The future of the historic Lenox Lounge space in Harlem is looking more doubtful than ever. Nobu restaurateur Richie Notar took over the space way back in the beginning of 2013, after owner Alvin Reed decided to shutter the 63-year-old nightclub when the landlord hiked the rent. But Notar Jazz Club, as the new bar and Southern restaurant is called, is still not open, and now Harlem + Bespoke reports that there are eviction papers hanging in the window, claiming Notar owes back rent.
It's unclear exactly what's going on here, but the space itself was tied up for a long time in a legal battle between the landlord and Alvin Reed. The landlord sued Reed for allegedly removing some of the bar's iconic fixtures, including bar, from the space illegally. Reed has been planning to reopen the Lenox Lounge just a couple blocks away, and had taken the stuff with him to use there. But eventually a judge ruled in favor of the landlord, and ordered Reed to return everything to the space. All along, Notar claimed to be uninvolved in the battle, but it can't have been good for progress on the space. Meanwhile, the Lenox Lounge reboot also still has yet to open, and at last report, Reed was in need of more funding. Eater has reached out to Notar's team for an update. Stay tuned.