Yesterday, the auction of Williamsburg's Verboten club took place under the oversight of Staten Island-based firm MYC & Associates Inc., and it has been announced that the winner was Eddie Dean, former owner of Pacha NYC. Dean won with a bid of $1.2 million. Verboten's former owners and operating partners, Jen Schiffer and Jon Perez, had put it up for auction in order to pay off the club's debts.
According to a statement emailed by a representative for Dean, the venue is "expected to open in the fall under a new name and vision," under Dean and Director Andrew Inomata's leadership.
"I started my nightlife career in Brooklyn so it's only fitting that I return here now," Dean wrote in the statement. "We are excited to take over the North 11th space in this prime location and fully put our nightlife expertise into action."
Verboten has had a very rocky 2016 so far. In January, Schiffer and Perez were accused by investors of fraud and mismanagement, and in March the club was seized by the New York State Department over $360,000 of withheld sales taxes. The club then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and re-opened its doors in April despite an uncertain future. Soon thereafter, police arrested Schiffer for allegedly writing bad checks totaling over $30,000.
In June, Gothamist obtained legal documents stating that Dean was a high bidder in the Verboten auction.
Read the full statement emailed by a representative for Dean below.
"Eddie Dean entered in a winning bid of $1.2 million for the purchase of the lease for the premises located at 54 North 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY in U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday.
The venue is expected to open in the fall under a new name and vision dedicated to the creative ethos of Brooklyn and serve as an outpost for the global dance music scene. The new space will operate under the direction of Eddie Dean and Director Andrew Inomata, who previously worked with Dean at Pacha NYC and events company RPM Presents, and is anticapted [sic] to include a carefully curated team of industry experts.
Their collective long-term plan for the venue is to become a creative hub for musicians and artists and tap into the maker-culture of DIY Brooklyn with arts, music, food, and community life. It is anticipated that the venue will continue to host live music concerts and DJ shows, booking globally renowned talent, as well as seek to be an incubator for up and coming talent for all genres of music.
"I started my nightlife career in Brooklyn so it's only fitting that I return here now," said Dean. "We are excited to take over the North 11th space in this prime location and fully put our nightlife expertise into action."
Director Andrew Inomata shared his vision for the new space and said, "We will endeavor to celebrate the spirit of dance music that was born at the crossroads of creativity."
Eddie Dean returns to his Brooklyn roots with this new venture. He first launched his nightlife career in 1990 with a club called Faces in Bay Ridge and two other Brooklyn hot spots, Ruby's and Rock 'n Jocks over subsequent years. After operating nightclub Discotheque / Hush in New York City from 1998-2005, Dean opened the first North American outpost of world renowned clubbing brand Pacha in New York in 2005. The storied club closed in January 2016 after a successful 10 year run. Dean also founded RPM Presents with the late promotional director Rob Fernandez, the dance music marketing and management group continues to operate and has produced over 500 events, including Pier of Fear, Big Week New York, BKWRHS, HYTE Festival, and brought mega-festival Electric Daisy Carnival to New York."
UPDATE [July 19, 2:38 pm]: Brian Edward McGuinness, a former investor in Verboten and BK Events, the LLC that ran the club, told THUMP that he and another former investor also submitted a joint bid on the lease. "It was a pleasure working with so many great and honest employees and investors in the Verboten organization and we accept our loss in the bidding process knowing that Eddie Dean will continue with 54n 11th st as a destination for music," he wrote.
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