Punk rock icon CBGB debuted in Newark Airport as a restaurant over holiday travel week, opening with iPad ordering and a menu of basic American sandwiches and wings. The rock music legend closed its Bowery club close to a decade go, and ex-Commerce chef Harold Moore managed to get the CBGB name slapped on his new airport dining spot after a holding company got rights to the trademark.
The menu for CBGB L.A.B., or lounge and bar, looks nothing like Lucky Peach's parody version, which lists things like a "Velveeta Underground" and a "Patty Melt Smith." It's mostly standard American food like burgers, hot dogs, prime rib, salads, and wings, mostly maintaining their standard names.
Still, the irony of the situation didn't seem to phase hungry Terminal C travelers, who flocked to the new restaurant. When The Infatuation's Editorial Director Hillary Reinsberg passed by, the place was packed, according to a photo she tweeted. The underground club's rebirth as an airport restaurant makes sense, argues Hardeep Phull at the Post. Phull writes that CBGB started turning into a a trap for "dopey tourists" long before it closed in 2006, and its legacy has been tainted ever since with things like a "second-rate" CBGB music festival and a terrible 2013 Alan Rickman film about the spot. He writes:
Even if the grand opening of CBGB in Newark were to feature a reunited Talking Heads playing, Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine working as busboys, while Debbie Harry waits tables and serves up Kristal’s original recipe chili, it still wouldn’t change the fact that CBGB is basically a brand that represents New York City to people who don’t live in New York City. That’s the way it’s been for years, and that’s why the idea of it being reborn as a restaurant in Newark fits perfectly.
Have you been? Let us know what you think.