Cutting Both Ways

New York City’s Cutting Room closed Jan. 13 with a sendoff from Joan Rivers, but that’s not necessarily bad news. The venue is expected to eventually reopen in a new, larger location.

The Chelsea performance space, the site of industry showcases, music, cabaret and burlesque artists, was the victim of skyrocketing rents in its present location. Its owners, including “Sex And The City” and “Law & Order” actor Chris Noth, are looking for more reasonable commercial space to lease, manager Peter Abraham told Pollstar.

“For us, business has actually been quite good,” Abraham said. “But, for the amount of rent we’ve been paying, we could have been renting Irving Plaza or the Gramercy, which are much larger spaces. That’s just the reality.”

Though the Cutting Room’s rent has tripled in the last 10 years, Abraham said he’s seen at least one upside to the down economy: Commercial rentals seem to be loosening up.

“Two years ago at the height of the market nobody wanted to rent space out to a club. Now, everyone’s hurting on the commercial end of things so it seems like prices are coming down and spaces are opening left and right,” Abraham explained. “If you have a good club now, it’s a good time actually in that respect. Music always flourishes when things are bad.”
Abraham said it’s hoped a new Cutting Room will be open by summer.