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Thursday, 31 March 2011 11:58

Public Theater Announces Joe's Pub to Undergo Renovation

The Public Theater


Three Month Hiatus

For Joe’s Pub

Renovation and Expansion

Beginning July 2

Joe’s Pub To Reopen on October 1

Original Designer Serge Becker Returns

For Joe’s Pub Renovation

March 31, 2011 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes), Joe’s Pub (Director Shanta Thake), and Joe’s Pub, LLC (Managing Director, Partner Kevin Abbott and Designer Serge Becker) announced today that Joe’s Pub, a vital part of New York City’s cultural landscape, will take a three month hiatus, beginning July 2, to undertake an exciting interior redesign and renovation, spearheaded by original designer and Joe’s Pub, LLC partner Serge Becker.  Serving more than 100,000 audience members annually, Joe’s Pub first opened in 1998 and presents more than 800 performances a year. It will officially reopen on October 1, 2011 with the same dedication to diverse programming, affordable ticket prices, full bar and dinner service, and an improved seating and stage design. Joe’s Pub will remain open until Friday, July 1 with a full performance schedule at

The renovation of Joe’s Pub, the first in 13 years, is designed to enhance the audience and performer experience by eliminating standing room, expanding seated capacity, renovating the restrooms, improving seating layout and sightlines, providing new artist dressing rooms and moving the entrance to Joe’s Pub from Lafayette Street to inside The Public Theater lobby. In addition, patrons will be able to select and reserve their seating online.

“Joe’s Pub has become central to the mission of The Public Theater – and this renovation will reflect that centrality, allowing the Pub to become even more integrated to The Public’s other programming,”  said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “Music and theater are living in thrilling collision on Astor Place.”

“From bluegrass and country, to gritty cabaret to Senegalese reggae and beyond, we’ve presented thousands of shows that represent the ever-changing reflection of this city’s unmatched diversity in our intimate room,” said Joe’s Pub Director Shanta Thake. “We are committed to presenting incredible talent from our community and all around the world. I am thrilled to see our commitment strengthened by this renovation, which is driven by our desire to improve both the artist and audience experience.”

The much loved look and feel of Joe's Pub will be kept intact with a few fresh details and tweaks and with the major change being the layout of the venue,” said Joe’s Pub, LLC Designer Serge Becker. “The theme is still an elegant modern cabaret space in a soaring neoclassical room.      

The changes to Joe’s Pub align with the construction and remodeling of The Public Theater as part of the GOING PUBLIC Capital Campaign, which also includes the addition of a café area to the redesigned Public Theater lobby; the opening of a new lounge space designed by David Rockwell; and an expanded kitchen to accommodate the new food and beverage service needs of the building. On October 1, Joe’s Pub will reopen with its limited kitchen until all the renovations are complete in the spring.

“It is our mission to create an experience for our guests that will be unparalleled to any other arts venue in the city,” said Joe’s Pub, LCC Managing Director Kevin Abbott. “We will provide a level of cuisine and service that will make The Public Theater not only a top destination for the arts but also a home for the community at large to experience fine arts combined with fine dining.”

The ongoing construction of The Public Theater will revitalize the historic Astor Library building and strengthen the organization for years to come. The plans, designed by Ennead Architects, include an expanded and refurbished lobby (which allows for the lobby’s capacity to increase 170%); an exterior entrance staircase with two ADA-accessible ramps and a glass canopy; a complete restoration of the theater’s historic brownstone façade; a complete upgrade of the theater’s heating, ventilation and air condition systems; an increase in restroom facilities by 350%; an expanded and centrally located box office; a new mezzanine level; a new lounge space; improved and expanded food and beverage service; a greatly expanded Joe’s Pub kitchen; the incorporation of energy-efficient technology; and improved street visibility including six new poster boxes and exterior lighting.

Joe Papp acquired the building in 1965 with help from the City of New York and it became one of the first buildings to be declared a New York City Landmark. The Public Theater’s mission - that arts should be accessible to all regardless of socioeconomic background - echoes the democratic legacy of the Astor Library that made knowledge available to everyone. The complex was transformed into a functioning performance center and still operates as The Public Theater’s downtown home, housing five theaters, administrative and production offices, rehearsal space and Joe’s Pub.

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JOE’S PUB at The Public Theater debuted in October 1998 and quickly became one of New York City's most celebrated and in-demand showcase venues for live music and performance. With its genre-blind booking and vast diversity of interests, the stage at Joe's Pub gives voice to a world of varied and stellar artists.  Joe’s Pub is open seven days a week, regularly hosting as many as three shows a day. Dinner and drink service is available during every performance. In addition to its reputation of presenting internationally known stars, Joe’s Pub has also developed into a premier showcase stage for up-and-coming musicians and emerging artists from a variety of disciplines. The Public Theater is partnered with restaurateur JOE’S PUB, LLC, owned and operated by Josh Pickard (Locanda Verde, The Dutch, Lure, B&B, Chinatown Brasserie), Serge Becker (Miss Lily’s, La Esquina, The Box, Café Select), Paul Salmon (Jamaica’s Rockhouse Hotel, Miss Lily’s) and Kevin Abbott (Managing Director of Joe’s Pub).

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Joey Parnes, Interim Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater’s productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice.

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