Reports of the demise of the fabled Friars Club are slightly exaggerated. Not yet time to roast the old Midtown clubhouse for comedians, entertainers and journalists. Not yet, at least.
The Comic’s Comic received an email from the Friars on Tuesday that read, in part:
Today, the Executive staff was officially informed that until further notice, the club must close while we assess the damages caused by the recent flooding incident.
As a result, all events and activities are suspended for approximately three months, February/March/April, possibly more, but that is still yet to be determined.
So. The joint is closed for three months. “Possibly more.”
Of course, this news about a flooding came almost immediately after a report on the website Gang Land News titled: “If It’s Thursday At The Friars Club, It Must Be Wiseguy Night,” and claiming that “a select group of Gambino and Genovese crime family wiseguys — as well as a sprinkling of members and associates of other bourghatas” had made the Friars a regular watering hole.
Gossip Roger Friedman noted that post, and followed it up the same day with a report on the club’s closure due to flooding.
I spent some time at the Friars Club over the fall, interviewing members for a planned podcast series that’s still in development. I had some questions about the management and plans for the joint, not all of which were answered completely. The clubhouse certainly looked like it could use some fresh paint and some fresh blood. Here’s hoping the Friars Club gets a new lease on life in 2020.
Hey Jeff Ross, maybe you and I and some other comics should just take it over?