myself & my entire team (past & present up to COVID)! We’ve literally poured millions of drinks over the years & collectively we have appreciated the support along the way for each and every one of them.

The lounge had caused controversy with neighbors for years, with some saying it was too raucous to be in a residential building. Forslund, who had changed the menu and other aspects to win regulatory approval, wrote on Facebook that the closure comes just after he had prevailed in that fight. “The irony that we had JUST won our 2-year long battle with Community Board 7 right before Covid is not lost on me – the legacy just wasn’t meant to live on at 955 west end Ave!”

Thanks to Cameron for the tip.

FOOD, OPEN/CLOSED | 21 comments | permalink
    1. Bruce Bernstein says:

      a big loss.

    2. UWSHebrew says:

      I don’t live there but I can’t imagine the steady hell tenants to had to live with regarding the noise level. Should never have been allowed to be in a residential building to begin with.

    3. blacklikeu says:

      Too F bad.
      I liked the place. Different and comforting.
      There goes another one of the better ones.
      Cheers to the good old days.

    4. TERENCE says:

      I started “WFH” in Jan. 2006, so having this space nearby that was open all day from breakfast till cocktail hour with strong wi-fi was a godsend for me….I brought my laptop, took a power nap in the backroom performance space around 4pm, , then closed out my workday chatting with the original owner Eric, House Manager Nick, bartender Michel, and the regulars at the bar like Kurt Bogdan, Dennis O’Neal, Eric, etc gave this place a certain joy that is now missing in our neighborhood, unlikely to be replaced anytime soon.
      Sad….thanks to the West End “Underground” team.

    5. Cameron says:

      I’ll never forget going to Community Board 7 and hearing the people trying so desperately to get The West End closed and hearing them referring to the clientele as “those kind of people”

      “It attract those kind of people”

      “Those kind of people are the worst”

      “Those kind of people make so much noise!”

      “Those kind of people don’t have jobs”

      I asked someone I heard say that point blank what they meant by “Those kind of people”

      “oh you know! those people”

      Yeah I know I just wanted “your kind of people” admit you are racist homophobes.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        thank you, Cameron. We have to start being honest about how much racism there is on the UWS.

      • J. L. Rivers says:

        The UWS has a higher concentration of closeted racists than I could have ever imagined. People with no compassion for those in need abound in a neighborhood with a healthy concentration of churches and synagogues. Not everyone of course, but the number and quality of disdainful and divisive comments leaves a lot to be desired from”one of the best neighborhoods in the city”

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Exactly, Cameron. Well said.

      • Nick says:

        I lived next to this building. While some people may have had racial motivations, others simply wanted to sleep in peace without being disturbed by people being obscenely loud and music being amplified. Relax on the generalizations there.

    6. Shewrites says:

      I remember when this space was an eclectic little bookstore with a huge variety of books, and comfy chairs and sofas. It was such a hidden gem.

    7. Kindly Dr Dave says:

      I always liked this place as a great neighborhood asset for comedy. Never heard a loud band, but met a lot of friendly folks from the nabe. A real cultural loss!

    8. Neal H Hurwitz says:

      Hi John!!! Sorry!!!

    9. nnioc says:

      Bringing the total of LGBT bars on the UWS back to 0. Sad.

    10. Charlotte Cloud says:

      So very sad. In the 70s and 80s, the West End was a hit spot for great jazz with such luminaries as Brooks Kerr who regaled a large cadre of famous, and infamous, jazz legends. He held court there with his crew for over 10 years.

      • Tom D. says:

        Wrong West End. The West End you’re certainly thinking about was up btw 114th and 115th Sts. It closed in IIRC 2005. That space was most recently occupied by Bernheim & Schwartz. Eventually to become Hex & Co.

        This West End Lounge space at 107th St. was previously occupied by the Pomander bookstore, but that closed back circa 1994. After that it became the Underground Lounge, although I can’t recall if there was something else short-lived there in between. Underground Lounge renamed as the West End Lounge a few years ago.

    11. Dan says:

      Not wanting to be kept awake by loud drunks at 2 am makes you a racist and homophobe, it seems.

    12. robert says:

      Considering how the UWS has now moved further left than just being progressive, O fully expect this place to revert to its origins as The Upper Westside Marxist Center it used to bein the 80’s

    13. Nick says:

      Good. I lived on this block for ten years. You guys do not understand how much of a nuisance this place was – noise that you can hear on the 4th floor past midnight, people vomiting in front of the building, police being called due to bar altercations, people blowing smoke (cigs and weed) in open windows, etc. It may have been a great place but they should have cared more for the RESIDENTIAL neighborhood they were in rather than trying to go on as any other bar.