Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc), a nonprofit arts organization serving the cultural community of the Lower East Side, announces the closure of FAB Café at 75 East 4th Street in Manhattan, New York. FABnyc will be holding a Closing Holiday Party, open to all 5-7PM on December 14, 2012, the Café's last official day of service.
FABnyc plans to transform the café space into what will be called "FAB Lab." FAB Lab will function as a shared creative workplace and hub for community events and programs. Though forgoing its food service operations, FABnyc is excited about this transition, believing that it will better serve the neighborhood by providing new opportunities for creativity. FAB Lab is set to open in January 2013.
FABnyc originally decided to expand the scope of its non-profit community service by assuming the lease at 75 East 4th Street and opening the FAB Café in January of 2011. FABnyc broke a NYC record for opening a new café, from lease to health inspection, in under one month. The café was staffed and managed by artist-baristas who helped make the it a creative hub for the neighborhood.
FABnyc was also able to relocate the East Village Visitors Center, a collaboration with the Lower East Side History Project, to the space, creating a vibrant spot for tourists and locals alike to learn more about the neighborhood. The FAB Café & East Village Visitor Center has hosted a total of 11 art exhibitions since its opening, curated by Joyce Manalo and Keith Schweitzer.
After consulting with board and community members, FABnyc has determined that the FAB Café space will better serve by acting as a hub for artists, creatives, and local culture aficionados who desire to work and learn together. East Village Visitors Center is anticipated to continue operations out of 75 East 4th, however the structure and hours of EVVC are yet to be determined.
FABnyc will be holding a Closing Holiday Party, December 14, 2012, 5PM-7PM, at the café to commemorate the community and artist-baristas who have devoted so much love and time to serving the block through through this business. FABnyc will specifically honor Erica Livingston, Matt Poole, and Lauren Parrish for their devotion to the idea of serving coffee with culture, as well as highlighting the art and creativity of numerous cafe personnel.
In addition to offering refreshments at the event, FABnyc will be auctioning off café memorabilia. Cherished mason jars, mugs, books, and more, will find new homes in a silent auction to benefit FABnyc's work to transform the space. Closing Party attendees are also invited to write out memories and bring photographs to be preserved in a "Café Memory Book," and café regulars may also submit memories online via Tumblr at http://fabcafe.tumblr.com/ask.
FABnyc was founded in 2001 as the nonprofit leadership organization for the East 4th Street Cultural District, a historic and vibrant arts corridor in Manhattan between Second Avenue and Bowery. Now a neighborhood-wide coalition of arts and community groups, FABnyc drives community and economic development, while also preserving the Lower East Side's rich heritage and creative energy. For more information, visit www.fabnyc.org.
Photo Credit: Whitney Browne